If Bus Rides Were A Measure of Wealth...

Trip Start Oct 16, 2010
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Trip End Nov 15, 2010


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Flag of Turkey  , Balikesir,
Thursday, October 28, 2010

(Entry to be entered in great detail by Susan and Allison)

(Alli)Andy's great amount of detail might be asking for a bit much for our last few days but I'll see what I can do, blame him for any boredom.

We had mentioned that we were getting lots of rain and thunder during diner on Wednesday but it continued to poor and poor all night long (which I used my laboriously honed skills to sleep through) and finally died off in the morning.

I wake up, at some ungodly hour, to knocking on the door and remain still in hopes that I was still dreaming.  (What!  I was feeling worse and this was supposed to be the one day to sleep-in and relax!)  Our intruder was not fooled by my playing dead so I reluctantly let him in to find Dad had decided we should look into get a bus out this morning since the streets were flooded and if it rained again we might not be getting out at all.

So we gathered all our items and had to say goodbye to our very sweet host who was possibly 1 out of only 2 people in the town who knew English.  

The bus ride we wanted left at 9:45 so we walk to the bus office that is near our hotel a bit before 9 but they're not open yet so we decided to just go to the station.  We still have to wait a bit for them to open there as well but we do get seats!

We find breakfast and 3 more packages of cough drops for me and then we're set for our 4-5? hour ride to Bandirma. Where we'll catch a shuttle to the ferry for a 3 hour ride through the Marmara Sea to Istanbul.

It definitely a good thing that we got going when we did because everything was flooded and there was more than one spot on the road during our trip that we were quite glad that we were in a huge bus that was high up so that we could get through some parts.  It was only raining a bit at this point but mostly it was windy, EXTREMELY windy.

When we made it to our bus stop everyone, including security, were huddled inside so we made a break for it after grabbing the luggage.  Fortunately we weren't standing in the line for the ferries long before we learned that there weren't any!  The rains and winds were so bad that they had all been canceled for the day, leaving us with the option instead to catch a bus to Bursa and than connect to another bus for about another 4 hours to Istanbul.  Grabbed the last few seats on one, grabbed some lunch and we were off again.

At some point during the last leg of buses it had died down enough and the bus got on the ferry for about an hour to cross over getting us to Istanbul around 9:00 at night.  We had gone with this company because they said they could get us transport to Taksim for no additional charge. This turned out to mean stopping in the middle of the freeway and kicking us off while pointing in the wind and rain to a nearby van/bus.  Our question for him:  Can we get our luggage first?  Reluctantly he lead us over to the left side(traffic side) and handed off our stuff and we all jumped into this van.  Wasn't long at all before coming to a bus station where they kicked us out again and had us wait in the rain for the shuttle that would take us to Taksim to show up.

It did finally show, and we did get to Taksim.  Exhausted we hunted for the nearest hotel and eventually settled in for the night.  It was a long day.

I've added some additional pictures that I wanted to get on sooner but didn't manage, so I apologize for the lack of sequentiality.
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