Home > Bulgaria > Goodbye Turkey, Hello Bulgaria

Goodbye Turkey, Hello Bulgaria

I left Istanbul with a heavy heart. I really wish I will be able to go back one day, as I didn’t get to fully explore the city as we had limited time. The journey has to go on so we pedalled towards Edirne, the last town in Turkey. The first 15 km was mostly flat ground, but there were massive hills that we had to climb after that, some even stretching for 1-2 km. The hills in Bangsar and Bukit Gasing, where I trained, were nothing, compared to these killer hills and to make it worse we were sharing the road ( no shoulder) with buses and lorries,  that were just a few inches away from grazing our bikes. But there were  also some nice downhills once we got to the top. There was a nice downhill section where we could enjoy the beauty of the coastline. That was the upside, even though we couldn’t fully enjoy the view of the coast, as we were cycling on the right side of the road. We were a bit slow in our cycling due to all the hill- climbing, that we only got to Silivri.  As it was  getting dark  we decided to stop at a petrol pump to inquire if there was a budget hotel that we could put up for the night.  As there were none, we then asked the staff for permission if we could spend the night at the petrol pump, instead. They, then, ushered us into a small cabin which had 2 chairs, a small TV and a portable heater. We then spent the night there. We were very grateful to the staff that we had a place to spend the night, without freezing to death :p even if we had to spend the night sleeping on chairs.

Cycling out of Istanbul

Ottoman period bridge, somewhere before Silivri


View of the coast but too bad we were on far right of the road 😦

This is the petrol pump at Silivri, where we spent the night.

Our bikes spent the night in the garage

Fast food outlet in Silivri

We reached Edirne without much problems except for the usual headwinds and rolling hills. Most of the landscape after Istanbul were farmlands, with very few crops, as it is still winter. I can imagine how pleasant it would really be to cycle in Turkey during late spring and summer. While Edirne isn’t a big town, it was the capital of the Ottoman Empire before they shifted to Istanbul. There are a few mosques such as the Selimiye Mosque (Unesco world heritage site) and the ‘Old Mosque’ which are even older than the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. The mosques built during the Ottoman Empire are really magnificent works of architecture. It really makes one  wonder how they managed to build such beautiful structures.

Edirne shopping street (city centre)

Selimiye Mosque

Old Mosque

After Edirne, we cycled towards the Kapikule border of Turkey/Bulgaria and once we were done with immigration & customs, we cycled towards the border town of Svilengrad. It is a very small town with a lot of hotels with casinos. I guess a lot of people from Turkey cross over to Svilengrad to gamble. We didn’t go out much as there were gypsies around the town giving us strange looking stares, some would even come up to ask for cigarettes or money. Gypsies are also known for robbing people of their valuables.



A Polish tourist on the way to Istanbul stopped us to take a picture


The next day we proceeded towards Stara Zagora, but after battling massive headwinds and crosswinds which slowed us down a lot, we decided to detour to Haskovo. After that it started to rain, where we were once again slowed down as we had to stop until the rain subsided. It was a tiring day and to top it off, it started to snow a few kilometres  from Haskovo. Well,that is why I signed up for this trip in the first place, to experience the adventures and challenges of bicycle-touring 😀

On the way to Haskovo. Check out the long climb, we climbed from the town behind us, and it started to rain after we reached the top 😦

Categories: Bulgaria
  1. March 17, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Akhirnya… sampai juga di benua Eropah…Bersemangat bila kami membaca kisah pengembaraan saudara bersama ayahanda Cikgu Adnan.. Semoga selamat sampai ke London dan pulang ke Tanahair dengan jayanya. Anda berdua inspirasi sebuah keluarga kembara basikal.

    Selamat berjaya.. dari kamisanasini (Suami Isteri kembara basikal)

    • March 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      Thank you for following my journey. Great blog you guys have 🙂

  2. Merpati
    March 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Anda mempunyai kekuatan yg dieri oleh Allah dan semangat yg luar biasa berbanding dgn orang muda, syabas dan saya doakan anda selamat di dalam perjalanan yg makin hampir ke penghujungnya.

    • March 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      Terima kasih for the kata2 semangat

  3. k.ann
    March 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Beautiful pics & deep insights. U guys r way lucky. Send our salam to your papa… take care & may Allah be with you throughout your journey

    • March 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you very much Kak Ann bila nak join ni? 🙂

  4. k.ann
    April 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    me ? join? i thought u said i had thunder thighs??? Boleh patah basikal u karang!! heheheh!!! u je lah buat for me!! how much further do u have to do anyway? Read your apak’s blog on Romania… what’s it like now? I was there exactly 20 years ago… it was drab then but the people were the most beautiful people i had ever encountered. Kalah Italians/ Greeks/ etc/etc..!!! It wasn’t just the boys in my class who were drooling.. we all girls pun tercelepok tengok they all lawa sangat!!!

    Okayla… enuff of melaluting. U guys take care! BTW… u dah kurus ke?

    • April 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      Thunder thighs powerful kan? :p still got about 2000+km before we reach London. Romania is now like just like the rest of Europe kot people are fashionable… just the buildings look a little outdated la…but they do complain that they are a bit outdated than other countries……the girls memang lawa la kat sini, memang bole fight with the Italians 😀 I have lost some weight kot hehehe cause asyik makan tuna/bread/maggi/pasta je!

      Take care & kirim salam to the boys & Abang Shukry.

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