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January 1, 2011

I was anticipating the border crossing between Greece and Turkey may be a bit heated… I was quite dissappointed on this aspect, although there was quite a special moment between the control posts with a heavily armed Turk guard one one side of the road eyeballing an equally heavily armed Greek on the other – they both responded well to enthusiastic waves however!

The Turks sure do borders in style – TURKIYE emblazened across the top of the road in a huge red sign and a flag the size of a football pitch – this is our first crossing where we need a VISA and we picked one up for a rather cheeky 15 euros – even more cheeky was the fact that the french guys infront of us in the queue didnt have to pay!

What an excited feeling it was cycling into Turkey. The roads were different, the people looked different, the smells were new, the cars, the street life, everything. we got quickly into Edirne and then the call to prayer stopped us in our tracks – what a beautiful sound! I got right up to the central mosque and sat mesmerised by the transcendence we had just gone through in such a short space of time – from Greece to Turkey – from West to East – it was beautiful.

We got some Lahmacun in a small cafe (feels like Stokey!) and went to the Supermarket. Veg shop for the day was less than 40pence. Bukger wheat was also dirt cheap – though everything else was equiproportionally expensive. A sign to Istanbul led us excitedly out of town towards our first Turkish camp.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2011 8:07 pm

    Hey guys, happy NY! Hows turkey treating you all, well I hope! Keen find out if you manage to cross the syrian border without a hitch, bumped into georgethecyclist the other day, left me anxious about getting in, hope you have no problems – which one are you heading for? Keep me posted, think I may detour to ankara if need be. Good luck! Rob

    • January 14, 2011 3:16 pm

      hey mate
      syrian border was interesting… we arrived about 2030 and had to wait about 3 hours, but we could only get a three day transit visa! think it was because we told them we were going to lebanon.
      all in all 3 days was enough and we made it no problem, but at the other border they tried to claim we had overstayed our visa by a day! in the end it was no problem and they let us leave, but i would suggest get to the border early in the morning as it seemed they counted the day we arrived as one day on the visa – so its not 72 hoursfrom crossing as we had initally thought.
      its quite expensive (52 dollars to get in, 15 to leave!) but well worth it
      best of luck!

      • Rob permalink
        February 7, 2011 4:54 pm

        Hey Sash, Cheers for the reply! Late time to arrive at the border, take it you just wanted to get across. Think they must enjoy winding us all up. I met a polish guy a few days before crossing and he got turned back, tried three different borders, ended up overstayin his welcome in Turkey, got a five year ban and had to fly over. I didnt have many probs, at first said no and kept saying to me that he recognised me and how I’d tried to get across a few days ago, but after spending half an hour looking at my passport said he’d “fax” Damascus. Decided not to go to Lebanon and have probs leaving. In Jerusalem at the mo, hoping in calms down in Egypt soon! Hope you guys are all well! Happy cycling! Rob

  2. veiovis permalink
    January 9, 2011 11:51 am

    Hi guys – keep going 🙂 Please let me know what mean that “red” line on the map – train ?

    Best Regards, Piotrek

    • January 14, 2011 3:14 pm

      unforutnately it was a train… the tempation to spend xmas in capadocia was too great, plus it meant we could spend some time in the middle east, which we’re doing right now, enjpoying the sunshine in Beirut!
      hope its not too cold in Krakow…

      • veiovis permalink
        January 15, 2011 8:57 pm

        Hi Sash,

        don’t worry – that what you have in your legs and asses can’t be complained 😉

        Currently in Kraków is +7 degC – so warm…but who cares as you are far far away

        Regards, veiovis

  3. umut erol permalink
    January 11, 2011 2:26 pm

    hi boys.. how is going on? i hope u remember me from pınarhisar (the english teacher who enjoys football much and the jersey collector..:)) i hope u like turkey.. i will never forget u take care boys see you soon.. )

    • January 14, 2011 3:13 pm

      hey umut,
      we sure do remember you!! turkey was great to us – its a truly beautiful and wonderful country- the people, the tea, the landscape!!
      thankyou very much for making us feel welcome in pinarhisar. Ive found a great qpr shirt for you aswell, but unfortunately i wont be able to get it to you until i return to the UK! please give me your postal address – send it to my email
      all the best!
      sash and julian

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