Happy happy! We’ve been to Fethiye Otogar (the bus station) today and booked our bus to Istanbul. Absolute bargain as well. We decided to choose Metro just because we’ve used them in the past and we like them and it’s only cost us 45 lira each. We paid more than that when we went up there four years ago. There are loads of cheap flights from Dalaman to Istanbul at the minute so maybe the bus companies are trying to compete with them. All better for us anyway!
The photo of Fethiye otogar probably looks very boring to most people but we love this place so no apologies. Don’t worry, I’m not bus spotters. We just find the otogar quite exciting. Travelling around in Turkey is ridiculously easy and cheap because of the intercity bus system and Fethiye otogar is a main hub. That’s why we like it so much.
There is no major town or city in the whole of Turkey that you can’t get to from this little area and all you need to do is walk into any of these offices and book your seat and the bus will take you there. No faffing about changing at such a place and trying not to miss connections and your connection being cancelled – of course I’m thinking of the public transport system in good old Blighty.
Public transport is heavily relied upon in Turkey and the buses are modern, cheap and reliable. All the buses have a member of staff at your service as well. They come round with free hot and cold drinks and little snacks throughout the journey (which is the main reason me and Barry are now addicted to Dankeks – a little sponge fairy cake) and some of the buses have wireless internet and satellite TV now as well. What more could you want eh?
So, our overnight bus journey to Istanbul is going to take around 12 hours. It’s a night bus so we can read and kip all the way and wake up in a busy new world in the morning. And why are we going by bus and not flying? (You wouldn’t believe how many times we’ve been asked this!) Well that’s because we’ve fallen out with flying a bit. There’s something nice about feeling the size and vastness of a country by travelling on the road.
Okay, there’s probably going to be a few really loud snoring men – and women – but we’ll stop every few hours at the otogars of other Turkish cities and at service areas for soup, kebabs or loo visits. It’s all just very exciting! And when we arrive at Esenler Otogar in Istanbul, it’s a few kilometres away from the city centre. So how do we get there? By the free service bus provided by the bus company. That’s service!
**Update August 2012: Most buses arriving in Istanbul from Fethiye now terminate at Alibeyköy. This makes your journey slightly quicker and free service buses are on regular standby to take you into different areas of Istanbul.