2. Back to Erasmus. Istanbul-Canakkale-Gokceada-Bergama

It was my third or fourth time here so my goal was now to show Istanbul to Callum. We found a great host Selcuk who besides being a mathematician was a great organiser and tango dancer. I had a chance to learn few moves from him and it went quite well but Callum like always preferred his own style (I call it: “bee attack”). Selcuk even took us to a milonga night where after seeing all the professionals I realised I wouldn’t be able to improvise anymore. So my dream about tango was over, I’ll have to stick to my salsa I guess. Anyway, I could release the energy in my favourite DoRock pub where I had the memorable cigars night with Jolka 2 years ago. We found also a great bar on the roof with nice Balkan music where after few hours boys had to take me by force off the dancefloor. Most of the days we spent exploring famous mosques, hidden pubs and Asian side of Istanbul which was much cheaper. But the main point of our trip to Turkey, at least for me, was visiting my old friends in Canakkale from Erasmus 2013.

In the heart of Istanbul

My best friend Mustafa invited us to his place where we discussed his plans of coming to Poland for Erasmus. Finally, the guru of Erasmus people decided to go by himself. I promised him the best girls so I guess that convinced him. I love this energetic creature that I can always rely on. We met up with him, Hakan and his girlfriend Fede in Hangover cafe where we spent so much time 2 years ago. Crazy times, beautiful memories. Nothing can replace Erasmus so if you have a chance to do one, you definitely should. Hakan and Fede invited us to Gokceada island for a weekend so the next day we hitchhiked to the port. After relaxing day on the beach where for 2 h we were trying to pitch a tent in the wind we had a delicious dinner with a glass of wine. Maybe two. We also visited a lost village called Derekoy where the only inhabitants were sheep pooping everywhere they could. We got back to Canakkale altogether and the next morning we had to leave my lovely Turkish friends heading to the south.

Lost village of Derekoy

I don’t know if I already mentioned how easy hitchhiking in Turkey is. Sometimes you don’t even have to wave your hand and there he is, smiling driver asking where you are going. You are never hungry because as well as picking you up, they also feed you. Feed you a lot. As you can imagine it wasn’t difficult to get to Bergama where we could admire ancient ruins of the Pergamon kingdom. The closed part was actually more interesting than the tourist part so we decided to visit it sneaking in from the back side. Even though I support the idea of UNESCO I must say that for a backpacker its really difficult to afford all the “local attractions” which are usually 3 times more expensive than they should be. That’s why we started to avoid main gates heeding our budget. That technic worked few times. Unfortunately next to Pergamon hill there was not many places to camp so we pitched our tent next to small river where after getting rid off torns all over our bodies and curious kids, we fell asleep.

Gossip girls of Bergama

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