Yes, we were naughty. Despite clear Internet information which border crossing we had to use with pets, we decided on a shortcut. Who wants to drive 200 km extra? And it went smooth again. Laika was sweet and cute (we’re thinking about training her to do it on command) and so the border guards only ended up with “Only one dog?” And the way was clear for a new country. Following the recommendation of our new friends to avoid Istanbul as a self-driver, we headed south for the ferry at Canakkale to get across the Bosphorus. Our first night on Turkish soil was unfortunately interrupted early (10 pm), because we had chosen a place to sleep near a historic site of the First World War, in which camping was probably not allowed. Fortunately, the two police officers were very friendly and recommended alternatives along the road. So we just retooled Ernst ready to drive again and off to another place (in pajamas).
There we were noticed the next morning negative again, because it probably concealed a military facility behind the nearby grove, and in the vicinity of such photographs, especially by drone, were prohibited. Unfortunately, there are no maps where the military installations are listed, so it is always a small gamble to bring the flying eye in the air. But these policemen were pleasantly friendly and understanding. To be honest, that did not fit our expectations of Turkey at all. We reckoned with rough people who would show a fundamentally defensive attitude, but everywhere we were greeted by friendliness. Was that not the real Turkey? Was that only because we were traveling in tourist areas? We will see. On the ferry we met Uwe and his wife. The German CTO of a wind energy company gave us a lot of recommendations regarding sights and offered us help on the phone, in case we needed a translation … How much we would need in the future, we could not even imagine. For our little woof, there was nothing better on the crossing than to watch the seagulls sail around and thinking about plucking each feather one by one … but she left it at the thought of it.
The further way to Antalya was lined with ancient places, which we did not really expect here. Partly it was more like what we expected from Greece. With places like Troy and Ephesos, there were even absolute highlights on our route. So beautifully restored and explained in detail, it was easy to imagine wandering the marble floors of the splendid colonnades at that time. You see, this is not just about pure pleasure, but also culture is very important.
Small towns such as Selcuk with its market, which extended over the entire town center, were not safe from us either. Slowly we lost our timidity and started to go shopping on the local markets. It may sound ridiculous, but to farewell the usual, domestic and above all anonymous supermarkets is harder than expected. The last attraction on the road before Antalya was Pamukkale. The ancient city of Hierapolis is built on a small mountain, which produces a calcarous thermal spring and has thus produced all over white sinter terraces on its south side. A natural spectacle, which has also been recognized by UNESCO. It is only barefootly allowed to climb the mountain, which was due to the early hour (we wanted to avoid the Chinese tourist hordes), first, a very cold and second, sometimes very sharp-edged painful pleasure. After all, Laika was allowed with us. We did not expect that much tolerance, but the street dogs did not stop in front of these places, so why lock out a dog on a leash?
With plenty of impressions in the luggage, we rolled on. And again and again this clacking noise from the rear axle … but that won’t be bad … will it?