It is day 93 of our trip. Unbelievable that we have been on the road for so long. It doesn’t even feel like there was a life before this trip.
We are in Tbilisi and enjoy the capital city flair. Although we are more of the late risers, we are up early today and walk up one of the neighboring hills to visit the statue of the Mother of the Georgians. Yes, real sport in this heat, but it was only half past eight and the cable car unfortunately doesn’t start until 10, so the desire to be back in the cool apartment by noon triumphed over laziness and we climbed up the steep paths.
It is really hot here, the thermometer regularly reaches 38°C, Wolfgang is screwing on his chain oiler in the shade in front of the house and I sit with my tea cup in the air-conditioned kitchen and think back to Turkey.
The country really surprised us. We had few expectations and had actually only seen it as a transit country to Georgia and the Silk Road. And after we liked the quiet Odessa very much, Istanbul was a culture shock at first. Hot, loud, full.
But we were there for a total of 4 weeks and the longer we were there, the better we liked the country. The first time we were mainly in touristically very well developed areas: Istanbul, Troy, various excavation sites. But the further we went away from Istanbul, the less populated the country was and the more beautiful the areas became.
OK, Cappadocia is touristically very well developed and accordingly full, but as you could already read, we were absolutely thrilled. So far the highlight of our tour. But the WOW moments for us motorcyclists came between Cappadocia and the border to Georgia: small roads, many mountain ranges, more and more sheep and cows on the trails, gravel and hardly any people to see. Curves over curves. Among other things we rode the D915 between Bayburt and Trabzon, also known as “one of the most dangerous roads of the world”. However, we did not understand why it is called that way. It was narrow and it almost always went steeply downhill on one side without crash barriers, but it wasn’t really difficult to drive. You had to be a bit slow and careful, but we were lucky and it was mostly dry. That was really fun. And because of the great scenery we were rewarded right away, so we highly recommend this road to you if you are ever on your way to eastern Anatolia.
Also there were beautiful lakes and rivers in Turkey for camping. Lake Salda, for example, we liked very much, but also a lonely meadow at the Euphrates north of Dark Canyon. You only have to keep your eyes open and in beautiful areas just follow an offside path, then you will find the most beautiful corners. As long as you show respect and take your garbage back with you, there are usually no problems.
What also fascinated us in Turkey is the friendliness of the people who did not know us and would most likely never see us again: someone next to us at the gas station buys extra chocolate for us, while waiting for the ferry we drink the ubiquitous tea and are not allowed to pay, while waiting in the rain we are provided with cake and MANY other examples testify to the incredible hospitality of the Turks.
That alone is reason enough to visit this beautiful country again soon!