One night on a train from Istanbul to Sofia

Taylor Davidson, an entrepreneur and photographer, took an overnight train ride on the Istanbul-Sofia Express from Istanbul, Turkey to Sofia, Bulgaria.

What will I remember from the night? The incredible bouncing, causing me to doubt my incredible ability to sleep anywhere, anytime (a misplaced fear, as it turned out); the incessant staccato of metal on metal, ten muddled minutes spent searching for its source, solved with a simple jam of my shoe into a tight spot; forty-five minutes standing in line in the wee hours of the new day waiting for an exit stamp from Turkey (more on that in a bit); followed shortly by the knocks of “passport control” on the train’s sleeping compartment doors, re-awakening the half-asleep inhabitants; the last interruption, the unexpected cries of the “customs control” officer sweeping through the train, a man that looked at me and my compartment mate Oliver and merely asked “English” to each of us, two tired shakes of our heads answering his question in turn, sending him scurrying away without a further word.

Read the full story
Route, timetable, options and fares of Istanbul-Sofia Express
Other stories about this train

Cover photo by Taylor Davidson


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