Map


Turkey

2018-12-30 - 2019-02-17
Total distance: 1785 km
Cumulative distance: 5475 km

We entered Turkey by ferry to Ayvalık, then cycled north to Bandırma, from where we took another ferry across the Marmara Sea to Istanbul. From there, we first cycled east to Sakarya, then turned north to reach the Black Sea coast. We then followed the coast all the way across the country to the Georgian border, mostly following the same road, the D010.

Cycling through Turkey in winter, the weather has been harsh on us and our bicycles, mostly due to the rain, though we escaped most of the snow by staying on the coast. However, we have been overwhelmed by the warmth of the Turkish people, after being hosted so often, regularly chatted up by curious strangers at every stop, and served endless cups of çay.


Articles

Cold Turkey, warm People

2019-01-14

[We initially wanted to title this post 'Going cold Turkey', but it wouldn't have actually worked as a proper pun as we weren't going cold turkey on a

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Black Sea Coast, Part 1

2019-01-30

The main road running down the Turkish Black Sea coast is the D010, and it is this road that we more or less followed (and will be following) all the

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Black Sea Coast, Part 2

2019-02-20

The second half of our ride down the Black Sea coast got off to a slow start, first with Heiko falling sick in Sinop, then with Hannah falling sick in

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Photos

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A very tired Heiko on the road from Akçay to Balıkesir First time seeing snow so near us, at about 400m elevation on the road from Akçay to Balıkesir The port of Bandırma on the Marmara Sea, from where we took the ferry to Istanbul Hannah seeking shelter from the rain at a telephone booth in Istanbul A former underground cistern that now houses an exhibition on the Hippodrome Model of the Hippodrome Hannah in front of the Egyptian Obelisk in the former Hippodrome that is now Sultanahmet Square The courtyard of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, also popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of the dominant colour blue of the tiles inside the mosque Inside the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, also popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of the dominant colour blue of the tiles inside the mosque In front of the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya). Originally built as a Greek Orthodox cathedral in 537 AD, it was converted into an Ottoman imperial mosque in 1453 after Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. With the founding of the modern Republic of Turkey, Atatürk secularised the building and it opened as a museum in 1935. The Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia has inspired the design of many other Ottoman mosques after it. The Haseki Hürrem Sultan Hamamı, a 16th century Turkish bath located between the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque Inside the Grand Bazaar The Sultan Ahmet Mosque, also popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of the dominant colour blue of the tiles inside the mosque. The mosque has six minarets, but one of the minarets has been taken down for restoration. Inside the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya). The massive dome, which has a diameter of 31.87m/30.87m (elliptical after multiple repairs), was an engineering marvel of its time. The 35th verse of the Quran is written in calligraphy in the middle of the dome. Inside the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya). Originally built as a Greek Orthodox cathedral in 537 AD, it was converted into an Ottoman imperial mosque in 1453 after Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. With the founding of the modern Republic of Turkey, Atatürk secularised the building and it opened as a museum in 1935. The carpets have been removed to reveal the marble floor decorations, and some of the plaster on the walls has been removed to reveal some of the many mosaics that were covered up after its conversion into a mosque. The building continues to require significant stability improvement, restoration, and conservation, and scaffolding is perpetually found inside the building. Inside the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya). At the bottom of the apse is the mihrab, pointing towards Mecca. On the semi-dome at the top is the mosaic of the Virgin and Child, the first figured mosaic created in the Hagia Sophia, dating from the 9th century. Inside the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya). The minbar, or pulpit, where the imam stands to deliver sermons on Fridays, is one of the best examples of marble workmanship from the Ottoman era. The entrance hallway of the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) Inside the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), view from the upper gallery. The building continues to require significant stability improvement, restoration, and conservation, and scaffolding is perpetually found inside the building. Inside the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya). The Marble Door in the upper gallery.

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