Crossing Uneven Ground

Turkey to Greece, Starting The Odyssey

Drinking Tea

Tea on the Bosphorus. Here I am, up on a hill in Gulhane Park where there is a nice little tea house overlooking the busy boat traffic on the Bosphorus. A great place to sit and try to chill out as I contemplate the journey. “Chill Out” is not my speciality.

“Travel while you can,” is the chant we hear from our friends, some of whom are fellow travelers and some who wish they could but can’t. So travel we will and we’re off on our most ambitious trip yet, seven weeks to span Troy to Ithaca, Turkey to Greece. I’ve called this trip the Odyssey, a pale homage to the legendary crossing of the Aegean Sea by Odysseus 3,200 years ago. It took him ten years.

At this point I’m a little bent out of shape just trying to imagine the logistics. Transportation; planes, trains, cars, ferries and a lot of foot travel will be involved. We’re in good physical shape and we need to be as we’re each packing 30 pound backpack bags along with ancillary carry-on necessities like camera gear. We’re pushing up close to the end of the summer tourist season so this means changing schedules for public transportation and they don’t care much for schedules around here in the first place. Can we hit the 18 destinations that I’ve got planned?

Tram

Tram on Istiklal Street Istanbul. With most of our gear missing in the bags the airline lost we’re hitting the shops to see what we can replace if the stuff doesn’t show up.

Oh, and did I mention that our bags are missing? …they didn’t make the plane to Istanbul and their whereabouts are uncertain. We have a day here to sluff off some jet lag and then we need to make some brisk moves down the Turkish coast. Will the bags and 90% of our gear show up? That’s what I get for calling a trip the Odyssey. Old Poseidon always did have it in for Odysseus, consistently fouling up his travel plans. It took him ten years, and he washed up on the shore of Ithaca naked. I do hope they find those bags!

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