13/03/2008 | by Youri Barneoud
That’s Asia over there. Nice.
Leaving the domes and spires of Istanbul behind, we crossed the bridge into Asia and headed for the Turkish resort of Kartalkaya.
After weighing up the options of how to make the 300k or so journey to our first shred spot, we decided on hiring a bus to take the 10 of us and our colossal quantity of luggage from Istanbul to Kartalkaya. Though spending yesterday cruising the old town was rad it was also great to get a chance to see more of Istanbul, albeit from a bus: the waterfront, more spirey mosques, Besiktas football stadium and a bunch of advertising boards that we can’t understand.
Then we crossed a huge suspension bridge that joins two continents, the name of which escapes me now, and left Europe behind and said hello to Asia. It was a pretty cool drive along the coast for a while and then the scenery turned progressively more mountainous and the first patches of snow were glimpsed. One stop we made was at this funny service station where there were only men – yes, our troupe of beauties got stared as like it was going out of fashion – and they seemed to have an aversion to turning on the lights. Had a nice cheese/pastry wrap thing though, but refrained from answering a call of nature of the secong kind as they only had those holes in the ground. I’ll spare you the details of what happened last time I tried that, but let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.
Margot, Stine and Kjersti with their new pets.
While the drivers got a caffeine fix, the girls took advantage of the ‘Claw of Destiny’ machine to bag not one, not two, but three little animal toys. I thought they were all rigged so you couldn’t win. Shows what I know. As I type this, John the Cat, Daffy the Dog and his bro Poof and hanging from the bus’s rear view mirror making the long drive back to Istanbul.
Yeah, the drive was supposed to take 3-4 hours but it turned out more like 6. Once we left the highway it was only 28k to the resort, but that 28k passed rather slowly as the bus juddered its way up and around the switchbacks. As we stopped for the drivers to whack on the snow chains, we discovered Basa can throw a mean snowball. Turns out she holds the school record for throwing a cricket ball – 64m! She damn near took Margot’s head off with one of her Slovakian howitzers…
Now we’ve just rocked up to the resort. The hotel we’re in, the Golden Key Hotel in Kartalkaya, just opened this year and is hella pimp. Real nice design, super friendly hosts and some great cake that the hotel manager claimed was made with hashish seeds. I don’t know whether he was fucking with me or not. There’s heaps of snow here and somewhat of a blizzard is going on outside the room. We also met the local snowboard school guys who are gonna show us the spots tomorrow, but the weather is supposed to be not so good so we’ll see what happens. Maybe riding powder, maybe building kickers for when the sun shows up. I’m angling for the riding powder option, but the rest of the crew are probably more professional than me.
Kjersti chilling in the Golden Key. Look at all our shit behind her!
OK, well, nearly time for dinner so I’m out. Actual snowboard journalism will make its entrance tomorrow. If you’re lucky.