The struggle of bus travel in Turkey - Istanbul to Selçuk
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Currently there's a lockdown on weekends for the locals and residents but this doesn't apply to tourists so since we were done with Istanbul we decided it was time to move to our next destination, it happened to be on a weekend and we thought this journey was going to be easy and smooth but it wasn't really easy.
We had to check out from our hotel in Istanbul at 12pm so we grabbed something to eat before leaving the hotel and headed to the otogar main bus station which is 10km away from sultanahmet area, we took public transportation and when we arrived to the bus station we went through our 1st police check point, they asked us to see our passports and where we were going, after we answered they let us go wishing us a safe trip.
We manage to buy a bus ticket not to selcuk but to Izmir 70km away so we thought once in Izmir we would be able to find buses going to selcuk right? - Wrong.
Our bus from istanbul to Izmir was saturday night 11pm, we spent the whole afternoon waiting for our bus on the bus station, many places to grab some food were open. As we were sitting on the waiting room we went through our 2nd police check, this time 4 police officers came to us and asked the same things - passport and where we were going, after checking we were tourists they wished us a safe trip and carried out with their work.
We arrived in Izmir at around 8am sunday, upon arrival we realised everything on the bus station was closed literally everything, we walked around and there was nobody to ask questions, and this is when a police officer spotted us and came to talk to us. We explained where we wanted to go and with his poor english we said there was no buses on the weekends so our best option was to go by train but to get to the train station we needed to use either a taxi (which is usually very expensive) or we could take a city bus but for that we needed to buy a card, all of this was sounding very confusing to us specially after 8 or 9 hours on an overnight bus but we were whiling to try but the police officer probably realised we were not going to make it on our own we sent another police officer to help us out to buy the pass for the city bus and to show us where the bus stop was. This was the best that could ever have happened and we can't thank these police officers enough.
After being on the city bus we needed to figure out where we needed to get out, we tried asking the bus driver but the poor man couldn't understand what we were saying and again another kind soul stepped up and told us to follow him as he was going to the train station and he would show us where to go.
We are 100% sure if it wasn't for the kind souls we encounter we wouldn't have make it to Selcuk and we would be so frustrated.
We have leant our lesson and next time we are going from A to B we will go on a weekday to avoid these struggles, in a way we are glad we did this because we got to see how kind and helpful Turkish people are.
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