I managed to get a fortnight’s holiday due to a job‐change. I visited Istanbul as I was inspired by the book Midnight Express. There were many beautiful, spectacular Mosques. You can say this architecture is like a historic skyscraper. I enjoyed the local cuisine such as authentic kebab. Despite the excitement, my impressions were ordinary. Also, I could book the next day’s night train ticket.

BTW, local touts were really pestering me. I didn’t need any carpets or accommodation. *12/2/07

I was getting the hang of dealing with local people asking me for things frequently. So I went to the Asian side by ferry across the Bosporus. Actually, I had wanted to come here from the Middle East like Kotaro Sawaki. Anyway, there were lots of seafood markets and good scenery. And then, I imagined the Mediterranean started from here while looking out at the ocean view. It was nice to relax, but I was bored until the night train.

BTW, Azan has tickled my traveller’s heart. *13/2/07


Passengers had to go to immigration in the middle of the night when the train arrived at the border. I needed to queue up twice for 30 minutes, so it disturbed my sweet sleep. I worried about missing the train. After crossing the border it was snowing.

By the way, I was extorted twice by the self-entitled concierge for tourists and the railroad worker at Sophia station, just for asking about the locker place and the platform. I thought Sophia was a bad neighbourhood. *14/2/07


Arrived in Beograd at 6am, waited until first light at a McDonald’s halfway up the hill. Then I went to St. Sava and Kalemegdan Park. The park is located at the river junction of the Sava and the Danube. While walking in the park, I came across the Air Festival by chance. After enjoying the ceremony, I found a crowd of people. A handsome guy was surrounded by them and I took his photo. I thought he must have been a celebrity like an actor or politician.

BTW, I found he was the sitting President, Oh! *15/2/07


Uh-oh! I had a stomach ache suddenly after getting on the night train for Thessaloniki. I had to go to the toilet many times at night. I’d been on the fence, but I decided not to get off at Skopje. So I only set foot on Macedonia’s soil at Kukuricani or around there when the train stopped at the station for a little while. Somehow though, the borders remain in my memory. Someday, I should visit again. At last, the train arrived in Thessaloniki 4 hours late.

BTW, It’d been 4 days since I stayed in a hotel. *16/2/07


No matter what I said, I was so relieved after arriving in Greece. I was back in the Mediterranean and I didn’t need to cross the border anymore. Besides, I felt a real affinity for using the Euro. Anyway, I didn’t book any accommodation, because I didn’t know if my trip would be on schedule or not. Unexpectedly my trip went well, I had some extra time in Greece.

BTW, I was still recovering from an illness and couldn’t bring myself to go to the islands, decided to stay in Athens for 4 days.*17/2/07

Speaking of Athens, the history of marathons came to mind. The Olympics were held here 7 years ago, and the mark of the marathon route was still left. I visited the battlefield for memory. Cape Sounion, Poseidon Palace, and bus via local town were fine. Anyway, places were full of Greek letters. I use Greek letters for mathematical symbols, but I wonder how Greeks write them.

BTW, I loved the freshly-squeezed orange juice. I had it for breakfast. You have to drink it there. *18/2/07-21/2/07

Hvala, Tesekkurler