As you’ll know if you read this blog a lot, we love to get around Turkey by intercity bus and, where possible, by train. Many of our friends prefer to make use of Turkey’s budget airlines, particularly as these are increasing their flight network all the time, flying to more and more of Turkey’s smaller city airports…but flying just seems like such a hassle to us. It’s one of those perpetual discussions we’ll always have to have with Turkish friends but we’re more than happy to stick with our story.
From Fethiye otogar, it’s possible to get to many of Turkey’s larger towns and cities on a direct bus – but our recent trip to Eskişehir was slightly different because we needed to change. Lots more to come about Eskişehir in future posts but first, let’s look at the journey there.
Fethiye to Eskişehir – The Bus Journey
Unlike the bus to Izmir, we travel at night. If you remember, when we posted about our 2013 travelling Turkey plans, we guessed the route the bus might take, and aside from being told there is no direct bus, we weren’t far wrong.
The bus we need for Eskişehir is our usual 9 pm bus to Istanbul. We know the route well, but this time tactics need to be a bit different. We need to try to get some sleep as soon as possible because our change of bus means waiting around for an hour in Turkey’s famous porcelain-producing city of Kütahya.
The usual fitful sleep follows and we don’t bother to get off the bus for a leg stretch in Afyon because we know we’ll be in Kütahya an hour later at around 3:30 am. Typical then that we both fall sound asleep here and have to be woken up at Kütahya by the bus steward. We need to wait here now, groggy and sleepy, till 4:45 am for our connecting bus so we take it in turns to wander around – there are a few shops open, selling porcelain, as you might expect. One shop sells nothing only bleach and chocolate. An interesting mix that takes up a few minutes of time as we each study the window display to try to work out exactly what the thinking is behind this.
Groups of young lads are milling around trying, like we are, to kill time. They’ve all got short or shaved hair and each group looks to be an unlikely bunch of friends. We’re half asleep so it takes a while for the penny to drop. This is a military area and youngsters doing their military service are waiting around for buses back home.
- Most buses to Istanbul (your bus for the first leg of your trip to Eskişehir) leave Fethiye otogar around 9pm.
- Depending on which bus company you use, you will change bus at either Afyon or Kütahya.
- Don’t worry about falling asleep and missing your stop. The bus stewards know where everyone is going and will wake you up when it’s time for you to get off.
- We can’t speak for other companies but Pamukkale offer a free shuttle service into the city centre once you are in Eskişehir. If you have a map, show the driver where you are staying and they’ll drop you off in the nearest place and point you in the right direction.
- Before you go, use our blog to compare prices on different travel websites for hotels in Eskişehir.