Our first border crossing outside the EU
Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
109Trip End Dec 15, 2011
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Where I stayed
Left hotel early after breakfast, and drove off. Uneventful day really.
We paused to buy petrol at a shop, which sold an amazing array of all sorts of goods. Cant imagine what volumes they actually sell, but they had everything on offer. Getting back on the motorway was awkward (we had to follow the old road to the next junction), but we did manage it. About 1/3 of off ramps have a return to get back onto the motorway, about 2/3 dont. What you are supposed to do is anyone's guess.
Stopped off on the coast in a Greek town/village, and went to buy lunch. Obviously the cafe owner spoke no English so we were starting to try our international sign language, when the lady next to us said that she did speak English
Proceeded to the Turkish border. Getting through the Greek side (exit) was simple. However, there was army presence on the bridge between the borders. And when we got to the Turkish side, it was terriible. Queues, awkward, whatever. Needed Turkish insurance for the car, so we were directed into the local shopping centre. There thee problems got worse, because they didnt have a Morris on their computer screen, and nothing dated prior to 1960. So how to insure a 1938 car? Eventually he gave us a certificate for a 1960 Morgan. Back to the customs post and after more queueing, we were allowed to set off.. The guy on the boom, sent us back as we didnt have a 3rd stamp on the passport. Back to the customs guys and following a statement that we had nothing to declare, he scribbled a signature on the stamp, back to the boom, and we were off. Only took about an hour and a half. Nice to know that the authorities who are supposed to check that all the paperwork is in order didnt spot that the insurance didnt tie up at all.
So off we drove into Turkey. The roads are terrible, 2 lanes each way, but sometimes patched and sometimes not
So now we are rested after dinner, and although there is a business centre here, there isnt wifi in the room, so this will have to be posted when we manage. probably tomorrow morning, while Martin is cleaning the carburettors!
Mileage 316 Max speed 61.1 av speed 37.9
I suppose the reality is beginning to click in.Whilst the car may be a novelty to the natives its an irritation to a button-clicker who cannot locate it on his system and a problem caused by the owner when its the job of the officials to cause the problems.Anyway we got through after I realised the bloke just had to find a way out so why not make it a 1960 car? - simple.I had exhausted Bentley and Bugatti and Morgan seemed as good as any.
Also when I went to cashier number 2 please he asked me my father's first name.I gave it as John and it was explained to me by an English Turk nearby that every body in T has 4 names so I needed another.
Oh and Turkey - at least they don't have to spend a fortune on waste collection,its bound to blow into Greece at some point in the future.Genuinely the poorest country I have experienced.
And we got stopped by the Polis,of which there are many.Turned out I had forgotten to put on headlights.Got off with a warning when they realised Roger was the Prince Michael of Kent.Must have been passed by 3 or 4 sets of Polis escorts flying down motorway escorting some dignitary or other.
Beginning to worry a bit about isolation - been 6 hours since we heard another English voice and we've got 7 weeks to go!
Greece has many English speakers but Turkey none.
Or to storm a redoubt you had but to shout
For Abdullah Bul Bul Ameer
We're a bit crackered now but tomorrow its Istanbul - to stop or go?