Thursday, 28 June 2012

from Ankara to Kars by train/bus

a real crazy birthday. wake up call at 0530 and we had to leave the train due to slipped earth. 3 h bus transfer to Divrigi, passing Kangal which is well known for its shepherd dogs. the bus driver was a idiot. he drove too fast and did not take any care for our bikes fixed on the roof. we were very angry. after 3 hours we arrived at Divrigi to enter the train again. very helpful people there ! in the baggage waggon we were invited to tea and breakfast with the conductor and his chef. in the train we met Christina and Thomas from Norway. after 30 hours and arrival in Kars at midnight and checked in at the Hotel Grand Ani. with this journey by public transport we saved 1090 km which is very important for our visa.
we have now more time to travel through Georgia and the Kaukasus.
Astrid just waked up :-)
 in the luggage waggon
Christina and Thomas from Norway, travelling to Georgia

from Yalova to Ankara

21.06. from this day we decided to travel by autostop even we have the possibility. our visa for Aserbaidschan will begin on the 18th of July so we have a pressure of time. we cycled 54 km and had 35 km by truck. in the evening camping at a beautiful lake sapanca.Suddenly a fisherman visited us to check us, holding a knife in his hand. first a little bit strange than no problems. seems to be normal ;-).total 3161 km

22.06. 88,4 km, very hot, 5 h 03, avs 17, 5 sleept in a small restaurant.

23.06. first truck 30 km to Bolu. it was so hot and a long way uphill that we were glad not to cycle. by accident we had lunch at Filiz/Barilla headquater, the wellknown noodle company. second truck on this day 10 km short before Gerede. during this trip by truck suddenly there was no more fuel
but we were lucky. another truck sold us 10 liters diesel, but than it is necessary that the tank must be vented. another truck driver helped. after half an hour we continued our trip by truck. we were lucky a second time. the driver missed the exit so he took us further uphill than expected :-) we were very thankful !! we gave him 25 TYL and cigarettes. in the evening we looked for a camping site but no possibilty. so we stayed at the hotel Esentepe in Gerede; again a very steep hill but glad to have a warm shower and a delicious dinner.

24.06. after 12 km behind Gerede we were lucky again: Buelent a truckdriver, who transported long iron bars took us 115 km to Ankara over many mountain passes . total bike km 3313


11.06 till 18.06.
a big global city . we stayed at the Deniz Hotel in the district Sultanahmet. a pretty hotel with friendly and helpful staff. we also met Anneleen and Uli from Alzey in Germany travelling by motobike all over the world. www. alser-on-tour. they gave us good information about different
visa. first had no time to do any sightseeing. we had to organize our visa for Usbekistan and Kirgistan, look for some winter clothes for Astrid and spare parts because our package from Rose-Versand, a big bike dealer in Germany did not arrived
until the 15th. on the 15th we got our visa for Kirgistan, for Usbekistan we had to wait until the 20th. first visit at the consulate was crazy. we have been told to fill out an online-application, to print this and should come back... thanks god Guercan a master student at the local technical university took us to his office where we did all this stuff. after this we had lunch at the ITU with him and a his collegue. the next days were busy with organisation, too.
on Sunday we visited the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque. with Christine a friend of Astrid we visited the Grand Bazar and the Istanbul Sapphire which is 236 m high.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

leaving Istanbul

20.06. we left Istanbul by ferry to Yalova. our experience with the
traffic was too negative. after 20 km later in Yalova we stayed at the Hotel Mer Tur, which is very beautiful. Baki who works at this Hotel speakes German fluently, helped us strongly.with him and Roland a motobiker from Erfurt, we had a funny evening. Great to meet them both.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

from Mimarsinan to Istanbul

11.06. what a horrortrip !! 45 km on an overcrowded highway. really no fun . suddenly a car stopped and a man invited us for a coffee . it was Hasan Terzi from Goerkem Motors. he is a enthusastic cyclist and trainer of the local cycleteam in Bueyuecekmece and
it was really great to meet him and his family. he showed us another way to downtown and two hours later
we arrived at the Deniz Hotel. what a trip !

from Inecik to Mimarsinan

10.06. this was our longest section at all. 120 km within 8 hours net cycling time on a dangerous highway. I did my 3000 km , Astrid her 2500 km. in the evening we stayed in the Business Hotel. I tried to get some beers but no success. it is not the as at German gaz stations. our bikes had a extravagant place in the lobby. 45 km to Istanbul !!!

from Kesan to Inecik

09.06. up and down on the was really hot and consumptive. in the evening we stayed at the Hotel Yoyoba

crossing the border to Turkey

we got up quite late in the morning. I was still unfit due to the cold which I got in Thessaloniki. we left the
camping site and tried to change some 50 Eur notes into smaller but no chance in many banks. I was really angry about this strange behaviour of some Greece banks. could be that they want no more Euros because Greece has perhaps to leave the Euro zone and has the Drachme again ;-)
late in the afternoon we crossed the border to Turkey which looks like the border to the former DDR due to the number checkpoints. wild camping close to the highway.

Monday, 11 June 2012

from Toxotes to Alkyon

06.06. quite a boring day. cycling on a crowded street. we had lunch at Porto Lagos, the owner lived for many years in Germany and we asked for the right way. then we were cycling through a uncrowded landscape crossing an unexpected river. this was very exciting . we tried to cross it but it was too dangerous. suddenly a pickup stopped and we asked to takes us with. after 10 minutes we were on the other side. wild camping between Imperos and Alkyon.

Friday, 8 June 2012

from Alkyon over Maronia to Alexandhroupoli

it was a permanent up and down from our camping place to Alexandroupoli. in Maronia we bought a melone and, got cherries as a gift. we cycled along the freeway and passed an old roman track. due to the fact that we had to go to a bank we stayed at the official camping site

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Kariani to Toxotes

this was a quite long trip. 95 km and very hot. we cycled trough Kavala and after 6 km we stopped at a roadhouse. the owner lived in Germany and we had a coffee and checked our emails. suddenly a bus from Turkey arrived and 50 people were entering the roadhouse. we wanted to go immediatly but one of the passengets contacted us. the bus was from Istanbul and as we told our plan to visit
Turkey we had a funny conversatikn. the passengers looked very global, women had no head scarf and no long skirt as many turkish immigrants in Germany.we continued our trip now looking for a camping site. it was very difficult. we met Drossos with his race bike and he showed us a camping site close to the river Nestos. it was beautiful but there were also suspicious people and we decided ti take a hotel. our trip for this day and, due to my cold, the next day, too ended in the Hotel Feloxenia in Toxotes. thanks to Drossos !!!

Lake Volvi to Kariani

we cycled from Lake Volvi to N.Vrasna. where we wanted to visit Kostas and Stella in the Cafe Symbol. we did not
find it immediately. a older man in a electro wheelchair contacted us in German language. he lived for a long
time in Hamburg and made a phone call to Kostas. after 3 km we arrived at the cafe, which is directly at the beach and Kostas invited us for a coffee. it was lunchtime so Kostas recommended us the Poseidon. the owner spokes German fluently because he lived for some years in Traunstein which is close to Munich. Kostas had many questions about our trip and was really happy to test my bike with all the bags. after a delicious meal we continued our trip. 2.500 km on this day!!!
in Kariani we asked a young man, just taking a shower on his ground for some water. another man came and he invited us for a barbecue... unbelievable. thanks a lot Georges
and friends !!! 2 km later we camped at the beach.

from Thessaloniki to Lake Volvi

we wanted to start at 10a.m. Astrid and me tried to assemble new pedals at Astrids bike, but one was too tight so Hans and her had to drive to the bikeshop. we started at 12 and it was very hot. we were really sad to leave Susan and Karah, Hans joined us for 12 kilometers on his mountainbike. thanks for being your guests !!! we also had to climb up 10 km to Panoramia. we were really groggy.
we had lunch in a small village and suddenly a car stopped and
a young man came to us and invited us to be his guests in N. Vrasna, because this kind of travelling is his permanent dream. we were very glad about this invitation and we confied our visit. in the evening we camped at the lake Volvi, washed ourselves and some clothes and had some noodles.


29.05. till 01.06.
one of the brothers from Susan, Mike, and his wife Deandrea stayed at the house of Susan and Hans, too. it was so great to meet them. Susan did many sightseeing-trips with them while Hans showed us the campus and we planned our trip. the Anatolia College is very beautiful but the Greece government does not accept the examinations.... really strange. I met Panos again, he will be the successor of Hans. Hans drove us to a bicycle
shop and outdoorshop were we bought some spareparts. in the evening there was a award celebration at the campus
with a delicious dinner. many people were really surprised to hear from our trip . the next day we went by bus to the centre and looked for some sights and spareparts. we also looked for the possibility to go by ferry or bus to Istanbul but no way. no ferry and by bus there was no possibility to transport our bikes safely. this day may package from my brother Bernd arrived. my new saddle !!! hope there is no more pain at the evening we had dinner at the beach with a gorgeous sunset. we packed our bags and it was really late when we went to bed. also the last possibiliy for the cat Olli to sleep in our beds ;-).

from Amyntaiou to Thessaloniki

28.05./29.05. We did this section within two days. we bought some bananas in the local Lidl market in Amyntaiou and the cashier asked me if I am from Germany. she told me that she was born in Stuttgart. small world. Astrid was not very fit. the oliv oil from in the evening before caused some problems with her stomach. we passed Edessa with a long downhill section and in the evening we did camping on a peach plantation. the owner worked for several years in Boeblingen which is closed to Stuttgart. he had a spring on his ground and I installed a outdoorshower. after noodles with pesto we went to sleep.
in the morning we started our trip to Thessaloniki. many companies and gaz stations went down due to the financial crisis. it is really sad. we were invited for a nescafe frappe at a gaz station and the owner told us that his sister works as a nurse in a hospital in Garmisch Partenkirchen. the last twenty kilometers to Thessaloniki were really horrible. cycling through big
cities is no fun at all. stop and go, buses, trucks.... . then we took the wrong way and suddenly we were on the ring highway. we took the first exit and stopped at the hospital close to the media market. a man from the rescueteam told us the right way to the Anatolia College in Pylea. we had to take the ring highway again which is really not for cyclists, but after half an hour later we arrived at the college and Hans my second cousin, who is the president of the college welcomed us. great to meet him and his family because in two weeks they will go back to California.