Week 3

May 21 to May 27

On May 22 I drove from Edirne to Istanbul.

On the Turkish highway, there is a peculiar payment system. You can’t pay at the station itself, but need to buy an RF-ID enabled card in advance, which of course I didn’t have.

However, if you have a motorcycle or a very thin car, it is possible to drive past the barrier and just get on the highway. Be not disturbed by the loud sirens going of or the people shouting at you, as long as you hit the throttle hard enough, nothing can happen.

Traffic in Istanbul is, as it is to be suspected in a city with 15+ million inhabitants, quite heavy. It took me only a few hours navigating congested one-way-streets to find my hostel named #bunk taksim, where I took a shower and went to the rooftop-bar for a refreshing beer.

At bar I met two MIT PhD candidates, a Belgian tourist who had studied in Istanbul for half a year and two Dutch travelers. We had beers, dinner, later shots, and then went out. The rest of the memories are somewhat hazy, but it appears to have been a good evening, at least judging by the nausea and taste of mole shit I had in my mouth next morning.

On 23rd I went to explore the city with the Dutch guys. The Hagia Sofia is brilliant. In the evening my friend Philipp arrived from Switzerland, and we went out.

Some kind of religious building, I guess.

We spend the next few days exploring and enjoying Istanbul, sights by day, clubs by night. The Bosporus cruise is an experience I can only recommend.

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