TURKEY – SYRIA – JORDAN – EGYPT
For this summer we decided to go east, on a trip much different from the others… We started from Turkey, then we continued in the Middle East through Syria and Jordan and finally we ended in Sina’s peninsula of Egypt. The distance we travelled was 11530km. For 44 days we were travelling trough desert and steppe and through places with extremely rich greenery. We met great civilizations and cultures much different than ours. We had the chance to meet friendly people who treated us like they knew us for years!
In the following story we will try to give you a taste of what we saw and felt and at the same time we will tell you useful traveling information. We hope this story will be a motive to visit those countries.
We left Athens travelling for North-East Greece (Feres) on Saturday the 19th of July. We chose to enter in Turkey (Hudut) by road using the custom borders of Kypi and not by sea (Athens Pireus - Chios - Cesme - Ismir) for one main reason since Ploumisti’s cousin Nikos is living in Feres which, is only 15km from the borders with Turkey.
Around 10 o’ clock in the evening, after travelling for approximately 875km, we reached Feres. The main square of this small city of north was surprisingly full of people and mosquitoes! So we put on, some insect-killing lotion and head to a tavern where we tasted grill meat. The night passed by chatting happily as we were waiting impatiently the next day. Our trip was about to begin!
Hudut – Canakkale – Truva (Troy) – Sarim Sakli (Ayvalik)
The borders were around 20 km away from Feres. Following the Egnatia Road and the signs for Turkey, we arrived at the borders of Kypi, around 12:00am. At the Greek borders the paper control was so typical. We passed the river Evros which is the natural border between the two countries. At the Turkish borders we found some traffic, however we manage to finish in one hour. The papers required to enter in the Turkey were the passport, green card and the license of the bike (in case that someone was not the owner of the bike he should had translated order from the owner). Visa is not needed.
Knowing how expensive is the fuel in Turkey (around 1,90-2€/litter), we refuelled just before we cross the borders. At the time that we travelled the parity €/YTL was 1€-> 1,73 to1,84 YTL. It is not a standard price and usually depends from the international affairs. When we returned we found out that it is better to use a VISA for all your needs because it is usually cheaper. The driving license, that we had bought 45€, we finally don’t know if it was necessary, as sometimes they didn’t even asked for it. Personally the next time that I will visit those countries, I will not take the specific driving license with me…
Going into Turkey the view was not the best ever. The road pass through small mountains. At Kesan (40km) we turned right to Canakkale (128km) through the road that leads to Gallipoli. The road goes through places were you have a view of Ellispontos, known from the historical story of Frixos and Elli.
At kilitbahir we used the ferry (8YTL/bike) to cross to Canakkale. The travel last less than 15-20 minutes. We were riding through the road to Izmir and after 20km we took the road for Truva (Troy) which, was 5km away.
At Turkey the signs which warn of interesting views are brown. The national road signs are blue and the highway green. Following the small road we arrived at the ancient place of Troy. The entrance price is 10YTL/person and the entrance for the bikes is free using the parking. From our visit I found out that if you want to understand the place you have to know the history of the ancient town. The town is build in deferent time places and is difficult to understand the architectonic.. The final sense that you take is a big place with rocks around. The very few remaining rocks give you an idea of how the place probably was. The only thing that makes you feel that you are in Troy is a very big wooden horse made by a Turkish artist.
Leaving Troy the road passes through trees that makes you feel cool in the middle of the warm day. The view had many common things with Greece. After Ayvacik the trip became more interesting despite the fact that the road was narrow and we had to be very careful. The view in many places was perfect. The traffic was quite heavy.
We arrived at Kucukkuyu, a place at sea that was full of life. At first we thought to spend the night there, but we continued. While driving the night was falling and the traffic made our ride difficult. We decided to spend the night at Ayvalik. This known tourist place didn’t impress me and except of the very beautiful port, it didn’t have anything else to see. We asked for a room in many places and but that prices were high. So we decided to stay at a camping on Sarim Sakli (just after Ayvalik), which was full of trees and had a view at the sea. We paid 20 YTL/tent and another 20YTL for food that didn’t worth it. We enjoyed our first night in Turkey watching the stars at the sky…