Day 1. Athens to Ankara
Left Piraeus at 7:00 pm to Chios. Got there at 4 in the morning after a spaghetti a la boat and a 4 hour wavy sleep we got to Chios with nothing to do till 7:45 am. Had a coffee at the port’s coffee shop got some mastiha and after some passport and paper checking we boarded the luxurious huge and stable little dingy that would take us across to Tsezme Turkey, our port of entry. The waves were huge and good thing that the car was strapped securely on the boat because we would have been unloaded in the middle of the channel. The 45 min ride became an 80 min ride and at 10 o’clock we stepped foot on Asian soil.
Customs took about 20 min to clear and another 10 to wash all the salt off the car. By 10:30 a.m. we had a full tank and our first leg of 700 km to Ankara had started. About 9 degrees Celsius and a sun that sometimes would show through the clouds but very very windy. So driving we did. At 13:00 we stopped for an hour for lunch and another coffee. (I’m with Vangelis so I have coffees now).
The road was very good all the way. Not too much traffic but also trucks on the road so we knew that there was no ice lurking somewhere. As we were getting inland the temperature was dropping and the altimeter was rising. The coldest was -2 at 1.350 meters from sea level. Ankara is at 1.000 with 0 degrees and drizzling. We saw our first snow about 350 km inland and a bit later we got our first speeding ticket. Vangelis was driving at 120 at an 80 km zone. They didn’t know what to do with us, they seemed like nice guys but the police car before them had a picture of us and the speed marked on it so they had to give us a ticket with many apologies. We were lucky I guess because usually they make you pay on the spot because other wise they know that they won’t collect.
After this small interruption we continued east and by then a little north. The terrain on either side of the road was covered with snow. Some of the valleys would stretch as far as the eye could see and other times there were mountain tops hidden in the clouds. A bit later it started snowing too. It was really nice because it wouldn’t stick on the tarmac and it made it nice to drive through it. We made a gas and coffee stop and around 19:00 we were entering Ankara.
I thought I was in an American city. 30 floor buildings and huge main boulevards. We didn’t wonder off to explore so this is what we’ve seen so far. It was dark and rainy anyway. We almost got a little lost but we realized it soon enough and backed our way a little. We made an illegal left and got pulled over again by an angry cop. For 10 minutes he didn’t know how to tell us what we did wrong so he let us go.
Found a hotel with parking got in and found out that there is internet connection wi fi in the hotel rooms.
I don’t think I’ll get that lucky in the future. This is why this entry is so big and will have some pictures too. Don’t get spoiled by this and have big expectations for the rest of the trip.
We are going out for dinner now and we should start early in the morning. We want to do 900 km tomorrow. We will see how it goes because of the snowing and the raining. And I don’t think that the road as we go further east will be as nice and looked after as this stretch.
See ya all and sorry this entry is in English only. (but so will be the rest too)