We made it to Asia!

Success – We made it to Istanbul!

London to Istanbul was our original plan for a bicycle adventure before we decided to add on another continent – so for us it’s a long awaited milestone.

All of a sudden, Europe feels a very small place. The first day when we pedalled away from the lighthouse at Cape Wrath seems a long time ago, but it doesn’t feel like we’ve had to pedal all that much to make it here. Moving between countries by bike means you experience changes gradually, rather than the slap in the face you feel when you walk off an airplane into a new place – humid, hot, noisy, a language you don’t understand, strange smells, feral cats…. Instead we’ve felt a seamless shift moving between places and culture.

Arriving in Istanbul wasn’t the grand welcome that we had first envisaged. Instead of cycling into the centre to be greeted by the Blue Mosque, we hauled our bikes onto the metrobus and held on for dear life as we were swept across the city to an insignificant out of town station. We’d done a lot of research before and during the trip about the best way to cycle into Istanbul, all of which described it as a death trap. Hearing a round-the-world cyclist say that cycling into Istanbul was the worst part of his four year tour was enough to make us decide that taking a bus for the last 30km was a much better option than the four-lane motorway.

With the European stage of our cycle complete it’s time to put the bikes away for a couple of weeks and welcome some friendly faces over to join us – we couldn’t be more excited.

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