Day 9: The Silk Roads

Trip Start Mar 23, 2013
Trip End Apr 24, 2013

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Buruciye Otel

Flag of Turkey  ,
Sunday, March 31, 2013

Roads of Turkey were the most underrated of the list of things to see when I was making plans. Turkey had the famous and infamous roads throughout history. As an Eurasian country, connecting Europe and Asia, its roads have been used for thousands of years to trade most notably silk and opium. The Silk road passed through here and so did the Opium long before the Chinese learnt to cultivate it. Ever since we crossed over from Bulgaria to Turkey, roads here are one of the best I've seen in the world. The average speed we've been driving across the country is 140 Kilometres per hour (90 miles an hour) throughout on the motorway. Even its national highways match the motorway's speed limit. People here have truly built & maintained the Twenty-First Century Silk Roads. We're euphoric. 

Driving here, you forget the congestion of Central London. The frustration of waiting in the never ending motorway queue for 'road-works' looks like thing of the past. Or even when they are clear, to stay in the 'speed-limit' unless you're prepared to get points on your licence with penalty. And oh yes! don't even think about asking someone else to take your point for you, not even your spouse. Ask Chris Huhne (British cabinet minster who's now in jail). Here you forget the terrible horns & madness experienced in the ever grid-locked roads of Kathmandu or Delhi. As for the highways,there is no such thing as 'bandhs' (closure) in Turkey. It's a driver's paradise!  

And please don't think that its just us crazy tourists, driving in a foreign land at this speed. The cars people drive here in their roads makes autobahns in Germany thing of the past. We didn't see most part of motorway with any speed limit! And more importantly, we haven't seen a single accident, road works or road closure on the road. Turkish motorways and highways are answer to all those speed limit money making schemes in the name of safety. (Please don't bore me with statistics!) Its not the speed but reckless driving that causes accident. Anyhow, for now, we're both enjoying the changing landscapes as we drive through the heart of of this beautiful county. 

There's so much we've admired about Turkey.People here we've met are friendly & very polite. We don't speak Turkish, so on our way we've managed to get on by making all kinds of imitating sound and created our own sign language which has so far been successful. However in cities like Istanbul & Ankara we managed by speaking English. As we drive further down the country, people look at Raj's turban curiously and ask where we're from. For most of the people, they know India as Hindustan. As for Nepal, they assume its either one of the Arabic country or somewhere in North Africa! Raj tells me the way people look at him is maybe they've never seen a Sikh in their life! 

We love the food. The variety of dry fruits makes Tesco's variety poor. The Turkish Chai (tea) in curious little glass cups is refreshing. The variety of food available to eat will make you never to want to go back to a fast food joint. The atmosphere is relaxed. People play in bistros. Outside the shops you see many playing Tables (board game similar to backgammon). The shops and eateries are open till late. You feel safe everywhere you go. The list goes on....

We love it so much, we've decided to stay one more day in Turkey! We've booked ourselves a hotel in Idgir near Armenia and Iran border to see Mount Ararat. It is Turkey's highest mountain at 5137 meters. According to the book of Genesis, it is here Noah's arc came to rest. People ever since have been trying to find its existence. Maybe we'll be lucky ? :)

Will write more later.

For Solar Aid, today is the first day that we didn't receive a single donation Maybe because it's Easter Holiday in England? What about from Nepal or anywhere else where there's no holidays? C'mon guys, its for a good cause. Do help whatever you can & spread the word.



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Anjali on

The pictures are really beautiful bhinaju!!

Anjali on

Now I am back to the Office so you will be seeing lots of my comments :D

Mera Naam Joker on

The pictures are very nice. I cannot help but comment on the one where the car is overloaded. I was thinking about the night before you left. Had i not stopped you packing those additional T-shirts, you would have had to put your suitcases on top of your vehicle.....hahhahha

akadhikari on

ARB: Your comments are killer! It would have been more fun if you could have joined. But then again, with 'no-one' disturbing you a day before you travel, you'd probably sleep half the way :)

manish on

nice pics....
Had we gone with ARB da's advise about the clothing for the trip, we would have hardly seen any pics... sando vest ;)

akadhikari on

Munu, glad you're back. And yes if we'd listened to Aaram's advise, I'd be in sando vest ! haha. How was Dubai? Post some pictures.

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