Bandirma – end of the road


We rode from Biga to Bandirma today and that marks the end of our ride! Tomorrow morning we take a ferry across the Marmara direct to Istanbul – no traffic worries. We’re both quite happy to have a rest from the bikes for a few days now. We probably spoke/blogged too soon yesterday as Rosalie scored a puncture today within 20 kms of the end of our ride!

Rosalie fixes her one and only puncture

As we left Biga we had a quick conversation with the Highway Patrol. It started with one of them calling through the car window, ‘Welcome to Turkey’ and concluded with us agreeing to the proposition, ‘This is day very good’.

In prospect, the last couple of days seemed a bit of a chore – just ride down the 100 miles to Bandirma – but, in fact they were pleasant days (except for the head wind yesterday). The wind abated and swung around today so we had easy cycling. We had sunny skies, orchards, rice fields and then views of the Marmara. The last 10 kms through the outskirts of Bandirma matched the ragged outskirts of most cities.

We found our way to the city centre (sehir merkezi), had some refreshments at a small cafe and then checked into the Sahil Otel (hotel) two doors down – not too flashy but a wonderful view of the harbour from our sixth floor room.

After lunch we picked up the tickets that we’d bought online a few days ago. We weren’t sure how easy that would be – a similar task was a bit of a rigmarole with the SNCF in France. We swiped the credit card we’d used for the purchase and while we were waiting for the first menu screen to appear out popped both tickets, all details correct. Three ukuleles!

Aperitifs came early today and then we went looking for a beach (or somewhere to swim). In truth, there was some dissention in the ranks as to whether the venture had any prospect of success but, in keeping with the local traditions we embarked on an odyssey to seek the golden fleece (er, silver sands)… The expedition was in vain but I’m sure morale will recover in time. Half-hearted attempts to find a local hamam, distracted by aforementioned attempts to find a beach, have been similarly unsuccessful. It looks like we’ll need to wait for Istanbul for that treat.

Bandirma habour

Bandirma has nice pedestrian areas including much of the waterfront. The ferry queue seems reasonable well-managed and placed out of the main commercial area. Other parts of the town are quite difficult for walking unless you have more faith in Allah than we do.

There is an extensive street market.

We’re off to find some dinner – hopefully some for the plentiful seafood that has been on sale along the seafront all day.

Sardines on sale in Bandirma

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