The Turkey welcomes US, and how!

Anecdotes go by and look, but to him have tested: Turkish hospitality is notable regardless of the floor of the company! Students, rich, poor, devout Muslims or not really, all welcome us without worries!

First story: the roommate

We did our first shots of pedals in Turkey with our new french friends. US planes make you, both4 km away from the border with Hassan, a student Warmshower at Ipsala, and its 3 roommates. Well, it is that at this time there was... 8 in fact! It was decided to request arriving at our host if it would have a piece of garden where our friends the dudus and in tandem for the father might arise. We get very discreetly at his home (a moped of 8 to 10 young escort is formed around us... reassuring as the first contact with the Turks!) and in a joyous crowd of about 20 people in the end, Thomas tries to manage to understand Hassan we are 6 more than expected. He accepts without concern for we host all together in his living room! This group of students love to meet people, but their English is fairly limited (they are not able to do a single sentence in French). We pass the evening with several of their friends, to discuss thanks to Google translate, and sing Turkish songs to French for us, and this is their way to say"Hello" !

We welcome the next day for a day of rest, the other french resume the road.
The two road continues as it was at the end of the Greece: a succession of hills. This is a 2 time 2-way, with a beautiful bunch of emergency stop just for us; traffic is fairly quiet, except the trucks that make us fear when they gratify us with a huge stroke of Horn (they have several fog horns does it 'music'), to see their head they look just happy to cross for cyclists!
A tout juste midi, on passe devant… Burger King ! Thomas sautille sur son vélo en se souvenant du goût du dernier qu’il a mangé avec ses potes à Amsterdam. Les serveuses nous disent qu’elles ont eu hier midi une famille de cyclos français. Tiens, on a tous les mêmes idées on dirait ! 🙂
The evening in a village asked a local idea to ask the tent (thanks G' palémo: the design of the tent, it serves us often that there!). Motioned us to follow by car: he shows us a super remote non-cultivated field of the village, where we can ask a bit secluded. This is perfect!!! ... except that to reach the place to settle, one crosses the field that is... filled with slush!
Bikes dull of a good kilo of good sticky Earth, especially around the brakes...
In short, asked the tent at the front tonight, thinking be quiet. Shortly after, 2 young people arrive, "discussed" a little with the guide G' palémo, and they make us understand that they will buy what drink and what they return. They are now back with a third, who has internet on her phone: you can do the translation. Finally, a semblance of translation... The application is not hyper to the point and the sentences are often hard to understand, or even well funny. But we spend a long evening, drinking an equivalent of the basque calimucho (coca wine) and snacks (still not bad), by translating with the phone. They are all three farmers in the village. That 3rd guy is ultimately more fun, we are happy that he has joined his friends (who by the way, do not too much alcohol!).

The next day, a graaande descent brings us to Tekirdag, the big city of the region.
A little later, which we see order front panel "Istanbul - 100kms"? The dudus! That's it, it caught up! We will now roll all 6, with our 4 bikes, up to... Istanbul!

Second story: on the field of play

In the evening, we go in a village to find a place for the night. René, Dad, has a small super paper: with Google translate, he wrote in Turkish a word explaining that one seeks a square of garden, garage or other to spend the night. It simplifies many things! Stitches in time, you eventually put tents in a garden for children, with tap, tables in stone and small grocer opposite. The grand luxury! The small grocer gives us even a tray of 6 cafés and Cupcakes for children. We celebrate our reunion autour of a good beer (which are hidden under a blanket in the grocery store) and pancakes homemade stove for dessert!
The night the storm bursts, a big Thunder, a good flash and a heavy rain that we wake up both. The morning I talk with small of 3 and 5 years to find out if they were not afraid: "Ah well, there has been a storm?".
The small grocer invites us for breakfast. There's the Turkish breakfast: cheese, cucumbers, sausage, eggs, jam and Nutella. And tea, of course! CA is a breakfast ' champions!

Third story: the unoccupied apartment

That evening we galley a bit: the corner is not "safe" according to premises, night falls, we are 6... Not easy. Attempts to go to the mosque to see if they would not have a little room to spend the night. It shows the famous paper of René, a Mr bed, answers his phone, and without say us a Word, tends to Thomas the phone. At the end of the wire, the son of the man speaks English very well. He explains that they have an unoccupied apartment, and that Thomas can go and see if it will. We therefore view a super F3 apartment with electricity and hot water. It is more that one could imagine! In addition once installed, the son of the owner arrives, tells us that he must to discover a little similar to pizza "pite", Turkish specialty: we are delivering with the Pepsi, and Ayrana kind of small milk a little salty popular here. After dinner, Silver (that's his name) a friend of the family who lives in the upper floor, invites us to take tea with her whole family. A super time! A really warm family; They spoke no English but we discussed by gestures.

The next day, they offered us a royal Turkish breakfast!...
In short, two families in gold with the heart on hand. Thanks again!

Well, it took leave of this small cosy nest. A still rolling road, and traffic that intensifies, the band of emergency stop disappearing partly. We feel that it is closer to Istanbul!
We leave so great way to small countryside routes that we will arrive in Istanbul by the North, not West. It is much nicer! The spot of the evening will be in a forest. The problem is that the Turks seem to have almost nonexistent notions of ecology and they tend to throw all their waste by land. It tackles so the cleaning of the place, armed with garbage bags and gloves, before you can set up the tent. He starts to get cold in the evening: 5 ° to 6 pm! Fortunately, René has made us a good campfire! That evening, it is lying is just after eating, it did not request more!

Saturday: 5 ° throughout the day, the temperature doesn't take off. Cold, some concerns of bikes, a really hard climb: the morning is not easy for our fine team! A good restaurant with grill warm us lunch, Phew! But not easy to leave cycling in the cold then!

Fourth story: the lounge

Le soir, on reitère l’essai de la mosquée pour trouver un endroit au chaud. Après quelques temps de recherche, un monsieur vient nous voir en nous tendant ses clefs. Il ne parle pas un mot d’anglais mais a bien compris qu’on cherchait un abri pour la nuit ! On le suit à travers les rues. C’est sa femme qui a les clefs du portail, mais elle est à la mosquée alors on attend quelques minutes. Quand elle arrive, elle rentre, son mari nous dit d’attendre un peu, ferme le portail, et on entend sa femme lui passer une belle soufflante en rangeant la maison. Je suis gênée pour sa femme qui doit accueillir 8 énergumènes sans prévenir, et Thomas est gêné pour le mari qui est en train de se faire engueuler. Chacun de son côté ! 🙂

One hesitates to leave, but her husband finished not come pick us up. The time that stored all of our material, his wife is already preparing to eat. We try to show that it has what it takes, but good, not easy and it not hurt either! Finally one regales oneself of a super delicious dinner!
Them make us understand that they already ate. After dinner comes the time tea, which they share with us. The stove heats up in this small show, it feels like in a sauna!
The wife and niece (who came to help?) keep their veils, one wonders how they support the scorching heat at 1 m from the stove without batting an eyelid. Next, the two darlings of the Dudus are overwrought the heat, unable to stand in place.
With the daughter of 13 years and an English-Turkish dictionary, you arrive to share a bit. The daughter and niece are very motivated to try to share with us. We learn that the father is painter and Decorator. The niece has 19, she married the next year, wants to become a teacher of Koran, and when asked the question of what she listens to music, she replies "music? -bad, bad! "." If one has understood correctly, she is listening to religious music!

The next morning, it is barely woke up that the woman is already preparing breakfast: it is really allowed as of the Kings, is proof of the photo of the breakfast!

This Sunday, the roads become increasingly large, but there is still a bit of room on the aisle for us cycling. The arrival on Istanbul is ultimately not so difficult as that coming from the North!
Our frustration? No city Input Panel. It will overtake is posing in front of the Blue Mosque, all happy, but not realizing too all the traveled way. For us, this is a bike like any other day. It will take a few days to realize what it means to be arrived in Istanbul...

A week of bikes with other cyclists!

We spent a few days with our new french friends. It was very nice to spend time with other riders, to share our experiences, pedaling in a group while tweeting, to tell our best and our worst stories.
There is a trick for example how it felt and they also: the feeling that for you, those who follow us from their House, it is doing something extraordinary. While for us it is one day after another, travel, dating, good moments, but it sounds normal; There is too much recoil, maybe. It seems that some realize their journey once returned to France!
Which was awesome also, is that besides being riders, they are french: it was even easier! It is so nice to be able to discuss without having to think, make jokes or turns of phrases that are understood by everyone...
It was sometimes a little sport with two blond heads at night, because necessarily children, it stirs; but it was great this family atmosphere. Eliot and Mary are very brave, and not once on the bike, not them was heard bitching, say they had pissed off or what.
In short, the dudus was worshipped spend this time with you! Thank you!

Some notable stuff

  • Several times I had the impression that people would more easily to Thomas. Is it because of his beard that gives him a "Turkish look"?
  • Arriving in Turkey, thought to find an Arabic script! We were much surprised, is the latin alphabet to some cedilla closely!
  • You know who Ataturk ? Its bore is everywhere in Turkey and in particular schools. He instituted the Republic in Turkey in 1922-23 (after expelled minorities and killed those who bother, but it was a little bit forgotten!). He introduced public school, has replaced the Arabic alphabet by the current, given the right to vote to women, and many other things.
  • There are more than 3,000 "french" words in Turkish: Sprinter, Polis, forgiveness (handy),... It is also Atatürk that would have integrated them the language because he loved the France (this is what we were told)
  • The Turkish youth must also (as the Greeks) do military service. It lasts 11 months.
  • A few french singers have arrived so far: in particular Stromae and his "Papaoutai"!