09 August, 2006

Details on "How To Go To Romania By Bus"?!

So, based on high popular demand, ill be publishing more details about how the trip to Romania by bus would be.

1st of all, and as Firas commented on the previous post, it will be Syria, Turkey, Bulgaria, and then Romania.

To start of, you have 2 options, either go with a taxi to Damascus, from where you will have to take the bus to turkey, or to go directly with a Turkish company to turkey.

Through Damascus, you will have to take a taxi in Damascus in order to go to the main bus station situated in northern Damascus (even outside Damascus), while the Amman and Beirut terminal (as it is called) is in Al-Baramke – southern Damascus.

In Damascus's bus station, all the buses to turkey leave either at 10 PM or 11 PM everynight, depending on the company, there are several Turkish companies operating on the route, around 13 companies specifically. The disadvantage in going through Damascus is for sure (EL MARMA6A)! Adding to that, all the buses between Syria and turkey work in “TAHREEB”. An advantage is that you can buy a ticket to Istanbul from Damascus with a very cheap price (a little more than the Amman-antakia ticket's price).

From Amman, there are also 3-4 Turkish companies, with buses leaving in somedays of the week, not every day... i personally recommend trans-Turkey's best bus company, “HAS”, which has an office in Abdali at Toledo Hotel, and their bus leaves every Sun-Tue-Thurs at 5 PM. This year we preferred going from Amman because “HAS” is here 1st of all, The taxi fairs to Damascus are more expensive with the situation around and about, and to avoid the marma6a on the streets of Damascus at rush hour!

All the buses from anywhere outside Turkey (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia) will carry you at Antakia, in southern turkey, around 55 KMs after the Syrian border, where you will be arriving in the next day's morning (from where every you came) and switching buses to another bus, according to your destination in Turkey, a bus that is a top class, and less than a couple of years old.

Inside Turkey, all the operating buses are very comfortable and top class buses (JETT's are really crap in comparison with them), and maybe Turkey's pride in transportation is its home made Mercedes 0403 (prototype of Mercedes Tourismo, which JETT and Alpha have only several buses of it, and are used for top tourist groups), which is made in turkey, and has been carrying turkey's passengers across their country for over 10 years now.

Leaving from Antakia (which over half of its population can understand arabic) at midday with Istanbul's bus, you will be passing by Iskandiron, Adana, Toros Mountains (where the bus will have a launch break between the beautiful mountains in Boynati (spelled Byzan6ah)), Ankara “The Capital” around midnight, where you will surely get amazed by its 3 floors bus station, only to be in the morning in Istanbul. You will enter Istanbul around 6 AM, pass the bridge over the bosphor around 7:30, and reach istanbul's main bus station (which is also a doubled floor bus station) after 8 AM.

In Istanbul you have a couple of options as well, a bus to Bucharest, or other cities in Romania, or the train.

The bus leaves around 5 PM in the afternoon from the commercial area called AKSARAY (the only place in the world that i found LEE jeans with 10$), while the train leaves at 10 PM from the Istanbul Gar (train station) in Sirkici area near the sea and the bazars.

By the way, the transportation from istanbul's bus station to any area you want in Istanbul is FREE! And assured by the bus company. (this is how business is made dear arabs ... LEARN!).

We have been preferring to go by train for several reasons, the train has beds first of all! Yes, every wagon consists of rooms with 3 or 6 beds (depending on the class), plus, the police and customs will be coming into the train to check and control, so there will be no need for more carrying, in addition to the fact that you will have a FULL day available for you in Istanbul, and a room in a hotel will go around 10-15$, just perfect after a couple of nights traveling.

The 4th and final day, around 4-5 PM in the afternoon you will be in Romania's Capital, Bucharest. As simple as that ;)

In the way back, it will take only 3 days, that is since you will be in antakia in the morning, and in the same day at night you will be home in Amman, so you will not waste a day like in the trip to Romania....

Estimated costs for one way: 150-170$
In comparison with a plane ticket on the romanian airwaves (TAROM) which has the monopoly of the route:
2 – way: 600$
1 – way: 500$

conclusion, more fun, pay less.....

And by the way, from Istanbul you can go as far as Paris with the bus! Just in case you are interested!

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