AIESEC Alumni Congress, Istanbul. Yeah!

Subheading: On The Train Again

Later today I will endure the 20 hour train journey north through the Taurus Mountains and west over the Anatolian Plain to Istanbul. I’m heading to Istanbul primarily for the 2007 International AIESEC Alumni Congress but also to catch up with friends and enjoy Istanbul. My stay will last approximately 12 days–the longest I will have ever been there. Every previous visit was always rushed.

For years I have wanted to travel long distance by train in Turkey. Train travel contains a certain romance that one does not receive on the buses. In Turkey trains run slower and far less regularly than the inter-city buses and I never previously had the time to catch the train to Istanbul, Ankara or elsewhere. For example: from Mersin I have to take the 12:45 pm train to Yenice and then the 14:35 train to Istanbul. In total: approximately 20 hours. If I miss this journey my next opportunity to take the train is 24 hours later. In comparison, 6 bus companies (Ulusoy, Varan, Mersin VIF, Koksallar, Mersin Koc and Mersin Seyahat) each offer faster (about 13 hours in duration) multiple, daily Mersin-Istanbul services in modern luxury buses. At 36 YTL versus 45-65 YTL the train is cheaper though.

The 2003 South Australian Leadership Development Seminar was the last AIESEC congress I attended so I’m really looking forward to the upcoming congress. This is particularly true since it is focused on alumni and many inspiring people will attend. Partying and interacting with the 600 main congress attendants will also be huge.

I can’t wait to see Taner, Medine teyze & family, Fati and Matt, Kerem, Burcu, Ajda, Ozge, Emre, Chris, Ela, Bea, Tugba, Yogesh and other friends (apologies for omissions.

Bring it on Istanbul!
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