Friday 25th November 2011

Sign in toilet
Toilet humour in Istanbul

Friday 25th Nov, Istanbul. Went for a much needed haircut last night, also had a shave whilst I was there. After having dinner in the hotel restaurant which looks out over Istanbul and the Bosporus, I started to upload photos and videos that I’d taken, hopefully they’ll be on the website soon. Woke up at normal time of 5.30, only this time I didn’t have to pack my bags and load my bike! It was quite nice not having to rush around, although after a day or two, no doubt I’ll be bored and want to get moving again! No view from the hotel but you can hear the ferry fog horns as they cross back and forth across the Bosporus, sounds really nice! Managed to sort out a bracket to go on my bike handle bars so I can attach my camera, because it’s so cold and I’m wearing gloves all the time it’s a nightmare getting the camera out. Managed to find my way to the airport in plenty of time to meet Julie, I thought it was scary on a bike, it’s worse on the bus at least I’m in control on the bike. By the time we got back from the airport it was getting a bit late so we just went to a bar, had a few drinks and something to eat, the sightseeing will have to wait until tomorrow. Only photo is one taken in the toilets, it made me laugh, you’ll have to zoom in though.

Thursday 24th November 2011

Thurs 24. Seymen to Istanbul 61 miles. What a hard ride today, strong side wind which isn’t so bad until a lorry comes past then all of a sudden your not having to compensate against the wind your just heading towards the lorries wheels! Also had rain, the first time since Germany I think, so can’t really complain too much. As for the little Dolmus buses they just cut you up, think they have a competition to see who can cut you up the most! The rain had stopped but it was still windy when I got about 20 miles from Istanbul, there was road works and the traffic was hell, I’d like to say that it was 6 lanes of traffic but it was just 6 vehicles wide with everybody jockeying for position, not only was it the traffic, but you had to keep an eye out for potholes, vehicles joining from left and right, the road dividing for no apparent reason and old road signs just hanging over the carriageway waiting for you knock you off or make you swerve into other traffic! And this went on for a good couple of hours, all my senses where in overdrive, watching, listening and looking everywhere, must admit I’ve been in some traffic but nothing as bad as that, I’m worn out! Looking forward to the weekend off and seeing a familiar face, as a friends coming over for a few days. It’ll be nice to talk to somebody, I was starting to repeat my conversations to myself! No picture today I was too busy trying to stay alive!

Wednesday 23rd November 2011

French cyclists
The French cyclists I met on the road today who had cycled back from China

Wed 23 Edirne to Seymen 92 miles. Didn’t get much sleep last night, there was so much noise. When I took the room the porter did ask if it was ok as it was right next to the lift and I said it was fine, anyway the noise was coming from outside and above and below me not the lift! The breakfast more than made up for it though, very nice and loads of it. Today’s ride was a bit of a roller-coaster the road was going up and down all day but it was lovely smooth tarmac, hopefully it will be like this all the way to Iran as it’s the same road all the way across Turkey. Met a French couple today who were cycling from China back to France, think they’d been travelling in China and decided to ride back, so they bought some bikes and here they were, think they’d been travelling for a year. They did say that they went through a couple of inches of snow about 3 weeks ago in Turkey! That’s something to look forward to, thought I might get some in Iran but hey ho we’ll just have to see what happens.

Tuesday 22nd November 2011

Bulgarian Turkish border control
One of the many checkpoints at the Bulgarian Turkish border

Tues 22nd. Valkeral to Edirne Turkey 85 miles. Didn’t seem quite as cold this morning. Because I left the hotel before breakfast was being served, that wasn’t until 8 o’clock, they said they would do me a breakfast to go. One ham and cheese sandwich! So stopped off at another cafe, breakfasts always better after a couple of hours anyway. Not a very eventful day it was overcast for most of it, made it to Turkey today which I wasn’t expecting. There was so many different check points not too sure what they all where, luckily I got waved through some of them so I wasn’t queueing for as long as the cars. Riding up the main street in Edirne, it’s so busy, the speakers on the mosques were blaring out calling people for prayer, up above in the sky there was thousands of crows, quite a lot busier than it’s been on this trip, but I suppose I am nearly in Asia.