Today we had perfect riding conditions and stopped only for a sip of water and fuel. We drove more than 600 km leaving Croatia passing Serbia and entering Bulgaria. The last part of the serbian route lead through a nice canyon and was a lot of fun to ride.

canyon in serbia

In the late evening we found a camping site east of Sofia, the only one for 50 km in any direction. Well the guy at the reception was quite surprised when he saw us. It was hard to tell if that was because of the bikes or because there hadn’t been any guests in the past decades… that’s what the place looked like. We got a key for the toilet, which turned out to be a complete apartment, a completely rotten apartment. There were black armchairs, which used to be red, mold in the corners and a huge slug with a tiger strip-like pattern on the back sliding across the bath room. I guess toilet wasn’t the wrong term, after all. As sundowner or “Feierabendbierche” we had a croatian pivo (beer).

Bulgarien camping
camp site                                                                                                                         the toilet

After a refreshing night in the tents we decided to not do another > 500 km trip to reach Istanbul. Instead we drove to Alexandropolis, a little town at the greek mediterranean coast. Mostly the condition of the bulgarian highway wasn’t that good, what made the speed limit of 140 km/h kind of pointless, at least if you didn’t want to stress test your suspensions. After a stress less border crossing and numberless construction sites on the greek highway we reached the gorgeous camping site which was only 50 m to the sea. After a quick swim we had calamari and sufklaki with an ice cold verina (greek beer). Then we went back to the beach to finish the day of with a bottle of bulgarian beer and a pipe, under a sky full of stars and even some shooting stars…

Alexandropolis camping
cut my toe on a rock… first use of the band aid

The next day we started unhurried at 11 o clock to reach our first major destination Istanbul. After 40 km driving along the coast, we arrived at the border and passed it without any hassle. We just needed to show the passports, the registration documents of the bikes and a valid insurance a few times. No need of a carnet so far.

welcome to istanbul
Welcome to Turkey

We sticked to the country road instead of taking the highway to see a bit more of the landscape and to skip the highway toll 😉 The closer we got to Istanbul the more cars were on the street. We wanted to spend the night at a camp site in Sultanahmet, the old and touristic center of Istanbul. This “otopark” had been recommended to us by a couple from cologne we met in Bulgaria on the parking lot of “Kaufland” supermarket. But when we got there, the traffic was already sticky, the guy wouldn’t let us in. We asked why and after a while it seemed that the park was booked out… probably.

closed camp site istanbul
“closed” otopark at Sultanahmet                                   there were nice things to 😀

So after a short rest we went on to the house of my grandparents on the asian site of Istanbul. I knew that there is always a lot of traffic in Istanbul, but since we had only to go 15 km what should go wrong. After three hours with nearly 40°C air temperature and 80°C coming from the engine we arrived like the last man standing. Since we consider safety first we were still wearing our full motorbike gear and helmet, this plus the constant pulling of the clutch with the left hand was a proper torture. The traffic to the bridge had been literally like lava, steaming hot and edging its way forward. In the meantime the sun had set when we crossed the bridge going dribbdebosporus. The traffic here is “slightly” different to Germany, but you get along quite well once your grown into it. But don’t get me wrong, with the heavy loaded bikes it still feels like being an elephant in a bee hive.

Arriving Istanbul
some guy selling water on the highway                      Istanbul trafic by night                                                   (both pics were taken by the afri pi)

We were warmly welcomed by Tante Suzy with hugs and a nice turkish dinner. Restored we went for a walk looking for a turkish beer. Unfortunately they don’t sell alcohol after 22 o’clock, which made Topher almost feel like being at home in Freiburg. So we had some Uludaǧ and Çamlıca lemonade, “schmeckt auch gut” (tastes good too).

Ein Gedanke zu „Dribbdebosporus“

  1. Jungs, sehr geiler Blog, ihr spurt sozusagen für uns vor.
    Wir fahren Ende September los, gleiche Route wie ihr, nur dass wir die Fähre nehmen wollen.
    Sie fährt übrigens alle zwei Tage zwischen Iskenderun und Port Said. Würde mich aber trotzdem interessieren wie dann das mit Luftfracht klappt. Evt. brauchen wir ja auch einen Backup plan.
    Viel Spass und safe rides.
    grüsse Team Findingrichard.com

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