After an overnight ferry from Athens to the far flung Greek isle of Chivos, it was on to a far smaller craft (room for 1 car & 4 bikes only) for the last hour’s run to the Turkish port of Ceres. For the first time we had hassles getting our motorcycle insurance permits which cost us a few hours – the only reason being we struggled to find anyone to issue them and Customs wouldn’t release the bikes without them. Then on to Izmir and more interestingly the nearby Roman city of Ephesus, established on the site of a Neolithic city of around 10,000BCE. The library of Celsus is a must if you’re in the area.
It was pre-election when we arrived so much excitement about the prospect that Erdogen’s power is about to be clipped – especially here in the West. That hope proved to be false and as we worked our way east and into more predominantly Muslim communities the mood changed from gloom to exhilaration. Turkey really is a divided society between the secular and the religious. It does straddle two worlds.
One thing that’s impressing us already is the huge spend on infrastructure that’s apparent – roads especially but also housing and industrial developments. That alone would have played a big role in Erdogen’s base support – it is so different to when we motorcycled here last, 13 years ago when his regime had just begun.
Anyway from Ibiza (big city that one) we headed southeast to Pamukkale with its white terraces and the Roman spa city if Hieroplis, before striking out for Turkey’s acclaimed Mediterranean coast at Kaz and out to Anatalya. The praise is deserved, this coastline is fun to ride.