Posts Tagged ‘Erdine’


My head is spinning. This evening was crazy. ‘Don’t turn around’, whispered James as we left the car and walked up the steps of the hotel. Behind us they removed the freshly slaughtered lamb from the boot. What a man’s night out it was.

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In the quest for a cheap hotel in Lüleburgaz, we were introduced to ‘the Boss’ – a middle-aged man in a smart suit, who arranged a room for us in the teacher’s accommodation. And then he invited us for a drive to a country village to see friends.

After 45 minute tobacco-rich drive through the dark Turkish countryside, passing villages with vicious dogs the size of bears, we pulled in to a small farm, and stepped out of the car. We shook hands with the farmer, and then watched as he went into the shed in front of the car where a sheep was lying, struggling, its legs tied together. We were not there 30 seconds and the throat was slit, blood gushed out, and the head was severed, to be inspected by a little dog, its tail wagging furiously. The sheep spasmed for about a minute after the slaughter, at which point we were ushered back into the car and drove on.

The next stop was a tea-house in the little village. We were brought in from the dark and introduced to everyone – all middle-aged or old men. The words Australia and New Zealand were used, causing some comments and laughter. We took a seat at one of the tables near the wooden stove in the middle of the brightly lit room. People stared at us, chatted, and watched the football playing on the television behind us as they drank one glass of tea after the next, and smoked one cigarette after the next. ‘Where are the women?’ ‘At home. Only men come here.’

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I asked for the toilet, and was brought outside by the sheep slaughterer. In the dark, away from the lights of the central intersection of the village, I made out a little wooden shed, much like an Australian ‘dunny’ (toilet). My friend indicated to piss in the grass next to the shed.

Time to move on, and we were ushered back into the car. Next stop was a little ‘holiday house’ where a group of men were sitting out on the verandah barbecuing fish. We were introduced to them all by the Boss, before they returned to their conversation in Turkish. There was a lot of laughter and cheer. The points of entertainment were us, or ‘men’ jokes. It was a really friendly bunch. A lot of delicious fish was cooked for us, and the salad, bread and nuts were pushed in our direction. A lot of Facebook photos were taken before returning to the car where we returned to the town.

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We were taken to the best dessert place in town, where people were moved by the dessert café owner, so we could take a seat. The dessert was superb. James pointed out that I am lucky that my pancreas is working..

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The evening ended with a stroll through the town. Everyone greeted the Boss, and shook our hands, the guys from Australia and New Zealand. Back at the hotel, where the car was parked – ‘I’ll see you tomorrow morning at breakfast.’ The Boss waited and watched as we turned and returned to the hotel. ‘Don’t turn back,’ whispered James. I knew what there was to see, and snuck a peek, even through I may have turned into a pillar of salt. The plastic bags with hooves sticking into the air were rushed inside.

Well. That trumped our day’s cycling down a freeway-like road for 76km in the undulating misty landscape, rising 50m and dropping 50m, and rising 50m again. It was a big road, but not busy, no mad drivers, and a big strip for slow vehicles (us).

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We leave the main road tomorrow as we approach Istanbul. Who knows what crazy things this country will bring us tomorrow. I’m enjoying every minute of it!


What a day of experiences! Not much cycling, but a lot of excitement and lumps in throats crossing the border into Turkey (at least a lump in my throat). It feels kind of like a coming-of-age as a world cycler. We have left the ‘west’ and are in TURKEY, having cycled here from our European homes – Holland for me and England for James!

Entering into Turkey

Entering into Turkey

But first into Greece. Our passports were thoroughly checked. I was asked where the stamp from Blato was from. I couldn’t remember. James started to say Macedon…, saw the border guard’s ashen face, and then bit is tongue. FYROM – The Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. We got our passports back.

Entering Greece

Entering Greece

More long, straight, flat roads in Greece

More long, straight, flat roads in Greece

I may be entering the realm of world cyclers, but, I still scream like a baby receiving a turkish massage. James and I went to the local hamman for a thorough clean and massage. Lying on the marble podium, I stared up at the domed ceiling with the patterns of stars and hexagons letting the light in from outside. There were drips of water which reverberated across the dome. I was called first for the massage. Man it hurt, but if felt good afterwards. I screamed, and also giggled. The masseur also snickered – in a fun way. I felt wonderfully clean and relaxed. James didn’t utter a whimper.

After the hamman

After the hamman

Our kind warm-showers host owns a bike shop, and it is a hive of activity in the shop, and the neighbouring restaurant. People passed by constantly and welcomed us to Turkey. We also met a Croatian couple that have just cycled from China. Lots of stories to hear. Not many to tell – yet. It feels like a different world we are entering, and I am very excited.

The mosque at Edirne

The mosque at Edirne

At our warm showers host in Edirne

At our warm showers host in Edirne

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