Here are my notes from my time in Turkey! They’re a bit varied but hopefully cover some of what I learnt while there.
Met a fellow Thorn owner, Richard, at the border with Greece (which I hopped through briefly to avoid a busier border crossing) and we hung out a bit in Erdine. First time seeing a fellow Thorn owner out and about that I can think of.
I got my first host to translate an introduction letter for me from English to Turkish as it’s one of the first countries I’ve visited
After crossing the Danube into Bulgaria, I made my way through town. It was nearly time for the sun to go down so I took the small road instead of the main road with the idea it’d be easier to wild camp on the side of it. My GPS took me down a rather small road and through the poorest part of town, where the Roma lived. At the entrance to the area one guy warned me ‘no go. gypsies!’ I thanked him and kept going. 200 metres later, another guy just said ‘scheisse’ and
After leaving Ukraine it was into Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. The roads were as potholey as you’d expected and went up and down for seemingly no reason at all which combined with the headwind and cooler weather finally catching me on my push south made for a very tiring time. My first day I decided to avoid the main road and followed the border, which meant there wasn’t much traffic but even less by the way of people or things to buy in the shops. I was doing quite badly
As when I entered the EU from Belarus, the border into Ukraine was closed to bicycles. From Belarus, this had meant having to wait overnight and taking a train one stop the next day, but it was much easier entering Ukraine. Within 2 minutes of standing at the checkpoint, having been told I couldn’t ride the next kilometre, someone offered to put my bike into their vehicle. Crossing the border, I mainly noticed just how cheap things were. Due to the conflict with Russia, the Ukrainian hryvnia
The border back into the EU between Poland and Belarus wasn’t crossable by bike, without heading on a 100km detour, but thankfully the train wasn’t too much of a hassle. I took some boring photos on the way over and must have been spotted doing so as the police specifically asked for my camera and made me delete those pictures when I crossed the border.
I was back in the EU, and definitely saw more signs of wealth than had generally been visible in Belarus, but the bus stops were not an example.