Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Bus to Nowhere

What starts as a bad day can somehow turn around into magnificence. I only teach for two hours on Tuesday morning so I decided a bit of spontaneity would do me well. I finished classes at noon and headed back to get some lunch at home before heading to the bus depot. Thirty minutes and a purse full of stuff later. I arrived at the otogar. I thought...hmm, I could use a little Black Sea today. I had researched a few towns on the Black Sea, two small towns, Kerpe and Kefken, only 10km apart and supposedly tiny and breathtaking. So I hopped on a bus headed to Adapazari hoping someone would point this yabanci (foreigner) in the right direction. Two hours later after rolling through a plush countryside and dirt roads, we arrived at the Adapazari bus station where my bus driver proceeded to grab my hand and shuttle me onto another bus. I assumed was leaving for Kefken. False. 45 minutes later (after asking my bus driver how long it takes to get to Kefken and his reply was "I don't know") I was very confused when I was dropped off at yet another bus station- a nameless one.
With increasing weariness and skepticism I boarded my third bus. Just to triple check, I asked "Kefken?"- with a reply of "yes, get on." This bus was particularly stinky, so I mostly breathed into my pashina to avoid inhaling the plague I was sure the women next to me was coughing up. The weather  was dreary but the sights were stunning. Women and men tilling soil, countless shepherds herding their sheep, pushing each other around in wheelbarrows and untouched forests that remained me of the forests on Prince Edward Island. Another forty minutes later, we pulled into the Kandira bus station where my bus driver, yet again directed me to another bus that wasn't leaving for thirty minutes. I was seriously regretting my choice of destination. After all, I only have twenty-four hours, there's no way the destination can be worth all this. I bought some peanuts for sustenance and waited- growing increasingly anxious. I had no hotel reservation, no plan, no maps,  no bus schedule or darn idea what I was doing. Bah. I finally boarded this "bus" which in reality was not a bus at all but a small van loaded with 30+ school kids. Another twenty minutes later we veered down this dirt path- a straight path that went up and down, like the hills of San Francisco. I saw the Black Sea and my worries decreased. Upon our initial approach into the tiny town of Kerpe, that no one I asked had heard of, I fell in love. Deep, adoring love. A city nestled on hills surrounding a cove. And destination or not, I knew this  was my stop. I hopped off the bus with my driver saying "wait -this isn't Kefken."- to my response in Turkish "I know, and a smile." I walked into a hotel, got a room with view for a steal of a deal and just like that I was back to my old self. Bring on the adventure.


  1. What an amazing adventure. It is the unexpected roads that can bring us such joy. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story.


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