Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Crossing a Continent

Slavonski Brod, Croatia to Ankara, Turkey (c.1,800 Km)

Today we rolled on into Asia, marking the completion of the European leg of our journey. Having whipped across the Balkans, we even managed to give the Beast a day off in view of the Bosphorous and give ourselves up to the delights of Istanbul.  

The biggest change on this leg, has been that we’ve started camping...

Key traveller tip: it is too cold to camp in Europe in November unless you're feeling tough!

Nevertheless, we need the practise and the motel bills were stacking up, so we’ve rolled out the long johns.

Our first night under canvas was oddly in the garden of an Englishman who has settled in southern Bulgaria (it was a campsite, we didn’t just invite ourselves) There, we braved the roof tent for the first time, with mixed success. It’s really very comfortable, but very much built for African climes, and a shivering night ensued.

Our procession through slightly odd camp sites continues: staying in the car park of a football club by the sea front in Istanbul was pretty unusual (they played football for more hours that we were awake, so there was always someone watching the car!) and now we find ourselves parked out the back of the Turkish answer to Center Parks.

After gifting ourselves a day off, today was a slog behind the wheel (especially given only James is insured here), so we’ll keep observations on the countries we visited brief
  • Serbians have an unquenchable thirst to see pictures of Novak Djockovic
  • Serbia is rather how we imagine the 1970s - a bit dull, full of terrible food and smelling of fags
  • Sofia has cafes and bars cooler than we should ever be allowed in to
  • Istanbul is a great place to spend money

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