Turkey

Posted in: English Okt 25 2015

On the ferry from Rhodes to Fethiye i met Jordine from Australia. Since some few months she’s travelling around Europe. We went togheter to a restaurant. The food is one of the most important things in a cyclists life. The turkish cuisine is definitely one of my favorites. 4 years ago i cycled the last time in Turkey and i wondered, how much has changed so far.

I’m just using road maps. It sometimes happen that i’m ending up in a death end. But this makes the journey for me even more interesting. Right at the first day in Turkey i broke a new record. There was a small road marked in my map along the coast. After 30km, 42° Degrees and many climbs i reached the end of this track. I turned back completely depressed. In a small Mosque some young mens stopped me to bestow a sackful grapes.

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Many similar invitations happened the rest of my time in Turkey. Everyday peoples invited me for Cay (Black Tea with sugar). The hospitality in Turkey is (phenomenal?). There’s one thing they still have to learn: how to build a road. The climbs are mostly over 10% gradient and the drivers use the horn for everything. After a while you get used to it.

I had a nice encounter 100km before Antalya with 2 cyclists from Iran. Hamed and Hadi decided to cycle through Turkey for a few weeks. We had a nice chat and made some photos together. I told them about my journey in Iran and the great hospitality.

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After 6 days i arrived Antalya. A men stopped me at a bus station. Alex runs a Languge School here in Antalya. He teachs 5 different languages and i don’t now how many others he can speak. I was invited in his School. The students were very interested in my trip and asked me a lot of questions. Jordine was also arrived in Antalya the day before and we decided to visit the school again in the evening.

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Normally in middle of September the hot climate changes. But this year it’s completly different. The temperatures are still over 40° degrees. Jordine made the proposal to visit Termessos.

Termessos was a Pisidian city built at an altitude of more than 1000 meters at the south-west side of the mountain Solymos (modern-day Güllük Dağı) in the Taurus Mountains. The ancient city was founded by the Solims who lived in the Psidia Region. Although there are no facts available about Termessos and Solims, they are referenced by Homer in the Iliad in connection with the legend of Bellerophon.

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Jordine left the next day and 2 hours later i met Joshia from England again. We had seen each other the last time in Pristina (Kosovo). I showed him the city and we philosophized most of the day about cycling touring. He’s heading now north to Georgia.

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Since 2013 there’s no ferry driving from Antalya to Cyprus and nobody could tell me if i can take one in Alanya, the next big town. In 3 days i cycled there and on the way i get into a big thunderstorm. It hapened during the night. My sleeping bag was getting wet at 5 o’clock in the morning. When i oppened my eyes, the hole park where i slept was flooded.

The people in Alanya told me that there’s no more ferry driving from here to Cyprus since last year. The only connection to the island is based at the port in Tasucu (400km away). That wasn’t a good news for me.

I jumped back into the saddle for climbing some more turkish hills. Fortunately, a turkish touring cyclist reconditioned me the next morning. Bulut is cycling home to Mersin. The Turks are celebrating Bayram at the moment.

Eid al-Adha, also called the Feast of Sacrifice or Bakr-Eid, is the second of two religious holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide each year. It honors the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to God’s command, before God then intervened, through his angel Jibra’il and informs him that his sacrifice has already been accepted. The meat from the sacrificed animal is preferred to be divided into three parts. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy.

Bulut invited me to cycle with him and stay at his sisters house in Anamur. I couldn’t resist for such a nice offer. Bulut is 53 years old but still a very strong cyclist. His English wasn’t better than my Turkish, but we found a way to communicate with each other. Cyclists share the same passion and don’t need a lot of words to talk. We spend a nice evening together with his family before i had to say goodbye. Thank you very much Bulut for the invitation!

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Two days later, after 3 weeks and 800km i arrived in Tasucu very tired. I could buy a ticket for the ferry boat at the port. 12 hours later it was time to leave this nice country. The turkish people welcomed me every where here in the country and the hospitality is still amazing. I want all to thank, who invited me in these three weeks. Güle Güle Turkey!