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My 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip entry

TURKEY | Saturday, 10 May 2014 | Views [68] | Scholarship Entry

By the time i was studying in Bucharest, Romania. I could tell you 1001 stories about these months of my life and i think you agree that 1001 can be a reasonable number: studying abroad? 3400 kilometers far away from home? two hundred more foreign people in the same condition? We lived some beautiful stories however the plot i want you to know didnt take place in this cozy country (a must go, specially if you still thinking Dracula and gypsies are the running the business).
When i was about to end the mobily period, after traveling through the balcans and almost busted flat i realised that i could not go back in Portugal without "the final trip", the one i said to myself before going to romania that I woud not miss: Istambul. Although i was running out of money i still had two train tickets left from the balcan flexipass (53 euros for 5 train trips) and some RON (or Lei) to buy a bunch of "covrigi", a typical romanian cheap biscuit you can see people eating everyday on the street or inside the subway as a snack. However, during the train trip i ate them also as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yes, it takes 22 hours from Bucharest until Istambul which allows you to fulfill all the meals. For those who like to travel by train 22 hours its nothing but joy, and i'm one of those. And i can tell you why. Because it was on the train where i met Jose. He got on the train in Veliko Tarnovo, a picturesque medieval city in the centre of Bulgaria which i didnt imagine i would visit so soon as i did. Jose was a spanish erasmus student in that city who wanted to go also in Istambul, however when we reached the turkish border he realised that he didnt bring his passport with him. Not passport, no Istambul and a lot of legal problems. Even if you are a EU citizen around these countries the game has different rules. At this moment i had two options: a) Continue the trip again by myself or b) dont let him there surrounded by cops and try to find a solution together. Even if i really wanted to go in istambul, the time we had spent together on the train was enough to understand that we had too much in common and that i was metting a good friend. I couldn't leave him there. After the problem with the police was solved we sat on the train station eating some more covrigi and trying to fix a solution. Thats when Jose invited me to go in Veliko Tarnovo. Why not? This way i visited a really genuine city i had never eard about it before. More then that, i've made a friend for life.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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