Day 78. 63km. Iznik – Bilecik

Posted: March 19, 2015 in Cycling, Turkey
Tags: , , ,

Balloon carrying clowns, camping out at the ‘carpet area’, professional photo opportunities, being fed to explosion, and a night out at the theatre watching 100 years since the Çanakkale victory. A fantastic roller coaster ride of Turkish hospitality. Love it!

With one of our hosts Emir in Bilecik

With one of our hosts Emir in Bilecik

It was one of those nights. Lying on our mats in the hall at the local football field (‘carpet area’), James and I looked at each other, our mouths open. We didn’t know where it was all going. We knew it would be good, being led by our amazing hosts in the town of Bilecik.

The carpet area bedroom

The carpet area bedroom

Zooming down from our first ascent to 600m into the town of Yenisehir, we were greeted by a clown, on the side of the dusty road plied by cement trucks, holding a bunch of colourful balloons.
‘Dur! Dur!’ (Stop! Stop!)
I stopped, and the clown took a selfie with both of us.
Then I did too.
Why was he there, I hear you ask..
I don’t know.

Welcoming clown in Yenisehir

Welcoming clown in Yenisehir

Zooming down from our second ascent, this time from 700m into the town of Bilecik, we were greeted by 2 young men in fluorescent yellow safety vests next to bikes, the Turkish flag fluttering above the bikes in the breeze.

Me and our hosts Emir and Hakan

Me and our hosts Emir and Hakan

‘Hello friends. I am Hakan, and this is Emir. Welcome to Bilecik. First we eat, then we show you the town, and then we go to the carpet area.’
We had been in touch with Hakan through warm showers.
The food was delicious and copious – perfect for hungry cyclists.

Dinner in Bilecik

Dinner in Bilecik

We were shown the gardens of the town hall where we were photographed by a photographer – for the local newspaper perhaps? The Bilecik Facebook page? No idea..

At the town hall in Bilecik

At the town hall in Bilecik

After setting up camp at the carpet area, our other Warm Showers contact Fikret, asked if we want to go to the theatre that night. Why not? Off we went, wearing our best evening wear. We were introduced to everyone at the theatre. ‘Welcome to Bilecik, my friend!’

Theatre in Bilecik

Theatre in Bilecik

Tonight was a performance on 100 years of Çanakkale – a terrible battle at Gallipoli – equally horrific for our Turkish hosts and the ANZACS as we were called (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – which James and I were representing). Here 250,000 Turks, Australians, New Zealanders, French and British died in a blood bath for access to the thin straights of water connecting the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. I saw the battle fields first had last year by bike.

Çanakkale theatre production

Çanakkale theatre production

Perched at the back of the theatre looking down, we saw the play – video combination of fighting at Çanakkale. At the break James was thrust a phone into his hand. It was a journalist.
‘What do you think about the Çanakkale victory?’
A lot of young people were killed in a horrible war. Here is the newspaper article.

What a day – and night. Not speaking Turkish, one can only go with the flow, knowing that whatever happens, with our lovely hosts, it will all be good.

Comments
  1. Pat Gaudry says:

    Hi Matthew
    Great to hear that you have recommenced your great adventure. Be sure to celebrate your birthday in true Turkish style.
    Many happy returns for March 21. May this be a birthday to remember.
    Pat Gaudry

  2. dvanderzwaan says:

    wauw wat een indrukken weer! mooi hoor, en misschien wist die clown wel van jouw verjaardag…. dat zou wel heel grappig zijn. alsnog gefeliciteerd en dat je nog heel veel kilometers mag fietsen. komen de fietsbenen al weer terug de beenspieren zullen wel snel weer op krachten zijn denk ik. groetjes Trudi

    • Hi Trudi.
      Bedankt! De kracht is weer terug gekomen. Mijn posts zijn (bewust) vertraagt en ik ben nu veel verder – bijna bij de zwarte meer kust.
      Groeten naar Nederland! 🙂

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