Mark and Mika Take on the WORLD!!! travel blog

As we left Meteora to head towards Tessaloniki, we really had no concrete idea of where to go. We've been playing with the idea of going to Turkey, but Turkey was not in our original plans since it required us to get a visa and it was located much farther east than we wanted to be. Our original idea was to head north towards Bulgaria. Luckily for us, we met a young 21 year old Mexican tourist on the train to Tessaloniki. Victor, couldn't stop singing the praises of Istanbul. In Spanish he kept telling us it was definitely worth the pain to go to turkey. So not only did we get the chance to practice our Spanish, he helped us decide on taking this little detour.

Once we arrived in Tessaloniki, we noticed at our train station that the next train to Istanbul left in 10 minutes. It was a mad race against the clock to catch that train. But the line to buy tickets was held up by 2 disorganized Japanese girls, also trying to catch the train to Istanbul. Although we managed to get our tickets issued, the train had already left by the time we reached the platform. By the way, the Japanese girls also missed the train. So, we ended up staying one night in Tessaloniki, basically killing time, catching up on things, using the internet, and resting. Unfortunately, we stayed long enough for us to lose a few important things. Mark lost his sweater and Mika lost her sunglasses. We definitely caught the evening train out the next day and started our unexpected journey to Istanbul where adventure awaits.

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