Through Turkey

cover image for Through Turkey

Now in Turkey. The border was quiet but wonderfully inefficient. No carnet problems but issues with not having ten dollars for customs forms. (2004-07-28 13:03 - Bergie)

First impression of Turkey is western, even if minarets rise above the villages. Good roads, credit cards work and insurance is again valid. Money is a bit difficult now. I have 100 million liras burning my pocket. Gas costs about 1.8 million liras per litre. (2004-07-28 13:43 - Bergie)

Trabzon. Checked in to a small hotel near the harbour. Prayer calls are sounding from the minaret speakers of a mosque outside my window. (2004-07-28 16:33 - Bergie)

I'm now sitting in Internet Cafe World next to the Ataturk statue. Taya had uploaded some of my Georgian photos, so they've now been added to the correct journal entry. She'll upload more tomorrow, and I can try to add the rest then. Outside football fans are cheering loudly and exploding fireworks.

I'm feeling quite tired from the Adzharian mountain roads, so tonight I guess I'll turn in early and leave tomorrow for finding a Turkish road map and heading west. (2004-07-28 20:33 - Bergie)

Walk through Trabzon reveals the more eastern nature of the city with bazaars and tea rooms. Kebap booths and shoe polishers are everywhere. (2004-07-28 21:43 - Bergie)

Nobody in Trabzon changes Georgian laris or Ukrainian gryvens, so looks like I'm stuck with them. At least the walk got me a Turkish road map. (2004-07-29 09:47 - Bergie)

Sunny weather. Headed west from Trabzon. Odometer at 61790km. (2004-07-29 10:33 - Bergie)

Giresun. The shore route is under construction and so very slow. I'll fill up, withdraw some cash and then see what the inland roads are like. (2004-07-29 12:23 - Bergie)

Gölgöy. The twisty hill road is not any faster but very scenic and pleasant to ride. Headed to Resadiye and E80 beyond the hills. (2004-07-29 14:43 - Bergie)

Completely covered in dust and tar, and with pitch black face I arrived to a gas station in Resadiye. (2004-07-29 16:55 - Bergie)

Red bull break in Amasya, saw first signs to Istanbul. It is very hot and dusty to ride so I'm looking forward to sunset. (2004-07-29 18:57 - Bergie)

My mobile phone fell from the bike at 110km/h and didn't even turn off. Only the keypad jumped out. Nokia makes them tough these days. (2004-07-29 19:25 - Bergie)

Osmancik. Moon shines on the Turkish sky. I'll try to shorten the 550km to Istanbul as much as possible before turning in. (2004-07-29 20:39 - Bergie)

Tosya, stopping to wash goggles. There are so many mosquitoes that with high beam it looks like it is snowing. (2004-07-29 21:37 - Bergie)

Checked into a trucker motel in Gerede. Tomorrow morning will be 300km of the Ankara-Istanbul highway which runs 10km south of here. (2004-07-30 00:49 - Bergie)

Last gas break in Kaynasli, 200km to Istanbul. Got an early morning start and entered the toll road. (2004-07-30 08:37 - Bergie)

Istanbul, the gateway to Europe. Just crossed Bosborus and found a BMW bike repair shop near the Venetian fortress. Odometer at 62963km. (2004-07-30 11:19 - Bergie)

Booked into hostel Yücelt right next to Hagia Sophia. Looking forward to cold shower and colder beer after melting in the hot traffic jams. (2004-07-30 12:47 - Bergie)

Two hours in Istanbul and I've already arranged bike maintenance, booked accommodation and seen the main sights from outside. Not bad. (2004-07-30 13:23 - Bergie)

Eating some grilled fish bought from a boat on the Golden horn. After climbing the Galata tower I decided it is too hot for sightseeing. (2004-07-30 16:29 - Bergie)

Walking under the domes of Hagia Sophia helped me to cool a bit. And I even saw Halfdan's viking-age rune graffiti on the balcony railing. (2004-07-30 17:35 - Bergie)

Visiting Internet cafe Rivendell to approve the rest of the Georgian photos. Now that part of the trip should be completely online. (2004-07-30 20:14 - Bergie)

Shrimp dinner on the Galata bridge, watching the reflections of Topkapi and Hagia Sophia from the waves. (2004-07-30 23:07 - Bergie)

Last night I smoked water pipe watching lights of ships passing on Bosborus. Now I sit outside on pillows and enjoy breakfast with Turkish tea. (2004-07-31 10:39 - Bergie)

Visited emperor Justian's underground reservoir. The museum of archaelogy was also impressive with Roman sculpture and the Alexander sargophagus (2004-07-31 13:37 - Bergie)

The bike shop, Berke Moto (Bebek Yolu sk 5, Etiler) agreed to change my totally worn front tyre for 155eur and give a used rear tyre as a spare. (2004-07-31 15:27 - Bergie)

Dinner of humus and pasta in Medusa's Head near the Cistern. Now sitting outside in Green corner smoking water pipe and watching backgammon. (2004-07-31 19:33 - Bergie)

Accidentally found the local metal cave - Rock Cafe Caravan in a bazaar side alley between Beyoglu and Taksim square. (2004-07-31 21:43 - Bergie)

Left Caravan when glasses started flying and blood flowing. Beer prices in bars can be anywhere between 1 and 50 euros. (2004-07-31 22:43 - Bergie)

Last night ended in an improvised rooftop jazz bar. Now I'm lying on pillows and enjoying stuffed pancakes and Turkish coffee for breakfast. (2004-08-01 12:07 - Bergie)

There was a fascinating exhibition of medieval arabic science in Topkapi. Steam power, water lifting engines and navigational instruments. (2004-08-01 13:47 - Bergie)

Bazaar being closed hindered shopping opportunities so I went to a 16th century Turkish bath instead. Quite different from back home. (2004-08-01 15:51 - Bergie)

The Blue Mosque bazaar was open, enabling me to do some souvenir shopping. Now enjoying 'cay ve nargile' and the cool air beneath dark clouds. (2004-08-01 18:31 - Bergie)

Left Istanbul and headed west to Bulgarian border on E80 toll road. Switched to a Shell European road atlas for rest of the trip. (2004-08-02 10:46 - Bergie)

Barbaeski. All gas stations on E80 have been closed so I had some interesting moments with empty tank. Managed to limp the bike here and fill up (2004-08-02 12:35 - Bergie)