Friday, August 04, 2006

Seattle to Istanbul in 72 hours

Day [-1]: gotta pack, leaving town (also subsitute state, country, continent) for three weeks. Gotta fix bugs, leaving town soon. Gotta pack, gotta fix bugs. Compromise: fix bugs til midnight, stay up packing til 3. No problem, ready to go, I think.

Day 0: up at shortly after 8AM to go wakeboarding. Can't miss wakeboarding - leaving country for three weeks, plus the water and the temperature on the lake are perfect, I'm going to miss wakeboarding. Cyrus keeps talking about going riding on the Black Sea - seems like a good idea... On to work, leave work to head directly to the airport to catch my 11:30PM flight. Come close to missing the flight - apparently they won't let you use the computer check in for an international flight, and talking to a real agent takes forever. Well, actually I'm able to get my tickets in roughly 30 seconds, everybody else in front of me in line takes forever...

Day 1: arrive in Chicago, on time, 5:10AM, Central time, about 3:10 Seattle time. Sleep on the plane a little, so not a total loss. Running total: up for 19 hrs. flying for 3.5 hrs.

Hang out at the airport for four hours - at least they've got internet access! Meet up with Cynthia a couple of hours after arriving - she's flying to Quebec the same morning, hang out for a little while. 9:10AM - get on a plane to London. Get a little sleep again - at least they still feed you on cross-Atlantic flights! Get to London just before midnight local time, 4PM in Seattle. Got six hours before my morning flight to Athens - getting a hotel doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense, I have to go to Gatwick anyway for the Greece flight - 1.5 hr bus ride...

Day 2: Running total: been up for 38 hrs, flying: 11 hrs, driving: 1.5 hrs. 6:30 AM, leave London on an easyJet flight to Athens (btw.easyJet sucks!). Get to Athens at noon local time - flight once again uneventful, except that I'm really sick of flying by now! Normally, restlessness starts a couple of hours after take off, by now, it sets in almost immediately, complete lack of leg room doesn't help (have I mentioned my feelings on the easyJet airlines?

In Athens we quickly discover that the ferries we had wanted to take to Turkey are all full since this is THE time to take vacation if you're Greek... So, we're driving to Istanbul. Having napped a little along the various flights, and now having had a full mean in Athens, I'm actually feeling pretty well! I also only have a vague idea by now of what time it is in Seattle anymore, or how long I've been up. Running total: up for 47 hours, flying: 14.5 hrs, driving: 1.5 hrs.

Leave Athens around 5, on the way to Istanbul - we're running pretty well behind, so we're probably not going all the way tonight, but we want to go as far as we can. This ends up going til we reach the city Kawala, Greece at 2AM! The hotel offers the promise of a bed and a shower, I'm sold! 56 hours later, and a bed again! The most comfortable bed I've seen in years!

Day 3: Kawala to Turkish border - three hours no problem. The border: everybody's stuck for two hours anyway. We're stuck longer because Turkish customs, as usual, doesn't like our car... After having been sent between four different check point stations, where noone speaks much English (or Russian), they let us through. Istanbul is now close! Except that the traffic sucks... The roads aren't bad actually, but there's a ton of cars, when the roads get wider, they're now toll roads - more delays. 10PM - we're in Istanbul! Get lost for a while (naturally), but we find our way. And in slightly more than 72 hours (78 to be exact), I've travelled across 10 time zones and made it to Istanbul.

Final total: 78 hours total; 7 hours of sleep (plus a few naps), 14.5 hours of flying, 16.5 hours of driving, 2 hrs at a border crossing - Mongolia next!

It sounds like you have trained yourself well enough to go to the open space next time! Marina/Kisa
AMAZING... I am truly in awe. I can barely remember what it felt like to have that much energy... Enjoy the trip while your travelling... Enjoy your much needed rest while your resting. Don't forget your third priority...
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