My three days cycling in Turkey before reaching Istanbul.
- turkish tourist visa
- crossing the border, tired but excited
- seeing signs for Istanbul does wonders for my motivation. Roads are empty, and spirits high
Cant help but feel like I’m in the Middle East with this barren landscape
This is Erwin, a bicycle traveler on a recumbent, and here we are at our hotel where we met. Erwin is from Bavaria (not Germany) and he’s travelling the opposite loop, from Istanbul to the Danube. We had a great dinner and conversation; I was immensely grateful for his company!
“the gas station boys” – more than once during these past few days I found myself chatting with guys at gas stations, being treated to free coffees and waters as they questioned me eagerly about everything from my monthly wage in Canada and whether or not I believe in God. “we work all the time, and Turks don’t travel much”, one of them explained to me in passable English “this is why we are so curious when we meet foreigners in Turkey”.
The Turks are so polite and helpful that the mini-interrogation sessions are actually quite sweet
The minarets of mosques instead of the steeples of churches. Every village has atleast 1!
Was invited to breakfast when I took a break next to two truck drivers. Turkish hospitality and kindness really is as amazing as they say!!
- lots of picnic tables available if you need to have a snack
…like in a pre-arranged relay race, I handed off the bicycle traveling baton to two guys heading away from Istanbul. It was their first day and my last, and as we took a moment to chat on the side of the road I learned that Louis, American, and William, Australian, are headed to Germany with a very interesting game plan – to not spend a dime or euro during the whole trip. “We basically beg for food” explained William, although not in the sitting-on-pavement-palm-out-stretched kind of way, rather they ask at restaurants and stores for any excess food they might get, and, so far, have eaten more in this way than they do usually. Good luck with your ride guys! (their blog: http://www.thefunkyangloboys.wordpress.com )
- approaching the metropolis from the north, can you see it in the hazy distance?
- the day after – enjoying a luggage-free ride along the bike path on the coast, along Asian side of Istanbul. Oh victory is sweet!!