Through endless Turkey

After passing the greek boarder it went on slowly. There was only one lane which had to be sheared with the trucks. But we had time and later we passed the Turkish boarder easily.Then we drove further in direction of Izmir, we didn't pass Istanbul but took a ferry over the Dardanelles. It was afternoon and we thought we would have enough time to get the ferry. But when we turned off in the direction to the ferry, there was a 500 m long traffic jam in the middle of the town, everybody wanted to chat the ferry. After 3 hours of slow driving, we got on the ferry and it was already dark. On the other side we drove another 30 minutes and then passed the night next to the medical faculty in Ҫanakkale. We were all tired and had a very good sleep.

Warten auf die Fähre, Stau in der ganzen Stadt
Waiting for the ferry in a traffic jam through the town

The next day we drove further. The road was in an excellent condition and on the way we saw how they were building the missing parts with new tunnels and a new two lane road.
We stopped in Küҫükkuyu, where they had a huge market in the whole village and bought fresh fruit and vegetables. Afterwards we drove another hour and found a nice place a few metres away from the coast in between olive trees and empty holiday houses.

Obwohl ich kein Migros-Kind bin, eingekauft haben wir öfters in den M-Märkten
Although I am not a Migros-child, we often went to shop in them

The next day we took again the road to Izmir. As we read in our guidebook, that we have passed Troja without stopping, we decided to have a stop in Bergama. There are plenty of ruins from the Egyptians (2 b.c.) and some Greek buildings, which have been abandoned after the first world war. Thanks to Ali, an elder, local man, we had a guid through the centre and even learned something about the history.

Eine der eindrücklichen Ruinen, welche wieder restauriert wird
One of the impressive ruins, which get restored
Beim Kaffee Trinken mit Ali, unserem Guide
Drinking coffee with our guide, Ali

Then again back to the road to Izmir and in Aliağa, we just stopped next to the sea, for having a fast lunch. The same time, captain Charly docked on the pier with his boat and invited us for a coffee on the boat.

Charly der Kapitän mit seinem Bootskollege
Charly the captain with his working mate

But afterwards we had to hurry up a bit, as we wanted to arrive on the farm before it got dark. We passed the huge city of Izmir and then Urla and with the last daylight we arrived on Emine's farm. The next weeks we spent together with Emine and her lovely parents. They own a farm, where they mainly produce Extra Vergine Olive oil, 200 t of tangerine (the amount of this year), artichokes and more.
After 3 ½ weeks and the start of heavy winter rainfalls, we left the farm and spent one night at Ali and Nyedme's house (friends of Emine) with good food, interesting chats and cutting glasses. The following they we started to our trip towards east, shortly after Izmir we stopped at a spa centre. As they asked us to proof, that we are married, we didn't take a bath but went to bed early. The next day we made more kilometres and drove to Afyon, where we got new cooling liquid for our truck at the Mercedes Benz service station. 5 mechanicals, the boss of the garage and his boss were working on it, everybody was happy – we too.

Es gibt frische Kühlerflüssigkeit für Emma - ist auch nötig bei den Temperaturen
Fresh cooling liquid for Emma – it is useful with the temperatures during the night

The following day we started early in the morning to Karakaya, where there was a good climbing spot waiting for us.

Karakaya, ein Paradies zum Sport- und Trad-Klettern
Karakaya, a paradise for sport- and trad- climbing

We had our first cold night and the next day we started, as the temperature was -4 degrees. We found some nice spots in the sun and as long as the wind was not blowing, it was comfortable. In the evening we went back into our truck, enjoying the warmth. After a few hours we heard a car and already thought, it might be the Jandarma, as it was written in our guidebook, that you have to call them, if you want to sleep there. As our Turkish is not that good, we didn't do it. But three young Turks came out of the car and started putting up their tent at 22 pm. We offered them our help, but in the end just cooked them some coffee, which they took with happiness, at it was very cold. And in the next morning surprise, everything was covered with a layer of 10 cm of fresh snow.

So sah es früh am Morgen aus
That is how it was looking early in the morning

At around 10 am, suddenly 20 people arrived, which were member of a student club and started putting up their tents in the snow. Our three new friends went climbing as well. Incredible! And we just went walking around the rocks in the snow, where we met some bird hunters and gazed at two huge gold mining areas and just enjoyed the fresh snow.

Das Klettergebiet von "hinten" frisch eingeschneit
The climbing aria from “behind” covered in fresh snow

In the afternoon we cooked spaghetti with pesto and all sorts of spices on a gas cooker together with our friends, but after one hour it was too cold so they went back in their tent and we in our truck.

Zusammen mit unseren Nachbarn am Nudeln kochen
Cooking noodles together with our neighbors

The next day we decided spontaneously to look again for the sun and started to our trip to Kappadokia. Through endless hilly landscape we drove to the east and after two days we arrived at midday in Uchisar. Impressed by the rooms built in the rock, we explored the old village and even went on the top of the hill to the castle, where we had an amazing view. Unfortunately, the sun just came out when we were walking down, but for the next days the weather was predicted to be sunny.

Ausblick auf Uchisar, im Vordergrund Nazar Amulette
View to Uchisar, in front Nazar Amulets

Above Göreme we found a nice spot with an amazing view over the whole region. We spent three nights there and then we checked again the weather and decided to drive through the mountains to Trabzon, before the snow was coming.
So we kept on driving through the Turkish high planes, which are constantly on around 1100 – 1400 m, passing huge cities and the impressive, snowed in landscape.

Hochebene auf der Durchfahrt
High plateau of Anatolia
Es gab auch Pässe zum überfahren, hier um 15:00 Minus 15 Grad
We had to drive over passes, here on 2190 m at 15:00, temperature – 15 degrees
Und einige Höhenmeter unterhalb des Passes dieses Dorf, frisch eingeschneit
And a few meters below the pass a small village
Einer der Übernachtungsplätze, direkt bei einem Brunnen und neben einer kleinen Dorfstrasse. Beim Losfahren...
One of our sleeping places, directly next to a fountain and a small road, The next day, when we started…
... war es dann richtig kalt!!!!
… it was veeeery cold!!!!

After three days of driving we arrived on the coast of the black sea, grey, rainy weather welcomed us in Trabzon. We spent one day hanging around in our truck and just enjoyed relaxing. Then we drove towards Georgia. We slept another night in Hopa and drove early the other day to the boarder.
We are happy having passed Turkey without any problems, we never got checked by the police, although we saw many checkpoints. And now we are looking forward to Georgia!!

Kurz vor Ende der Türkei machten wir dann den 300 000er voll
Shortly before coming to Trabzon we passed 300’000 km
Und dann gibt es die Türkischen Brunnen. Entlang der Strassen findet man die alle paar Kilometer. Ein Brauch in der Türkei, welche nach dem Tod von Personen als Andenken und als Spende für die Öffentlichkeit gilt.
And there are the Turkish fountains. They are next to the roads and get build if somebody dies as a remember and as a gift for the people.

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