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.
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!
In 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.
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.
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)