*** Get all the detail of our trip at: BTF STORIFY: HOPA TO HOPE ***
Blog Post: Sile & Istanbul
Friday, July 18, 2004 was our 13 th day of our Black Sea Trip in Turkiye. After breakfast at a local Pastahane we departed on our bikes towards Sile. The rolling hills and luscious greenery of the area (Kandira) was reminiscent of the European countryside. We saw several attractive boutique hotels near Agva. We cycled at a good speed and arrived in the small village of Imrenli at the Black Sea coast about 1.00 pm The lunch was superb and consisted of meze dishes and hamsi. Thereafter we spent an hour at the adjacent beach for rest prior to departing. The afternoon ride was challenging with repetitive climbs. Upon arriving in Sile we were greeted by the school staff at Isik Universitesi and shown to our dorm accommodations. After a wonderful buffet dinner at the teachers cafeteria we explored downtown Sile and bought some souvenirs and small gifts
Saturday morning, July 19 was the last segment of our Black Sea cycling tour. We woke up early (for a change) and ate breakfast at the student cafeteria prior to our departure at 8.10 am from Sile. The early part of the route was uphill. Once we arrived in the outskirts of Istanbul the traffic became heavy and rain started to pour. In fact there were several thunderstorms noted. In spite of our police escort the local traffic was chaotic. In one of the incoming ramps that an officer was posted, a vehicle escaped through the que and came to a sudden stop in front of our bicycle convoy. Nihat could not stop with his brakes and rammed the back of the vehicle with his hand. The injury was minimal and did not require any medical care. Once we crossed the Bosphorus via the ferry at Harem, we were treated to sunny weather for several hours. In Sirkeci we were joined by several local cyclists as we made our way to the city hall of Bakirkoy. At the main square we were greeted by several members of the city counsel and had a short ceremony with exchange of plaques and interviews. In the afternoon we settled in our hotel in Sultanahmet and later had a farewell dinner with Murat, Banu and her friend in Kumkapi. Cemal and Nihat stayed with their families in Istanbul with plans to attend a radio interview on Sunday. Bulent and Timur are returning to U.S.A. early in the morning. We extend our sincerest gratitude to all those who have assisted us in making our journey very successful. Sevgiler….