Sunday, October 22, 2006



Istanbul, Day 6.

Parting Words.

Ha ha. You know, for a long time I had been thinking, to make a last post full of all these Zen-like koans that I thought up while riding along the backroads of Europe. Say, things along the lines of:

1. Uphills always end.
2. If you can, follow the river.
3. When things get seriously tough, there's no shame in taking the train.
4. Local wisdom has its merits....sometimes.

etc. etc. and other suchlike droplets of rather, in hindsight, questionable "wisdom". ;P. But then, back to normal life in huge, cosmopolitan end of your journey city, I realized that those things which seem to you so brilliant while you're busily pedalling like mad up some tough uphill on asphalt on a hot day, are actually, in reality, rather trite, in the end. So, and lucky for you, I will be sparing you those, and will not tell you. :)

Nor will I tell you, what it is I did once I arrived here in beautiful Istanbul, Gateway to the East, Pearl of the Orient, City of the World's Desire: the people I met, the colors I saw, the smells of spices that seduce your senses when you walk through the bazaars, the thousands of years of history detailed in its world-class museums, the awe and wonder of its architecture, the life, the veritable life, in its streets, its people, and children.

Nor even describe to you, that I deliberately did not cross the bridge to the other side of the Bosphorus with my bike, but did explore mainland Asia a few days later (bragging rights are important, you see) in a rather odd combination of foot, tram and ferry.

That, you see, is part of a different adventure.

What I will tell you is the answer to the question everyone has asked me throughout the start and end of this trip, from inside the airplane from Heathrow to Lisbon, through little villages in Spain, to border guards in formerly communist countries, to anonymous posts on web forums and email, the question, namely, of:

"How did you manage?"

:)

The answer, in fact, is quite simple:

One kilometer at a time.

Ha ha, you know, when I was passing by the fish markets in the harbor arriving in Istanbul, and then on to Sultanhamet, the bright and colorful city center, I was hit by a such sudden burst of energy, that I even thought: heck, were it not because I'm required to be back in Vienna by the 25th, I would've continued on pedalling!

{sigh} :). Oh well.

{shrug}

There's always next summer! :D.

11 comments:

E said...

Congratulations! I've been trying to 'pedal' a kind of 'cyclic' philosophy to my friends about the importance of excursions such as the one you just completed, and there may yet be recruits!

Well done, E.

E.

Elisa said...

:D.

Fabio said...

Congratulations !

Gurcan said...

Elisa!
What a journey! You surely will have to come and give us a slide show, one day!

All being well, what, if any, are your plans? I heard you've interviewed for a job in Italy.

Send an email!

Anonymous said...

Dear Elisa,

Congratulations on your extraordinary accomplishment. My son Nick (that guy from Amati/TI) alerted me to your adventure back in April, and I have followed your Odyssey through the spring, summer and fall. I am an armchair traveler: so I very much enjoyed your descriptions of the countryside, customs and sites. My wife and I are thinking of visiting Europe in the future, and your commentary is very helpful in providing ideas as to which places we would like to visit and those we would prefer to avoid. Have you thought about publishing your collection of thoughts, pictures and E-Mail references? I think it would be of extreme value to various interest groups.
I noticed that you took a couple of interviews during your journey: one in Switzerland at the end of June and one in Austria mid-September – Algorithm engineering positions? You didn’t give much detail in your posts on these side excursions and results. Curious about your future plans since I don’t quite picture you sitting behind a desk with an 8 to 5 mundane engineering job that is overseen by would be managers.
Anyway, I admire your courage, tenacity and perseverance in attaining your travel goal of Lisbon to Istanbul.

Best regards,
Nick’s Dad

Elisa said...

Hi, Nick's Dad!

Thanks for following my blog, and thank you especially for all the nice things you said. You're a sweetie!

I am indeed in the process of finding work as a "normal" (ha ha!) algos engineer (it is what funds the travels, after all ;P) here in Europe, though things are a bit up in the air at the moment (several interviews, some offers, still need to decide). I promise I will let folks (Gurcan, et al, etc) know how the dice landed, in the end, when things settle down a bit, somehow (perhaps even right here in the comments section). :D

Say hi to Nick for me!

-E.

pearl said...

Hi Elisa! I never fully congratulated you on the completion of your journey! So, congrats!!!

I just want to let you know that I've switched back to using Blogspot. A lot happened with LJ and I just wanted to restart what I had originally set out to finish ;) The address is still the same: http://thesanctuaryoflife.blogspot.com

Later!

pearl said...

Hi Elisa! I never fully congratulated you on the completion of your journey! So, congrats!!!

I just want to let you know that I've switched back to using Blogspot. A lot happened with LJ and I just wanted to restart what I had originally set out to finish ;) The address is still the same: http://thesanctuaryoflife.blogspot.com

Later!

dimana said...

Hi Lisa

it was a pleasure to see your adventures
i am journalist in the Vagabond, Bulgaria's English Monthly, a general interests magazine for the expats in Bulgaria
we are interested to write an article about you and your trip but we could discuss the details via email
please, write to me if you are interested on dimana@vagabond-bg.com

very best
dimana trankova

Ali Jey said...

Perfect ;)

Kundan Kumar said...

Hi,


Please provide me the email id of webmaster of your website:

http://elisabiketrip.blogspot.com/


Thanks

Kundan Kumar

kundan.kumar@cheapoair.com