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Old 4th November 2015, 10:03   #91
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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Man! I'm sure you guys are tired of people telling you that you guys have lived a dream! But here goes again - This, is our bucket list trip, and we plan to do it on a motorcycle (Bng - London). I would love it if you can give me a few pointers - a rough cost calculation for the vehicle & visas overall.
Wow .. Thats some plan, all the best to you guys for it. Had i done it in my single days, i would had chosen a 2 wheeler as well.

You can find a whole lot of information on our site, and feel free to ask me any additional questions you might have.

We had an amazing customs experience in India and are planning to put that post together as well so that fellow travelers can benefit as well.
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Old 4th November 2015, 10:31   #92
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Day 21: In & Around Santorini, Greece – Day 2
[Written By Akhil]

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-santorinisunsethotelchromataupstyle.jpg

Santorini is not a place where you would go, stay for a day and come back. This place deserves few days of your life, it takes time to absorb the whiteness (colour of all the building in Santorini) of this place and the very reason we had kept aside 2 days.

We woke up to an amazing breakfast experience while enjoying the beautiful Caldera view, bright sunlight and pleasent breeze.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-aartiakhilsantorinihotelchromataupstylebreakfast.jpg
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A nice breakfast with a good view, and me willing to click her photographs is good enough to make Aarti happy for few hours :-)

And while we were at it, i dint want to feel left out.

Since today was our last in Santorini, we did not want to miss the experience of the infinity pool. So after digesting our breakfast we got into our swimming costumes and made the most of the hotel facilities.



London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-santorinihotelchromataupstylepool.jpg
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London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-aartiakhilsantorinihotelchromataupstylepool2.jpg

On this island you will find many shops renting out scooters and quads, there are many towns on this island where you can go and enjoy the views, local cuisine, shopping etc. While the rentals can be quick heavy in the main market, if you go outside a little bit you might be able to strick a good deal. As far as i remember we rented a quad for $40 for 2-3 hours, it was not the best quad out there but it was fit for the job.




We took the quad for a spin to the nearest town Oia, where we took a stopover and walked around a little bit. Santorini has many churches, a round blue coloured top separates them from rest of the buildings.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-aartiakhiloiatowngreece.jpg
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On the way and back from the Oia town we witnessed volcanic rocks which run the length of the road and is reminiscent of Santorini’s past.



Yeah .. I know, bahut pyaari nahin bahut saari baatein karti hai :-p

Our tummies were gowling by the time we were back after returning the quad, we decided to checkout “Estia Traditional Grill House” which did not disappoint us. It had already started to get dark, so we headed back to the hotel. Hotel had arranged for our transport to the airport as we had a flight to Athens booked. Hotel staff was really warm and kind. We bid farewell and were warmly welcomed by the driver of this mini bus that was driving us to the airport.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-estiatraditionalgrillhousesantorini1.jpg
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London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-estiatraditionalgrillhousesantorini4.jpg

We reached airport well in time and to our surprise the flight was delayed by few hours. With all the time to kill and Aarti excited as always, she decided to do some nautanki (drama).



Finally the wait was over and they announced boarding. Even though we did not feel like leaving Santorini so early but we had a long itinerary and we were looking forward to the whole of it.



Aarti had booked a holiday resort (Aquis Mare Nostrum Hotel Thalasso) in Athens, and tricky bit was that it was atleast 1 hour away from Athens airport! All i was worried about was how much was the taxi guy going to charge us! And if any taxi guy will be willing to drop us that far in the middle of the night to start with!

Finally we landed in Athens and were able to find a taxi guy who was willing to go that far at that time. It almost took us an hour and we ended up paying around 40 – 60 Euros (i don’t exactly remember the amount but somewhere around this).

The resort was massive and in the middle of nowhere. It took sometime for someone to showup at the reception, we were really tried and patience had started to run out as well. Finally we were checked in and since it is quite a big resort we were escorted by a bell boy in a battery operated cart. Another surprise that awaited us was a dirty room, so we had to call up the reception, bell boy came back to pick us up and we were accommodated in slightly better room.

By this time we were too tired to think, so we just dropped senseless on our bed and snored our way to glory..

Last edited by cooldudesunny : 4th November 2015 at 10:32.
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Old 4th November 2015, 11:00   #93
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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Originally Posted by cooldudesunny View Post
Day 21: In & Around Santorini, Greece – Day 2
[Written By Akhil]

Attachment 1435250

Santorini is not a place where you would go, stay for a day and come back. This place deserves few days of your life, it takes time to absorb the whiteness (colour of all the building in Santorini) of this place and the very reason we had kept aside 2 days.
Ah...Santorini. Thank you for rekindling my memories Akhil. I spent 4 lovely days in Santorini during my honeymoon and I absolutely agree with you. I actually skipped Mykonos (yeah...I'm not a party person) so that I could spend the extra days in Santorini.

Seeing your pictures, I guess you stayed somewhere around Oia?
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Old 8th December 2015, 12:20   #94
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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[b].
Hello Friend! it's quite sometime now, when is the next bit coming out?
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Old 12th December 2015, 10:53   #95
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Only words to describe your thread. Many thanks to you and Arti for all the pictures and narration.
You had the best car in the world to compete your journey. This journey is actually an inspiration for many of us.
With growing number of people doing such journeys, what about T-Bhp members planning one.
I am sure its gonna be one amazing ride.
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Old 4th January 2016, 13:59   #96
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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Originally Posted by LoneRidder View Post
Hello Friend! it's quite sometime now, when is the next bit coming out?
I am sorry for the delay buddy, Day 22 will be publishing tonight :-)

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Originally Posted by behaln View Post
Awesome, awesome, awesome. Only words to describe your thread. Many thanks to you and Arti for all the pictures and narration.
You had the best car in the world to compete your journey. This journey is actually an inspiration for many of us.
With growing number of people doing such journeys, what about T-Bhp members planning one.
I am sure its gonna be one amazing ride.
Thank you Behaln, appreciate your kind words. True, best car in the world and journey through the Stan's (Kazakhstan, Uzebkistan, Turkmenistan) did prove that. Inspire fellow travel enthusiasts is the least we can do.
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Old 5th January 2016, 10:24   #97
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Day 22: Roaming around Historical Athens, Greece and Honest Taxi Drivers

[Written By Akhil]

Athens was another place in our "Go-To" places from Greece. We had a day and too much to checkout. Hotel was not great, which actually pushed us to get out of it as soon as we could and that was after grabbing a quick half decent breakfast. Since, the hotel was in the middle of nowhere we waited at the bus-stop for the bus that would take us to Acropolis. Tickets for this bus needs to be bought beforehand and can be purchased from the shop right in front of the bus stop (very convenient).

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-breakfast.jpg

Bus dropped us exactly at the Acropolis, it had started to drizzle and since "Madame" does not like walking in the rain we decided to wait under a shelter for sometime. The rain was least concerned about us having only one day in town, so i convinced Aarti to start walking as it was quite some walk to Acropolis.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-acropolis.jpg

Before one could actually reach Acropolis there is "Theater of Dionysus" and "Odeon of Herodes" on the way to leave you overwhelmed. "Odeon of Herodes" in particular was marvelous. We kept on walking and soon we were at the entrance, also famously known as "Propylaea". These ruins was so magnanimous and beautiful, however the maintenance work that was going on kind of killed it for us. Half-heartedly we checked out "Parthenon" and "Erechtheion", did the customary photo clicks for the "Madame", sat down to digest all this for a while and started our decent. On the way back, we took a detour from "Propylaea" and went to check out "Areopagus Hill". It had a nice view of the city for sure :-)

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-theaterofdionysusathens.jpg

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Next destination on our list was “Lycabettus Hill”, so we decided to hire a taxi but like a smart Indian couple we did not hire any taxi from the taxi stand outside Acropolis and kept on walking towards the main road. In some time a taxi driver driving an old Merc stopped by and asked us if we looking to hire, we bargained and he agreed to drop us there in Euro 20. Once we got in he very smartly offered us to go via the main tourist attractions and the fact that we will stop at all those attractions for 2-5 minutes as well, only if we pay him another Euro 10. Offer was quite good, so we agreed. Then he asked us if we had eaten anything and if we want to go to a nice hotel with local cuisine, off course the answer was no. He was quite talkative, like most of the taxi drivers and soon we were at our detour i.e. Temple of Olympian Zeus.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-templeofolympianzeusathens.jpg

We spent 10-20 minutes here while he smoked his cigarettes in the car. The Temple was more kind of a big park with big pillars scattered here and there. We clicked few pictures and left for the next tourist destination i.e. Panathenaic Stadium where first Olympics were held.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-outside_panathenaic_stadium.jpg

Athens is a place with absurdly large number of historical places and thanks to this gentleman we were trying to tick off as many as we could ��

After our customary photograph which he happily offered to click, we got into the car to witness “Change of Guard” at the Syntagma Square. The taxi guy told us that we were in luck as it was about time.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-evzonesguardofhonourathens.jpg



Next and final stop was “Lycabettus Hill” and he offered to wait for us as this location was not frequented by many taxi drivers and to get one could be quite a walk on the way back. We had plans to dine in the restaurant on the hill top so we declined his offered and started our climb.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-saintgeorgechurchlycabettushill.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-acropolisasseenfromlycabettushill.jpg



View from top of Lycabettus hill was quite mesmerizing and it had an ancient Saint George Church as well. After spending quite some time clicking photos and discussing about the Indians who had inscribred their names on the walls up there, we decided to check out the menu. To our surprise, it was more kind of a Deli so Aarti decided to check on her phone what other options were but to her surprise, her phone was gone...

Let me give you a little background about what happens when Aarti is Angry + Hungry. She had been postponing her food ever since we got down from the bus, she gave up while we were walking towards the top of Lycabettus hill and i had to push her by reminding her that food sits on the top and now the restaurant did not serve much and to top it all her real husband (yes, she spend more time with her S4 than me) was gone. To say the least, there was panic in the air and we were in the middle of nowhere. After thoroughly checking the bags we were carrying twice, we started walking down with the hope to see that taxi guy waiting for a customer.

It was quite some walk but we were down in no time, we saw one taxi waiting there but it was not the guy who dropped us. Next bulb of hope that lit up was, the taxi guy might have gone back to the same taxi stand at the Acropolis and if we were lucky and had dropped the phone in his taxi then maybe...! However, we did remember him mentioning that it was his grand son's birthday today and he would be calling it a day early.

We walked towards this taxi guy hoping he was waiting for a customer, but he replied he was waiting for the passenger who went uphill. We told him our story and were happy to see his positive response. He mentioned he is a very lucky guy and in a similar incident sometime back, another passenger who travled in his taxi was able to find his lost stuff. He also asked us to get in and the fact that he will drop us at Acropolis and come back before his passenger is back down.

We quickly got in and on the way back while he was trying to keep things positive, we were trying to find the face of our taxi guy in every mercedes taxi we crossed. We reached at Acropolis taxi stand and there he was happily chatting with fellow taxi drivers. We jumped with joy, and the taxi guy who dropped us back further convinced us that he already knew he was lucky and that we would find our old taxi guy. Happily we got down, paid the fare and thanked him a million times.

By this time, our old taxi guy was looking at us with amusement and wondering what we were doing back here. We told him the story and we all literally ran towards his parked taxi. He opened the door of the rear seat and there it was, Aarti true love and her real husband ... Samsung Galaxy S 4 :-)

We all looked at each other and laughed, high five, hugs and what not. Now it was time to worry about Aarti's hunger, our taxi guy jumped to the occasion and offered to take us to the place which had the best local food in town. Who were we to say no to him this time, we all boarded his taxi and reached the restaurant. We offered him to dine with us, to which he agreed with some persual. We topped up our food with some nice local desert.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dinewithhonesttaxiguyathens.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-desert.jpg

The food was indeed delicious and once he dropped us at the bus stop we made sure we bid him good bye with the same smile on his face, the one we had when we found Aarti's phone.



Journey back to the hotel was another hour. We were pretty tired with the days activities and happily ignored the dance floor that welcomed us when we entered the hotel.

The whole experience left a lingering smile on our face with the wish to visit Athens again, some time in the future.

Last edited by cooldudesunny : 5th January 2016 at 10:40.
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Old 13th January 2016, 21:54   #98
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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Day 22: Roaming around Historical Athens, Greece and Honest Taxi Drivers
Wow. just wow. Where are you guys now? waiting for your next update.
You are living the dream many many would have thought. Hats off
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Old 14th January 2016, 17:42   #99
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Enthused by this thread. A question bugs me though (apologies if I am breaking the flow and asking a stupid question), But was that a one way journey (returning by air) ? How difficult was it to bring your Dhanno back to London ? Must have been quite a work. Or did you drive back to London.
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Old 27th January 2016, 10:27   #100
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wah! That was enterprising, losing the phone and getting it back too! The next stop, Turkey?
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Old 14th March 2016, 10:48   #101
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Wow. just wow. Where are you guys now? waiting for your next update.
You are living the dream many many would have thought. Hats off
We did this trip back in 2014 bro, right now we are in Chicago. Thank you for your kind words.

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Originally Posted by tanwaranil View Post
Enthused by this thread. A question bugs me though (apologies if I am breaking the flow and asking a stupid question), But was that a one way journey (returning by air) ? How difficult was it to bring your Dhanno back to London ? Must have been quite a work. Or did you drive back to London.
Yes Tanwaranil .. It indeed was one way journey. We actually had a painless experience with customs and freight handlers, i will be blogging that as well when time permits. Dhanno is currently back in UK.

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wah! That was enterprising, losing the phone and getting it back too! The next stop, Turkey?
Yeah man .. What are the odds :-D
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Old 14th March 2016, 11:05   #102
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Day 23: Thessaloniki to Istanbul by Road
[Written By Akhil]

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkeyborderemptycar21050x591.jpg
Aarti giving a thumbs up

We both got up early, pretty excited and charged up and left for the airport to catch flight to Thessaloniki. Flight was on time and in around 2 hours we were back with our beloved Dhanno. I want to take a moment here to appreciate the hospitality of Hotel Royal, every single moment we were there they went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. Even after we checked out of the Hotel, they kept Dhanno in their parking lot while we were gone and even offered us breakfast once we were back.

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Pitstop on way to Turkey border

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Dhanno maintaining a consistent speed of 80 Miles/hr





We had breakfast and left immediatky as it was going to be a long day on the road before we could enterg Turkey. Aarti had created an extensive 5 day itinerary for Turkey and we were going to explore places like:
  • Istanbul, İstanbul, Turkey
  • Troia, Tevfikiye Köyü/Çanakkale Merkez/Çanakkale, Turkey
  • Ephesus, Efes Ören Yeri, Selçuk/İzmir, Turkey
  • Kuşadası/Aydın Province, Turkey
  • Pamukkale, Kale Mahallesi, Pamukkale Belediyesi/Denizli Merkez/Denizli, Turkey
  • Göreme, Turkey
  • Konya, Turkey
  • Cappadocia, Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey
  • Trabzon, Turkey
London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-istanbultroiaephesuskusadasikonyatrabzon1050x482.png
Istanbul > Troia > Ephesus > Kusadasi > Konya > Trabzon

And from Trabzon, we were supposed to catch a ferry for Sochi. We still had to buy the tickets to Sochi and our rest of the trip was very much dependent on this ferry. This services came into being during Sochi Olympics, later it was reduced to once in 2 weeks and was driven mostly by the will of the captain. we googled a lot but there was no clear information available or any portal from where we could book the tickets. Aarti however did find a contact but there was no clarity on when the ferry was scheduled.

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Some Airport on the way

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Entering Turkey Border

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Turkey E-Visa

It was a bright and sunny day, and in about 4 hours we were at the Turkey border. Turkey is pretty strict about what you are bringing inside the country, and as a result we had to empty the car completely, drive car into a big enough X-Ray machine.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkeyevisa1050x591.jpg
Emptying Dhanno for X-Ray Scan

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Yes, all that stuff came out of Dhanno

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Turkey Border - Ready for X-Ray



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Lunch at Turkey Border



Once all was good and we had purchased the insurance, had a quick lunch and were back on the road. Another 4 hours and we entered the hustle-bustle of Istanbul.







Aarti had booked us at amazing Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah, Istanbul. While we were sipping our welcome drink and trying to digest the grandeur of the palace, people at the reception completed all the formalities and we were on the way to our room. We quickly freshened up and left to check out the market. It was indeed crowded and markets were brightly lit. Each and every shop was decorated to kill, and all that decoration did get our hunger triggered. Turkey is the land of famous Turkish Delight, so we bought our quote and then started hunting for a nice restaurant.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-lunchturkeyborder1050x591.jpg
Istanbul-Turkish-Delight-Shop

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Istanbul-Turkish-Delight-Shop

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Istanbul-Turkish-Delight-Shop

It was quite a similar scene, restaurant employees were on the street distributing brochures with offers to lure customers in. We selected one restaurant and settled down. Food was really good and the kebabs i had were one of the best i ever tasted. Funny thing was, that we were served white butter. This was the white butter that we get back in India by churning curd, it is usually homemade. It came as a surprise because we dint knew if it was a delicacy anywhere else as well!

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Istanbul-Restaurant

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Istanbul-Restaurant

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Aarti's Plate

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Akhil's Plate

We thoroughly enjoyed the dinner and the walk back to the hotel. It was time to give some rest to our tired muscles, and there was nothing more welcoming then the palace bed.
Attached Thumbnails
London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-istanbulrestaurantaartiplate1050x788.jpg  

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-istanbulrestaurantakhilplate1050x788.jpg  

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Old 15th March 2016, 11:44   #103
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Yes, all that stuff came out of Dhanno
That's quite a stuff coming out of Dhanno Keep it going
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Old 4th April 2016, 09:03   #104
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That's quite a stuff coming out of Dhanno Keep it going
he he .. True. Thanks bro
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Old 4th April 2016, 09:49   #105
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Day 24: Touristy Day in Istanbul, Turkey
[Written By Akhil]

We woke up pretty relaxed in the morning. Breakfast time was already over and we had planned to check out whole of Istanbul today before we leave for rest of Turkey the next day.

Hotel Pera Palace, itself is quite a magnificent place and has historical value attached to it. Iren; “The concierge lady” was very sweet and helpful. She also took it on herself to communicate with the travel agent in Trebzon to get us some update on when the ferry was planned to leave.

She gave us a kind of guided tour of the hotel and answered each and every questions that Aarti had, and trust me Aarti has a whole lot of questions :-p

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We left the hotel and went directly to Topkapi Palace. Checked out the market area and then walked towards the Blue Mosque. It was a bright and sunny day, perfect for enjoying the location and clicking photos. We hung around the Blue Mosque square for some time and then decided to grab a nice lunch after checking out the Grand Bazaar.



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Walking through the Grand Bazaar made me reminiscent of good old bazaars in India. After burning some more calories on window shopping we decided to enjoy a good meal. The market was full of shops offerring local food and thats what we after as well, found a nice restaurant with sitting available in the open and we settled down.



London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkeyistanbulsultanahmetsquare3.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkeyistanbulsultanahmetsquare1.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkeyistanbullunchtime.jpg

There was a travel shop next to the restaurant, so we stopped by to check out their plan for Pamukkale. We still had half of the day left to our disposal so we decided to walk our way back to the hotel and check out few more local spots on the way back. From Grand Bazaar we turned towards Galata Bazaar, it was quite a scene next to the bridge. There was a whole lot of hustle and bustle and we both were totally loving it. From floating restaurants to people crowding either side of the bridge to catch and sell fresh fish was quite a view. We stood there for some time to soak in the experience and then started towards Taksim Square.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkeyistanbulbluemosque6.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkeyistanbulgalatabridge2.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkeyistanbulgalatabridge1.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkeyistanbulgalatabridge4.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkeyistanbulgalatabridge3.jpg





Your day in Turkey would be incomplete without Turkish Tea, we found a nice looking tea joint on the way and enjoyed our serving one sip at a time. It was a uphill climb towards the hotel and pair of legs on both of us had started to complain already. We reached back to the hotel and an unexpected update from the Trabzon contact was waiting for us.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkishtea.jpg

Iren, told us that the ferry to Sochi was scheduled for Wednesday. Since that day was Monday, it essentially meant that we had to cancel all our Turkey plans and drive non stop next day so that we reach in time for our Wednesday ferry :-|

We both were kind of disheartened as we had so much planned for Turkey but at the same time missing the ferry meant there would be no other ferry in next two weeks! We thanked Iren and with a "Catch-22" expression on our face we started walking towards our room.

Idea was to freshen up and go out and grab a nice dinner before we leave for Trabzon next day morning. The hustle-bustle of the market was quite refreshing. After the dinner we were happily strolling and checking out the market. This is when we came across this nice lady who was making some drink in a very peculiar way. This was strange enough to wake up the inquisitive worms in Aarti's brain, and it turned out to be traditional and quick way to make coffee. We did not try it as none of us is a coffee fan but we did click some pictures :-)

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkeyistanbulbucklava.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkishcoffee2.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkishcoffee3.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkishcoffee1.jpg

Our walkathon through the town looks something like this once plotted on Google Maps.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-turkey.png
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