Bye Bye “Eur”, Hello “Asia”

Amasra (Turkey), 25.04.2013

With one day delay, today we finally left Istanbul. Loading the car in the narrow streets of Cihangir wasn’t easy, we’re so full we can’t see out of the rear window. Also finding the DHL office was quite a challenge, but we got our IDs back! Problem solved, back on the road. We crossed the Bosphorus bridge into the Asian part of Istanbul (video here) and have now left Europe for the next couple of months.

DSC_0096
The first hour of motorway leads through the outskirts of Istanbul, with a mix of high rise residential areas and industrial zones. For a while we drove parallel to the Bosphorus strait, that was quite crowded with boats of all sizes. Then the road led into the mountains, up to 1300m at some point. It is a mix of Heidi-land dotted with occasional industrial plants, minarets and Turkish flags. The roads are perfect, the service stations huge and modern. We stopped at one for a coffee, and were surprised by the huge shopping mall that welcomed us with all kinds of shops and restaurants. As we came out of the building we saw two guys cleaning our car, a complementary service at these stations it seems (we saw it at other stations too). Our new car, that we tried to get dirty for weeks not only to avoid Mr. Wits jokes, is super clean again!

DSC_0110In the late afternoon we finally reached Safranbolu, a Unesco World Heritage site. You have to drive all the way through the modern part of the city on top of the hill down to the old village to discover this unique ottoman town. It feels like a Swiss mountain village (Helena disagrees and says it feels like Bosnia) with oriental charme. But it is a spectacular place, the old village is conserved completely, without modern parts. We had a çay on a small square, a very relaxing habit here in Turkey.

DSC_0118 DSC_0113 DSC_0130 We decided to not stay but to drive 1h more to the sea, to Amasra. And it was worth it. We arrived at sundown, driving through the hills down to this beautiful town that has its old part on a peninsula and an island connected by a medieval bridge. The pictures we’ll upload only partially give an idea of the beauty of the moment.

DSC_0151 DSC_0140 DSC_0141 DSC_0137 The night ends after a great fish dinner, drinking raki, and watching Fenerbahçe playing Benfica. I hope our Portuguese friends in Madrid and Lisbon are enjoying the match as much as the Turkish crowd here with us.

Trip data (Day/Total)

– Km driven: 531/4.931

– Hrs driving: 7/-

– Diesel l/100km: 9,1/10,6 (TL 4,20/€1,80 per liter)

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4 responses to “Bye Bye “Eur”, Hello “Asia”

  1. Got your ID’s, and on your way. Wow, it’s like tv show. I cant wait for new episode. My wife follows it through me, and everyone at my job knows about it. How long will it take to get beck to Madrid? Good luck and safe travels!

  2. Good morning from still sleepy Ankara, Vlado! Thank you, we indeed have a lot of fun on the road, and every day is a different episode it seems…! Tomorrow some extra fun is expected, the pictures will tell it all, stay tuned ;-). Zagrljaj, Helena

  3. Don’t forget to watch the re-match this Thursday – carrega Benfica ;o)
    Enjoy your trip, Boris!

  4. Will try to do Rui, provided I find a TV with football in the Anatolian countryside.

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