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My Travels to Turkey - part one

by Leelu (5/21/2008)

Arrival at Istanbul

My travels to Turkey.
"You are travelling alone to Turkey?" how many times can I say I heard those words when I was letting friends and family know I was travelling alone to Turkey.  Why is it that you mention the country Turkey and all of a sudden there are a million and one reasons that people find for you not to go there?
Well here is my version of why you should go there.  Let me preface by saying that the whole time I was in Turkey I felt safer than I ever have any place else, on with my story.
It had been a long and exhausting trip from El Paso to my final destination in Antalya that was burdened with bad weather in the states that caused my total travelling time to increase by 24 hours due bad weather that caused airport shut downs. But when I finally managed to arrive at Istanbul and I stepped off the plane not 100% certain of what awaited me but eager to continue my venture I suppose you could say I went into shock. Not the bad sort of shock you get when something bad happens but the good kind when something unexpected occurs.  I had brought both my phones with me on the off chance one would not work only to find that neither worked, ok I thought to myself this is going to be more interesting than initially anticipated but nothing that I cannot handle.  I started walking and got to visa control.  Well here is the moment of truth I think to myself, will they allow me in with my British passport and american green card or will they turn me away? I wait in line with everyone else patiently and watch what is going on around me, not because I was being nosy but because I wanted to see if there was a pattern to how things are supposed to flow, I am by this time at the front of the line - ok here we go I think as I step over the red line to the waiting officer that is handing out visa stamps.  I put my money with my passport and offer them to him, all the while praying that I can continue my adventure.  He says something to one of the other people, they hand him the British visa stickers and he places it in my passport hands it back to me and says something that I did not fully capture completely. 
WOW I think, that was not so bad after all and walk over to the next check in point which is passport control.  I start thinking back over some of the advices given to me and wonder what will happen if I follow those same advices and smile all the while looking at the officer.  Should I do that? noooooooooo says a little voice in the back of my head, don't jinx yourself.  Yes says another voice see what happens, all the while I am advancing in the line edging closer and closer to the little red line that will either allow me to continue or turn me back for the usa.

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