Travels in Turkey

Our walk on the St. Paul Trail.

Chapter 7: Roads and Villages

Day 7 Journal: from Askehir 

Thursday                                  10/6/05

Last day on the trail — We woke with the goats one more time. We had a good breakfast this morning, since we skipped breakfast yesterday. The hike was mostly on tractor trails and roads (some even paved), so it was a good walk, but not too scary. Some of the signs had been broken or moved, which made the route a bit more confusing. We have gotten used to looking for waymarks and using the GPS; it took a lot to shake us. 

When we arrived a Eyüpler, a man came out and walked us to the bus stop. The kids were just getting out of school at 3 p.m., and they started yelling “hello” to us with smiles, waves and screeches. It became a scene pretty much. Jeff gave the man our toostie roll bag and got him to give them out. Jeff also showed some of our postcards to the kids. Ang smiled, waved and said “hello” back. Finally several others loaded onto the bus, teachers from the school mostly, and we left. 

A science teacher spoke English and came back to talk to us a bit. She seemed nice. Ang says she had a real disappointed look when Jeff said we were married. Jeff didn’t notice. 

We arrived in Yalvaç to find out we had only 1.5 hours before our bus to Askehir left. So, we grabbed a taxi and headed for Antioch of Pisidia leaving our bags with the bus man. Jeff conveyed through gestures and scribbles on a business card that we needed the taxi back at 4:45 to catch a 5 p.m. bus. We rushed through a tour of Antioch, but managed to see most of it. The taxi was back on time, and we made it to the Otogar with a minute  or two to spare. 

The small bus to Aksehir raced through the mountains along dirt and paved roads passing other vehicles at will and crossing the center line on blind corners. It took a miracle for us to survive that.

When we arrived as Aksehir they knew nothing of the Sisan payment and couldn’t even take us to Selcuk. Jeff called Sisan and she worked out a bus to Izmir. So we had to wait from 7:30 until 12:30 a.m. for the Metro bus to Izmir. 

We walked to a cafe across from the Otogar for dinner. After sitting we learned that no one there spoke English, so Jeff had to run to the bus station for our language book. The book was great because it listed foods like a menu so the owner/waiter could point to the things they had (basically salad and lamb stew). So, we had that and water. 

After dinner we wanted a Turkish tea, but still had not figured out what it was called. We accidentally ordered Turkish coffee, which is like cappuccino. A man eating helped solve the misunderstanding, and we got our çay. 

After çay, Ang and Jeff played cards, which really entertained the guys working in the bus station. After rummy, we played slap-jack. Ang got Jeff to teach them how to play. We played a while, but waited mostly.

Jeff tried to get a ticket for our bus, but they wanted money again. Jeff called Sisan, and she explained the situation to them. They just told Jeff it was okay, but did not give him a ticket. 

There was a bus driver there who was very interested in us, but could only speak a little English. We tried and tried, but only got a few things across. He was very nice and had a pleasant demeanor.

Our bus came at 12:30 and we climbed aboard without a ticket. When the steward came and asked for one, Jeff tried to explain the situation. He was armed with a new word he had overheard from the phone conversation — FAX. This word sent the steward to the front of the bus where he mumbled to the other guys shuffled some papers and never asked again. So we went to sleep. 

We were awakened at 2:30 a.m. for a stop in Afyon. Jeff went to the WC, which was nicer than most and free, which was rare. We stayed about 30 minutes and then took off again to Izmir. The Afyon station was like a shopping mall with a couple of shops, restaurants, a bakery and stores. All open and buzzing at 2 in the morning. A much busier bus station than in the states. 

— Jeff

All pictures and information on this site are the property of Jeff and Angela Lindsey and cannot be used in any way without their written permission. Some information came from signs and tour guide descriptions.