This is posted out of order as we’d overlooked this nearly-finished draft!
Research into getting into Istanbul, whilst all agreed on using the D020 and approaching from the north, was mixed – catch the ferry, use the river-side route/ cycle path – the latter lasted for a whole 200m, catch a bus. All at least agreed that cycling was to be avoided due to the heavy traffic and manic drivers. Gid spent some time looking into the ferry option. Despite finding a 2016 timetable, pinning down a departure point, time and destination that met our very flexible needs was impossible. Actually, there probably isn’t a ferry that runs along the coast in the way we wanted – the buses meet the needs of that route. Cycling it was then! Initially we took the aerial route into Sariyer.
Having been reduced to pushing the bikes up the hill (we no longer have bike friendly gradients) I pushed my bike down. The back wheel was skidding as I tried to keep the bike under control whilst walking down, this didn’t inspire confidence in my ability to ride. At the bottom we abandoned any hope of back tracking to find the elusive ferry ‘terminal’ and headed on down south. Istanbul old town, where our apartment was, was 30km away.
Initially there was a wide promenade and all seem good. This came and went as we progressed from one town to the next along the route. When ever it existed we sort it out as it provided a respite from the traffic.
Into Istanbul, the Garmin couldn’t locate the apartment. Frequently places have been spelt differently on road signs and the map which makes the navigation more difficult. The Garmin may recognize one spelling but not the other. So it was down to Gid who used his phone to track us in to his pin-point, but we had to keep stopping to check our route.
It’s a city, so the traffic was heavy but two local youngsters showed us how to do it by giving a demonstration on how to dart backwards and forwards across the traffic using all three lanes going in our direction. Gid again fared better than me as he boldly stuck his arm out, to fork left, and crossed all three lanes of traffic, at a major junction.
Finally, AirBnb’s habit of sending all communications to email, itself, and texts, meant we easily met up with our host and were tucked up into the comfy apartment a few km into the suburbs.