TURKEY - KURDISTAN
Amazing Turkey, as soon as we entered your territory, you opened your arms and the fantastic people that live on your land moved us by their hospitality.
Every hour we were discovering some part of your land. We were far to imagine the distances, neither the landscapes nor your astonishing wonders. You charmed us with your Oriental flavours and gave us warmth and love meeting your smiley population.
For about two months, we cycle over 3’000 kilometres on your ground from the endless flat land to the mountain pass, from the seaside to the grassland steppes. We still have flashes of the startling landscapes we saw.
First you surprised us with the freezing cold wind that swept your land… and our road, under a grey sky. At that time, you looked harsh and fade, moreover as we only encountered city made of large blocks and some fenced villages.
But surely, you warmed us up; in fact we had the opportunity to spend our first night in the room of a hotel, offered by the owner and a few days later Murat gave us the key of his house as he was working. But we already arrived in Istanbul and the traffic in this city is dreadful. It finally took us 5 days of 75 kilometres in its surroundings to enter a natural space.
Despite the traffic, Istanbul was a cultural marvel: the serenity of the blue Mosque, the gigantic dimensions of Aya Sophia, our meals made with our fire stove on the terrace of an hostel with in the background the lights on the minaret of Aya Sophia, the bazaar with a thousands and one treasures, the colours of your spices, the smell of your durum, the taste of your baklava and lukums, the thousands of people walking in your streets, the bridge over the Bosphore that we crossed on our bicycle, the wonderful calligraphy of the Topkapi Palace. We were just a little disappointed; maybe it was because we became anonymous tourists where relationships turn around money.
As we kept on moving, we cycled over the mountain ridges, where the trees were painted with the colours of fall. The rain and the fog gave a mystic atmosphere to the valleys and the luminosity of the colourful leaves stood out against the dark green of a couple of pin trees. We felt amazingly good in your forest, surrounded by tall trees, probably like your wolves. We sat against a tree, on some dead leaves and took the time to admire this miraculous nature that lives everyday in front of us.
You surprised us with your curvy roads, which took us in the countryside among the small villages. In each of them, we could see the mosques standing out, and hear the imam calling the prayers five times a day.
We came across plenty of olive trees as well as mandarin and orange trees. What a pleasure to eat these juicy fruits, to taste the result of the sunshine in our mouths… We are now in Asia.