The final week in Turkey is my last chance to get out of Istanbul. Cappadocia is a must, I’m told. There are direct flights but I feel adventurous and want to try different modes of travelling. So I just make up an unnecessary itinerary to get there.
- High-speed train (YHT) to Ankara and two nights there
- Coach to Nevşehir and three nights in the Cappadocia Region
- Flight to Istanbul and two nights back in Kadıköy
- The final flight to Tbilisi, Georgia
On top of that, I am working along the way. It is challenging. But as they say, it’s more about the journey than the destination.
High-speed Train to Ankara
It is my first time riding a high-speed train. That is the key reason, I make this crazy itinerary. Another one is to see how productive it can be on the train.
The big luggage is dropped off at a storage service. It takes about 25 minutes to walk from the Airbnb apartment to the Söğütlüçeşme station. Of course, it’s an Istanbul way to have a kitten trying to inspect your luggage before getting on the train. You don’t see this in other cities.
I choose a business class for more working space at the seat. And you get a light lunch as well. This YouTube review sums up very well about Yüksek Hızlı Tren.
It is a five-hour and 561-km ride. The peak speed is 255 km/hr when it gets out of the urban area. Unfortunately, the train is covered by meshed stickers. You can see the view through the window but it isn’t the best from a phone camera. By the time we arrive in Ankara, I get a big chunk of work done. And the mobile connection is smooth all the way through. It is considerably productive on the route.
Ankara has a different vibe from Istanbul. I struggle to get into a pub—less touristy, less English speakers—but end up in a local with Turkish live music.
Oh! That’s just the first day.
The mission of the full day in Ankara is to get to AŞTİ for a bus ticket for the next travel—an excuse to explore the city on the Metro and foot. By the way, you don’t get a ticket when you pay. They just write the platform and seat number on a small piece of paper. I’m sure my name is in their system and put faith in them tomorrow.
I’m too tired and stressed (about work and a dispute with the Airbnb host) to wander more. So, I get back to the hotel room to do some more work.