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Old 08-18-2011, 10:42 AM   #1
nkms OP
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Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Patras, Greece
Oddometer: 52
Weekend ride in Istanbul

Weekend ride in Istanbul

Looking for parking in the busy streets of big cities is not my favorite, however there are specific cities with historical and cultural background that make an exception. Istanbul is one of them. The capital of two empires, old as a city can be, brewing all the civilization and cultures that passed threw thousand of years make for a very special city.

The route (different colors for different days)

I decided to make a trip there at the last minute, on an otherwise very boring weekend. My gf was going to her folks so I drop her off on Ionian shores to take the ferry to a small island in the Ionian sea and I move north to Egnatia Odos.

Ionian Sea

Ionian Sea

The road that connects the port city of Igoumenitsa on the west of Greece until the east border with Turkey. The road follows parts of the ancient Via Egnatia built by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. Since I started late in the day the night finds me in the city of Kavala where I stop for the night.


Kavala view from the hotel room

The next day I start early and by noon I'm in Istanbul.

Istiklar street

Taksim square


Sea of Marmara

Cami under fullmoon

Local market at night

Local shop

Tram station



Around Taksim square


Cami in the local market


Around the local market

(to be continued...)
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:43 AM   #2
nkms OP
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Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Patras, Greece
Oddometer: 52
Weekend ride in Istanbul

Well, this was a weekend ride just for a small taste of the city, it will be continued some other time :)

Since I have 1100km to return home I need to get going. I pass the border at evening where the border officials seem a little bit bored, it took 2min and I crossed the Evros river again and back to Greece. Some 100's km of boring motorway again.

Egnatia Odos

My head was buzzing with wind noise from the motorway so I said to make a small (hmm, I thought) detour and see the Meteora.

The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, "suspended rocks", "suspended in the air") is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The nearest town is Kalambaka. The Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List under criteria[2] I, II, IV, V and VII.





Now I had two options, make a detour and drive in the highway going towards Athens and then turn to Patras or go straight through the mountains of Akarnania & Bardousia. Hmmm, the 2nd? Well the gps said I could reach home before sunset so why not.

Along the way I come across this monument of a pilot (26yo) who lost his life from a close by village.




Further south and the road are more empty, not many villages or towns in this region but the scenery is beautiful passing through forests and mountains.

Empty road

Now, if no-one is to be found in the road it might make you think twice going further, but, since this area it's not much populated and it's summer, most of the people would be on some beach and not up in the mountains so I don't think much of it and move along.. until, well, I came across a landslide which has closed a pass... hmm, maybe that's why no-one on this road?

Must have been a sign somewhere (or maybe not) but I did not notice anything, so, I'm really in the middle of nowhere on a closed road and I notice that I have enough fuel to reach the next town after the landslide but NOT enough to turn back! :-/

I open up the maps and I notice that I am pretty close to the winter ski resort of Karpenisi and a forest road going up in a different direction, so I follow it and I arrive in the (pretty empty) ski resort.

Empty ski resort

Empty ski resort

After that I go down to the town of Karpenisi with the OBC indicating I have only 5km left of fuel. :)

Further south the road gets interesting.

Under a rock

And at sunset I arrive in the biggest lake of Greece, Trichonida (100sq km).

Empty road

Rest of the way was without drama :)


nkms screwed with this post 08-25-2011 at 04:21 AM
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:58 AM   #3
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: HALIFAX, NS
Oddometer: 41
very nice
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:30 AM   #4
Joined: May 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA
Oddometer: 3,294
Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride. Hot as a pistol but cool inside.
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:46 PM   #5
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Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Beautiful ride. I would be really scared about the 5km of fuel remaining, haha.
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