The final section of our trans-Asian odyssey takes us across the Anatolian plateau to the Bosphorus in Istanbul. Geopolitically Istanbul has been a crossroads between Europe and Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and a center of empires since Roman times. Formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, for many centuries it was also a terminus and a starting point for the great overland Silk Road. It is with this knowledge we will cycle towards the western edge of the Asian continent while enjoying the natural diversity and beauty of Turkey.
Eastern Anatolia is the crossroads of the Armenian, Kurdish, Caucasian, Russian, and Turkish cultures. There, nature and civilizations have shifted through time, with palaces, castles, mosques, and churches dotting the rugged countryside. From the historical city of Kars, where Turkey’s troubled past can be witnessed by a trip to Ani, the nearby ruins of a great Armenian city during the Middle Ages, we will follow a set of quiet roads along a deep valley in the Kackar Mountains to one of the most relaxed towns on the route, Yusefelli, then onwards to the ancient city of Amasya. Set on a secluded section of the Yesilirmak River, Amasya boasts stunning Ottoman period houses, and grandiose Pontic era tombs carved into Mountain walls.
Our final days will be spent cycling along secondary roads in rural Turkey and across the undulating Anatolian plateau, stopping in beautiful Sanfranbolu for a rest day. As Istanbul and the minarets of Saint Sophia and the Blue Mosque draw near, a feeling of accomplishment and amazement at reaching this stunning city on the Bosphorus will be the reward to those who have covered the distance of Asia and the Silk Road by bicycle.
Far Out Factor
September 11, 2014
September 26, 2014
14 Days Riding
2 Days Resting