26 October 2012 – Time is flying, even if you are not working anymore. We now have a lot of sympathies for retired people who never have time.
We’ve been six days in Bulgaria and on Thursday we crossed the Turkish border. A very odd feeling because the border isn’t as any border we’ve seen before. It is on top of a hill – yes, we had to climb for about 9km and reached the Bulgarian border police after 1.5 hours cycling.
There was again no traffic at all and while we were expecting truck and car queues there was just nothing. The Bulgarians seem to be a bit smarter concerning their roads – even though the road is marked orange on our map, which is the second best category, it is as bad as a white road with huge pot-holes and attempts to repair the road, which also means that downhill rides go almost as slow as the uphill climbs. BUT there is still a toll to be paid, which means, no truck driver is using this road unless he has to go to one of the villages on the way. But most likely this is just another lonely road with close to the Black Sea.
After Johan got his visa and stamp and I only the stamp (Germans don’t need a visa) we were crossing the border…
…and suddenly cycled on a brand-new three to four lane highway with a shoulder that is between one and two meters wide, which really feels like cycling on a Turkish carpet, so smoothly it rides. I am sure a cyclist planned this road. This is cycling heaven and continued until our first Turkish destination Kirklareli.
There was hardly any traffic which made us really happy since we had a few tough traffic days behind us. We still didn’t get far, riding was as heavy as the day before: up and down and up and down, countless times with up to 10% climbs and a speed between 5 and 6 km/h. We reached Kirklareli at around 3pm and decided to stay to join in the islamic festivities Eid al-Adha. We still had a few days left to get into Istanbul, there was no need to hurry.