June 25, 2009 GMT
Turkey

I'm very behind the times so time for a little retrospective!

We're starting in Turkey and amazing Istanbul! I'd recommend a visit, when you're not used to it the call to prayer here is spine tingling, another world from the west. Our hostel (as they mostly are) was located in the old city not far from some of the most famous sights. Here is the compulsory photo of the Blue Mosque!
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We visited the Grand Bazzar, which is, well, pretty Grand and full of all kinds of touristy stuff that you can haggle over and buy to take home. If you're not on a motorbike that is, I'm not sure that adding a carpet to our already heavy bikes would improve their performance much!
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There is lots going on in the streets of Istanbul, everybody seems to be making a living by selling something. You couldn't possibly go hungry here as there are food vendors everywhere and the air is filled with the smell. Some people of course have a better range of goods to sell than others, this guy (and he wasn't alone) had the most difficult pitch of all. Pay to weigh yourself on a pair of bathroom scales anyone?
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I actually prefered the spice bazzar to the Grand, it was a lot more atmospheric and less tourist oriented. I bought some Turkish delight there but it failed to win me over. Again the sights and sounds are a treat for the senses.
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After visiting the tombs of various greats, the biggest being Suleyman the Magnificent! After all that though Mr Smurf's legs were tired so he took some R&R on a rooftop terrace overlooking the Bosphorus.
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We left Istanbul and headed for the north coast which took several days to work our way along. Unfortunately we encountered the first really unwelcome interruption of the trip. This is the very anti speeding (cash collecting?!) Turkish Polis filling in my speeding ticket. 90 in a 70 sir, that'll cost you!
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First view of the Black Sea is worth is though!
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The locals were pleased to see us in northern Turkey as well. This lad didn't speak any English but explained he wanted a photo next to the bike on his mobile phone. When I suggested he got on he looked well chuffed!
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Lunch one day at a roadside cafe, this bloke was very good value and the Kofte was fantastic.
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They work hard in the countryside in these parts. You've got to carry all that and heard your cows at the same time.
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We started doing a spot of wild camping, there isn't much choice really, but it means you need to go off-road!
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Posted by David Newman at June 25, 2009 03:20 PM GMT
 


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