We arrived in Türkiye end of October. The moment we arrived was very emotional for us, as making it to Türkiye was our goal for 2021. When we crossed the border and couldn´t believe we really had done it – cycling all the way from Germany to Türkiye. As this is our first long distance bike tour, we were not really sure if we would make it – if we can cross all those mountains in order to get there. But we did and we were very proud.
And another thing happened right after we crossed the border. Maybe because we felt emotionally overwhelmed, maybe we got adventurous along the road or maybe we just learned that making spontaneous decisions will lead to the greatest experiences. Instead of proceeding forward to Istanbul, which was our initial plan (and from there fly to a warm refuge for the winter), we decided to take a right turn and go south to see more of Türkiye.
The first days were a bit annoying as we had to deal with heavy traffic, only big roads, and a lot of wind. Actually, the wind brought rain and forced us to stop for a few days, not even a week after we entered the country. The rain passed by, but the wind stayed all the way until Izmir. We were lucky as all the way from Gallipoli to Izmir we had great Warmshowers and Couchsurfing hosts. And right after we left Izmir, the sun came back, and temperatures went up again – even the wind stopped (for some time). Blessed like that we cycled all the way south until we reached Marmaris region and from there proceeded to Antalya, where we stayed two months to volunteer in an education centre.
All along the way there were amazing landscapes, impressive historical sites, and great wild camping opportunities. Wherever we cycled, people greeted us, invited us for tea or even for BBQ´s. The roads here in Türkiye are amazing to cycle so we were not surprised, to meet quite a few fellow cyclists.
Stopping for our workaway came with along with a lot of emotions again, because we knew we wouldn’t be on the bikes every day for some time. But the place we found for our first (non-German) workaway could not have been any greater. The centre is located 8km outside Antalya in a small village – surrounded by an orange orchard, filled with the laughter of kids and the sounds of roaming farm-animals, and dominated by the unbelievable hospitality of its owner.
Staying in Antalya for quite a bit of time provided us with another opportunity – building up a cooperation with Akdeniz University. We were able to talk about our project and meet a lot of motivated Students who invited us to join some events of their Student Sport clubs.
Leaving Antalya next week will be another very emotional event for us. But we wont leave Türkiye for good. We got hocked-up with this country and want to see more of it. So, we decided to fly out of the country (as our Visa runs out) for some time and come back in spring to continue our “Tour de Türkiye” – from Antalya to the Iranian border.