Sabtu, 5 November 2011

Istanbul - Catatan Perjalanan 1

I went to Istanbul in Summer 2008. My friend and I reached Istanbul by train from Bulgaria. Our journey to this Turkish great city started from Varna, Bulgaria. We had a trip to Varna first from Germany. It was a long journey. From Varna, then we needed to stop at a town called Stara Zagora.

Peta menunjukkan tiga Pit stop penting perjalanan

Stara Zagora is located in Southern Bulgaria. It is the sixth largest city in Bulgaria. We had four hours before the night train to Istanbul arrived. So, we went for a tour here.

Stara Zagora Market

Main Station of Stara Zagora
Read here for more about Stara Zagora.

The train to Istanbul was ready at 9.21 PM to depart. The next journey began. On the train, we were told that we would stop at a station to change another train direct to Istanbul. I forgot that place.

After one and a half hours, we were at that station. We needed to wait for the train from Belgrade, Serbia. It took an hour. While waiting, we lepak with a new Portuguese friend, I forgot again his name (katanya dia nak jadi lawyer sebab itu dia belajar law kat Portugal) and also other members from Finland and other countries.

Mamat Portugis ni duk tengah-tengah. Ini kat Stara Zagora Station

Where is the next train?
The next train came. This was the third and the last train for our journey from Varna to Istanbul.
There was a mistake done by the ticket issuer, the berths we booked were occupied, as a result we got another cabin but this was not what we paid for. We moved to the 6-berth instead of 4-berth cabin. Complaints made to the train controller was nothing because he could not speak good Malay or English. Cipan betuii... Because of tiredness, we just accepted it. Luckily, only one Finnish guy there. (Sorry bro, no picture was taken with this guy, because we were so tired) So, there were only three of us in this couchette.
But we still rugiii... hampagas..

Our next stop was at Kapikule, Turkey. It is the border between Bulgaria and Turkey.

The passport was checked here. We did not have problem to get the visa. Before Kapikule, our passports were also checked by the Bulgarian Immigration at a place called Kapitan Andreevo. It is the major checkpoint.

Kenangan di Kapikule Checkpoint
The ride proceeded at about 3 am. We were now in Turkey.This is the land, where the Ottoman Empire was established. Read here for more.

Turkey is the place, where most of great dishes are from. Adana, Alinazik, Iskember, Tavuk, Zaziki, too many laa to name.

At about 8.30 am, we reached Istanbul, the edge of Europe, where east meets west.

Our journey lasted about 18 hours from Varna to Istanbul via Stara Zagora.

Bersambung... ngantuk la pulok,  ape aku tulis ni?  ... bahagian kedua menyusul.

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