Ich hatte irgendwo auf meiner Tour Andrew&Friedel Grant getroffen.
Die beiden sind noch um einiges besser als ich. Die machen nämlich eine solche Tour über 5 Jahre und über die ganze(!) Welt. Ich bekam diese E-Mail:
Hello family and friends,
Here we are in Istanbul, perched between Europe and Asia. Minarets form a string We arrive in Turkey! across the horizon. Their calls to prayer echo across the city, waking us up at dawn and putting us to sleep after dark. Down by the Golden Horn -- the inlet of the Bosphorus that divides Istanbul -- fishermen cast lines in their dozens as ferries roll in and out every few minutes and the smell of mackerel fillets being freshly grilled are enough to make your mouth water.
Everywhere the streets are filled with people, going about their daily business. Not just businessmen, tourists and students but also porters hauling huge loads of goods up and down the steep streets on carts. It is hard to find your own personal space on the sidewalks of Istanbul but we enjoy the hustle and bustle of this city. There is a certain life t Fishing on the Galata Bridgeo it that we haven't seen in some time.
It's a good thing we are settling in here as it appears we'll be staying put for a few days yet, doing the rush between consulates to arrange visas for the next leg of our journey. Iran has been checked off (much easier than we expected), while Syria and Pakistan are still on the "to do" list. We might not be officially on the road but we are notching up a fair few kilometers running to different ends of the city and we've been struck by the wide split in consular accomodation.
Canada has a trendy city flat overlooking one of Istanbul's main shopping streets with cats included to greet you at the door. Britain has a stately mansion with a perfectly manicured green lawn, if you can get past the high spiked gates. Syria's office could almost fit in a broom closet.
We are excited about the next leg of our journey, which should take us down the Mediterranean coast of Turkey to some famous archeological sites and then across to Syria hopefully by mid-November. So far the weather has been exceptionally warm and we are hoping the snow holds off for as long as possible! After a tour round Syria we'll return to Turkey briefly, making a beeline for the Iranian border and eventually over to Pakistan, setting ourselves up to bike the Karakoram Highway in the spring. Plenty of hills to climb!
Yes, after a year or so in Europe, things are really starting to get exciting now! And despite the apparently numerous hills that await us, we are looking forward to this new part of our trip.
Last night we had a chance to record another radio show for you, so we hope you'll enjoy listening to it. You can hear our new bicycle horn -- built to match up to the loud Turkish taxi drivers and their incessant beeping -- as well as an interview we did with a couple from Australia a few weeks back.
Until the next time,
Friedel & Andrew
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