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Ankara to Istanbul by train

Our two previous attempts to catch trains had been foiled, but we had bought tickets from Ankara to Istanbul a week earlier and this time there were no problems.

The first leg of the trip was by high-speed train to Eskisehir. The train stuck to 70-100 km/hr getting out of town, but ratcheted up to right on 250km/hr for the middle of the trip. This stretch was fairly flat, with the wheat fields that make Anatolia one of the bread-baskets of the world. At Eskisehir we changed to the ordinary Bashkent Express, which followed a much windier route through some quite mountainous terrain and then along the Sea of Marmara to Haydarpasha. The station here is quite a nice old building, but we just made the connecting ferry so we didn't have much of a chance to look at it.

Ankara railway station
Haydarpasha railway station

The ferry trip was rather nice, with great views of the Istanbul skyline and the Bosphorus bridge.

the familiar Istanbul skyline
Eminönu floating fish stall

We had missed lunch in all of this, so when the ferry got in to Eminönu we grabbed a fresh fish sandwich from the floating stalls there. Then we tried to get a taxi back to our hotel...

Rather than giving the street address of the Turkoman Hotel, which is on a small sokak (lane) that Gabi's taxi driver had had grief finding when she first arrived, we told our driver to go to the Hippodrome, thinking that would be much easier. Unfortunately he seemed totally unaware that there was an ancient Hippodrome that tourists might want to go to, and started taking us to a modern racetrack somewhere way out of town... Fortunately my knowledge of the geography was good enough to correct this, after two mis-headings, but it was a bit stressful.

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