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Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Next we walked across the square to the Hagia Sofia, which is now a museum.

    “The Church of the Holy Wisdom, known as Hagia Sophia or Aya Sofya, is a former Byzantine church and former Ottoman mosque. It is universally acknowledged as one of the great buildings of the world.”

    “Unfortunately nothing remains of the original Hagia Sophia, which was built on this site in the fourth century by Constantine the Great who was the first Christian emperor and the founder of the city of Constantinople. The Hagia Sophia was one of several great churches he built throughout his empire.

    Following the destruction of Constantine's church, a second was built by his son Constantius and the emperor Theodosius the Great. This second church was burned down during the Nika riots of 532, though fragments of it have been excavated and can be seen today.

    Hagia Sophia was rebuilt in her present form between 532 and 537 under the personal supervision of Emperor Justinian I. It is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture, rich with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings. After completion, Justinian is said to have exclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!"
    For over 900 years the Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople. In 1204 the cathedral was ruthlessly attacked, desecrated and plundered by the Crusaders, who also ousted the Patriarch of Constantinople and replaced him with a Latin bishop. This event cemented the division of the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches that had begun with the Great Schism of 1054. It also means that most of Hagia Sophia's riches can be seen today not in Istanbul, but in the St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.

    Despite this violent setback, Hagia Sophia remained a functioning church until May 29, 1453, when Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror entered triumphantly into the city of Constantinople. He was amazed at the beauty of the Hagia Sophia and immediately converted it into his imperial mosque.”

    [​IMG]Turkey-14 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-17 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-18 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-19 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-20 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-21 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    [​IMG]Turkey-23 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-53 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-51 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-50 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-52 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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  3. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

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    Awesome! Have some of that warm Turkish flat bread for me. Oh, that stuff is sooo good!
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  4. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    Speed limits for motorcycles in Turkey (you'll be stopped if you're doing more than 10km/h over the limit):
    80km/h on the open road,
    90km/h on split lane roads (dual carriageway),
    100km/h on motorways.
    http://www.kgm.gov.tr/Sayfalar/KGM/SiteTr/Trafik/HizSinirlari.aspx

    Edit: I see you're already through Turkey...

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  5. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    YES especially with some honey!!
  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Thanks for the tip! Yes I's a bit behind. We have been pushing hard and not much down time. We had no issues with police at all. Just some document checks near to Trabzon. We did see a German stopped and getting a ticket, but hard to believe since they post a Radar ahead sign on the side of the road a km before the gun!
  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    The bridge between Europe and Asia that we will cross tomorrow!!!

    [​IMG]Turkey-39 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Then we wandered up and down the steep hills to Taksim square, bought some fancy Turkish delight, had coffee with some a very nice family from Saudi and then grabbed the tram back to the hotel.

    [​IMG]Turkey-40 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-61 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_0586 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-60 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-41 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-42 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-43 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  9. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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  10. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    We set off early today for the 464 km ride to Ankara. We started on the main E 80 toll road, but then headed to the D140, which basically cut cross country south east. The ride is up and down several passes. It’s Wednesday today and we want to get there by Thursday so we have 2 weekdays to get the Turkmenistan visa sorted.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 19.46.32 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 19.40.12 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Squeezing out of the parking!

    [​IMG]Turkey by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Back on the toll for a while. The alarm does go off when you exit, but no one seemed to care.

    [​IMG]Turkey Ankara-8 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    We had a surprisingly painless exit from the city with only one 15 minute section with bumper to bumper cars. Again the locals are pretty aggressive with speed, passing, and cutting over many lanes and between the bikes. This is such a cosmopolitan city!


    [​IMG]Turkey Sivas-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  12. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

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    Are you going to see Cappadocia? Also be wary of drinking too much Raki. That stuff can be dangerous!
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  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Unfortunately we had to cut the 4 days of the trip detouring there out from our plan. With the Iran election we were put behind schedule by a week. We had to wait to see if and when they would start issuing visas again. Since we needed to get the Turkmenistan visas in Ankara (must be prearranged pick up spot) we did not want to be hanging out there and instead spent the time in Bulgaria. There are many cool things to see in Turkey and that will be another trip. It is easy to get there, whereas Iran is not so priorities were changed. Yes Raki can be deadly! Sara
  14. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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  15. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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  16. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    At the top of one of the passes we stopped for lunch. The owner did not speak English, but immediately called his cousin who did and Abdullah spent the next hour translating for us and making us feel very welcome. We had a great lunch and then bought some fresh cherries from their farm.

    [​IMG]Turkey Ankara-9 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey Ankara-10 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-66 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-68 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-67 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-69 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey Sivas-8 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey Sivas-9 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We thought it was going to be a long day and we had planned to stop in Beyparasi or Ayas, but we all felt pretty good and decided to press onto the city. Better to fight the traffic now then before our appointment at 945 am. We had looked on line and hotels here are very expensive. In the end we picked one that was 10 km from the embassy, had underground parking, and ok rooms. It was still relatively expensive. The only problem was there were no restaurants within 3 km, but luckily the gas station next door had a cafe and they made us some pretty good cheese grill and burgers with fries.
  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Today we are all feeling a bit stressed. We have read and heard so many things about how difficult and unfriendly the Turkmenistan people are and that the rejection rate for transit visas is 50%. We decided to take a cab, which was a good idea with the very bad traffic and the stress level. The driver was using Daniel’s GPS for turn by turn directions. Arriving there we found a much cheaper and very ok looking hotel directly across the street from the embassy! We buzzed the embassy gate at 930 and we were met by a friendly guy who asked Visas? and directed us to an office in the back of the building. Here there is a small window and 2 men at desks with stacks of passports. He later said they get 150 visa requests a day here!!! We said we wanted to arrange visas. He asked if we had Iran visas and if not we would have to come back when we did to apply for Turkmenistan….AGH!!! Orvar has his Iran visa so they said they would do his. Then we said that we had Uzbekistan, Russia, and China visas, but they were still not convinced. It was not until Orvar handed over his copy of the LOI that they changed there mind. We four are all on the same LOI….”yes you can get a transit visa, but you must fill out a different form than the one you have filled out from on line and “printed doubled sided and never folded”. OK done! Next you walk down the hill 400 m to the Turkish bank, pay your 55$ USD for urgent processing (regular 3-5 days is 35$ not sure who does this) and bring back your receipt. Voila in 15 minutes you have your visas!

    [​IMG]Turkey-70 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  18. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    The taxi back was much quicker as there was almost no traffic now. We packed up and were on the road by 1230. But first we had to bring the bikes up to the front of the hotel for a photo op for the bellman.

    [​IMG]IMG_2688 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    The gang decided to press on today and try to make up a day and get to Sivas in 486 km. There is no way around the direct route on the 4 lane D200/E88. Boring but effective for making miles.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 23.19.46 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We stopped for lunch about 2 and again received a warm welcome and a very nice lunch. No-one spoke English, but one spoke German and so does Orvar. I was invited to the kitchen to make sure that we wanted the Chicken kebabs they wanted to cook for us. They also requested an picture with us. We stopped about every hour and at the gas stop the owner came our with 4 hot cups of tea for us (never happening in Canada).

    [​IMG]Turkey-4 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    We arrived to Sivas, which is a fairly big place of 300,000. There are lots of small hotels, but few with parking. We had decided on one, but then spotted another down the road. Daniel went to check it out. The man at the deck said “I don't speak English, but I will help you”. Done deal. They moved a car from the front door so we could park the 4 bikes where he could keep and eye on them. We went for a walk to the main street to find a local place to eat and we did manage to get a good grilled meat meal with some pointing and “salad”.

    [​IMG]Turkey-6 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey-7 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    We all had the 430 am wake up call, but managed to get back to sleep. Today the forecast is for rain, but starting out it was sunny. For the 466 km ride to Trabzon over the mountains.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 20.59.47 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey Trabzon by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We went east and had to stop to put warmer clothes on as it was 9 degrees. After about 75 km on the E88 to Zara we then headed northeast thru the national park over the mountain pass on the D865.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 21.00.25 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 21.00.02 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    The road surface was fairly rough. We had to get the rain suits on because of looming black clouds, but with a few stops well timed we missed the worst of it.

    [​IMG]Turkey Trabzon-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Turkey Trabzon-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    marior97, SmilinJoe and SavannahCapt like this.
  20. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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