21 April 2012

Sofia-Istanbul Day 7

We awoke today to sunshine.  It felt great!  As if the sun was not a great omen, the breakfast Veronika and Nikola prepared for us was amazing.  We needed to get on the road today as early as possible.  We had a long journey ahead of us, roughly 500km.
The day's start...a nice muddy Sofia road, clear skies and warmer weather
Nikola, you rock!  Thanks for everything!
Today was a day we have no navigation and no maps.  The route is very simple, just follow the signs to Svilengrad, then to Capitan Andreevo, then to the boarder.  Once crossed into Turkey, follow signs to Istanbul, then to Taksim Square.  Once at Taksim Square, buy a prepaid sim and phone Hakan. 
We were very lucky with the conditions today.  No rain and 20C weather.  There was a lot of wind, but that did not kick up until we were on the Turkish side.

We have arrived at the Bulgarian/Turkish boarder...time to move east
The boarder crossing was relatively easy.  We bought a €15 visa (good for 1 year) and then I had to buy €100 insurance since I did not have my insurance card up to date (Thanks Europeesche).  The latter made HJ have to sit waiting for me for about 40 minutes.    
We are both in Turkey!
After crossing the boarder, we had another 3 hours to get to Istanbul.  We had a deadline of 5pm to get into the city, otherwise traffic is so bad that it will take forever to get anywhere.  It was a very boring and windy ride.  Eventually, we arrived into Istanbul, phoned our friend Hakan (Bersan Trade) and his wife Gamze came to meet us.  We felt revitalized again after parking the bikes, dropping the bags and taking showers.  A nice Turkish meal, followed by a lot of drinks did the trick.
At Taksim Square, motorcycles parked in the middle of a crazy busy street, waiting to find out where to go
 The only thing missing was the tracking information from CIBT for HJ's passport.  After arriving home, a bit inebriated from the local drink, we learned that the passport was never shipped due to incompetence.  We will have to sort it out in the morning...  
Scott (red-face), HJ (happy face), Hakan (enthusiastic face)
I hope we feel ok in the morning...we should have a long ride ahead of us...


  1. I like the red-face, happy face, enthusiastic face photo. :)

  2. The journey sounds amazing so far. Good luck sorting out the passport issues. You are officially crossing into the East. Thanks for keeping the posting active. It's great to read the stories from the ride along with the photos. I'm guessing that the Internet will be sketchy from Istanbul forward.

  3. Scott, your blog is wonderful! Thanks for getting those photos and daily notes posted. What an adventure. I'm with Eric when I say I hope the passport issue is now behind you and HJ. Can't wait to read your next posting. (Your face did look a bit red. Hope the morning didn't come too soon.) Take care. xoxo