Cairo to Istanbul 2010 travel blog

Sunset over Nigde

A couple of big travel days as we left Syria and entered Turkey. The border crossing went smoothly, as usual the bus driver stocked up on cigarettes (using our allowances) so we had packages arranged around our feet that his sidekick came round and collected once we were clear of the border.

What a change from Syria! As soon as we crossed the border it felt orderly and very western, not the frantic chaos of the Middle East countries. There seem to be a few road rules here too. The scenery was a backdrop of rocky mountains with many fruit trees, grape vines and vegetables by the roadside. The public buses in Turkey are very comfortable, on time and fast, a good way to get around. Part of our trip today was along the Mediterranean coast.

First night was spent at Antakya (used to be called Antioch in biblical times). We arrived late and went out for doner kebabs together, then to a bar for a beer. We left Antakya early this morning on a public bus bound for a town called Nigde - nothing much to recommend it except that it's a university town and not touristy at all - the real Turkey. Tomorrow it's back on the road again bound for Goreme and Cappadocia, stopping en route at the Ilhara Gorge and Derinkuyu underground city, both of which we have visited before and enjoyed - wonder what we'll think of them this time round?

Only four more days of this trip then down to Crete for a few days, then London for a few more - then home!

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