Chris had it all planned out.

We would take the ferry to a little town, then a bus to another little town and then – BAM! – Black Sea.

I hadn’t been to the Black Sea yet and was excited to check it off of my list of “Seas I Have Swam In.”

Claire met Claire and I at Harmony in the morning and we headed down to the Bosphours to catch the ferry.

“Oooh, there’s Asia, there’s Europe,” I said as we straddled the middle in the water. “This is so neat!”

The three of us stood outside on the boat’s deck for the entire boat trip, snapping photos from time to time and enjoying the breeze on our faces.

Once we got off the boat, we stopped in the town for lunch. A mouthwatering sampling of fresh-caught fish washed down with ice cold Effes.

Then, we caught the bus to the beach.

It was packed, so Chris and I sat on the stairs in the back of the bus, holding on for dear life as it sped through the windy roads.

Death by bus. Not nearly as glamorous as death by paragliding.

Once a seat opened up, I abandoned the step for a safer resting place.

When we finally made it to the beach town, I was ready to close my eyes and enjoy the sun.

But first, I had to get in the water.

Like the Mediterranean, it was too warm to be refreshing.

And it was dirty.

Trash lined the beach, bottles floated in the water. It wasn’t a peaceful and serene place to unwind, but it was a beach so it suited my needs of sun and water.

Claire, Chris and I hung out in the Black Sea for a little and then I retreated back to our towels to take a nap.

I laid there, closed my eyes and breathed in.

The Black Sea.

That’s three seas in three weeks.

Not bad, D.

I woke up to dark skies. A serious storm was brewing.

Time to go.

We got back on the bus and headed to town.

“Here, this is the last stop,” we were informed by another passenger. So, we exited the bus.

As soon as we did, the sky opened on us. A downpour topped off with claps of thunder and flashes of lightening.

“Wait,” I said, spinning around. “This isn’t where we got on.”

And, it wasn’t.

Thanks, ill-informed bus person.

The shops, the streets, none of it looked familiar as I squinted at the scenery before us.

“Where are we?”

The three of us stood in the rain, clothes sticking to us, trying to figure out where we were and how to get back to the stop we knew so we could take another bus back to Istanbul.

“Let’s go this way,” Chris instructed, so we waded through puddles and began walking.

I couldn’t help but laugh. I had wanted a good thunderstorm. And, I had gotten one. It was just poor timing.

After about 10 minutes of rain soaking our bodies and wandering towards what we hoped was a bus stop, a bus passed us and stopped, letting us hop on as we rode 30 seconds to the bus stop we needed to get to.

“We were going the right way,” Chris said, smiling.

I looked at our group. Soaked to the bone.

We dried off a little bit on the hour ride back to Istanbul. But, as soon as we got off the bus in Taksim, there was another storm and once again, we were soaked.

It wasn’t until after dinner (Pizza Hut awesomeness), did the rain finally stop and we finally dried off.

We got back to our hostel tan and dry. And, after all, isn’t that what I wanted?

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