On my way into the Real Turkey

after i left the City it was amazing how fast i was away from everything. 30km after i crossed Bosporus to Asia the Region was totally remote and rural. Only the Signs of Istanbul on the Bus-Stops and everywhere you can imagine remembered me of what was behind me.

I decided to follow the Coastline and first took a look at the Beginning of Bosporus. Short before the Coast they started building a new Bridge and a completely new Highway. It looks like a gigantic wound in the Nature… My Idea to stay near the Water died after a few Kilometers. The Military decided to close the coastroad and made it a nogo-Area. There where a few more Army-Posts that forced me to change my plans. I rode over Forestroads (the Forest was totally cleared) through little Villages heading back to the Coast again. The Area was very hilly, always up and down. A boring Job cause of the region was not so nice, always changing but never really beautiful. So i forced myself to ride the first Days.
The Roads were almost all freshly made and followed the old marked out road. This means Ascents of up to 15% that i had to manage… Sie and Aqua two famous Holiday-Place at the Blacksea-Coast werden´t so nice for me. Turkish people have different ideas of Beautiful…

After i experienced the national Day in Istanbul, i was Bake to experience another important Day in the Year of Turkey. This Year they Celebrate the 76th anniversary of the Death of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In the Beginning all the Action taking part was strange for me, cause i didn´t know whats exactly happening around me. Soldiers and Children stand together Infront of a Memorial. But then exactly on 9:05 the Sirens started and everyone stops, gets out of his car and a minute of silence happened. Impressing. After all i realized what happened from the TV in the Shop where i took Breakfast afterwards. In Ankara the Airforce painted a gigantic Heart in the Sky and in Istanbul Citizens lay down Flowers on his Deathbed.
The Fact that they celebrate this Day 76 Years later like this let me imagine the worth of this Man for the People and State of Turkey.

The time has come to ride into the Center of Anatolia. The next big Goal was Ankara and so i headed South. The Coastal Mountains and some Passes crossed my way and so i had to hit the Pedal! On my Way to Mengen a Man spoke to me and invited me to come with him. We visited his Mother and picked up his Wife and his Son and went on to his House. There i could stay for the night. Husejin and his Wife treated me very friendly, thanks! Communication was a problem but we used the Dictionary and so it went better than expected.
The next Day i went on to Ankara and arrived there after a last night in the Mountains. The City has only 1/3 of the Size of Istanbul but still 4.6 Million Citizens who filled up the Highvalley up on 900 to 1000m. So again i had to ride on 4 Laned Highways for hours before reaching the center of Ankara in the late Evening…
The small Hotel i chosed was fantastic and so after a quite night in a real Bed i could store my Stuff while i was Travelling home to Germany.
After came back to town i stayed for 2 Nights more, to visit the City and organize my new Stuff… Ankara is completely un-touristical and so i could not even find an Exchange-Office… but so you can enjoy pure turkish City-Life and Ankara has a lot to visit. The Citadel upon the Oldtown offers superb views which gave a fine End to my Time in the Capitol.

At the End i was happy to leave this Moloch, but i had to cycle for three hours to reach the City-Limits. The Weather got colder and offers some Rain in the Evening. This Thunderstorm offers me a not so nice Surprise in the Morning. After getting out of the Tent i recognized that almost every Tentnail was out of the Ground and the Rain soaked the Ground. The Earth was very sticky and so it was impossible for me to push the Bike back to the Street. After 10m the Wheels blocked from the Mud and i had to put the Stuff piece by piece up to the Road. Up there i had to remove the Mud from the Bike to get it able to Ride again. The first Car Wash along the Road was my Jackpot this Morning…

The Route to Cappadocia leads over a high Plain along the Saltlake Tuz Gölü (Gölü means Lake) The area is a little bit boring and the Temperature went down under the 10° mark. Rain in the Evening was not helpful for Motivation at all. After i passed Aksaray the Hills came back. Fire-Red eroded Hills along the Road and in the Evening i got my first view of Snowcapped Mountain higher than 3000m at the Horizon. The first Snow of this Trip… Wow!!

The western Part of Cappadocia offers deep cut Valleys with Cavetowns and is sourrounded by Snowcapped Vulcanos. Fascinating Panoramic View… Only the Temperatures bother me but while i was cycling only the Fingers get cold under 5°C. In the Evening i was crawling into my Tent and got (well packed) a warm night despite the Temperatures under 0°…

As i crossed the Hills into Central Cappadocia it took my breath away. Indescribable Landscape spreads infront of me. Deeply indented Valleys with eroded Rockchimneys which are mostly undermined und (sometimes actual) inhabitet. Thousands of Years old Culture left Footprints here and gave the fantastic Nature an additional Flair… A real special Place!

I enjoyed three Days Rest to Maintenance my Bike, the Stuff and take Care of me. I also took a ride through the Valleys. After that i went on Eastwards facing the Winter on my Bike hopefully pass without getting the Mass of Snow on my Way.

My Journey through the asiatic Part showed me the incredible Hospitality of the Turks. The more i went away from Istanbul the more Invitations i got. Hot Cay was always a benefit and more than one Time i got food in addition. If i got some Problems they always try to solve them even if it was difficult to explain the Core of the Things… But i went better in Describing everyday ;-)

Whole Days i couldn´t manage to invest Money for Food or Drinks. I was Invited by Families and could warm my Hands over several Stoves. Fantastic kind of Traveling…
I am really curious how it will go on and what will come to me in the Rest of this amazing Country.

But this is another Story that will be told the next time…