Cycling Turquey, Antalya cost.

Cycling Turkey : Central Anatolia

After more than 7,000 km traveled since this beginning of our bicycle trip, we reached the great city of Antalya, a pleasant and dynamic city, lined with long beaches and home to several archaeological sites.

Turkey cycling, Düden waterfall. Cycling Turquey, Düden waterfall.
The Düden waterfall (8 km east of Antalya).
Turkey by bike, the Aspendos Roman Theater. Cycling Turquey, Aspendos theater.
The Aspendos Roman Theater (45 km east of Antalya).

Leaving Antalya, the coast has hundreds of huge resorts that stretch for miles. On the beach in the evening, in Çolaklı, between the huge hotels, we made our own camp.

After the Mediterranean coastline, we headed to the region of Central Anatolia in the heart of the country, a more conservative and more religious region. We crossed the Taurus mounts, which forms the southeastern border of the Anatolian plateau.

Cycling Turkey, Yas on the road to the Taurus Mountains. Cycling Turquey, Yas on the road of the Taurus mountains.
The climb is steep, the slopes are steep and the heat is intense.
Turkey by bike, camping in the mountains behind a mosque. Cycling Turquey, bivouac in the mountains behind a mosque.
1st day, Yas at the end of strength no longer managed to climb the mountain. We put the tent at the side of the road behind a mosque on flat ground.
Turkey by bike, in the mountains. Cycling Turquey, in the mountains.
The Taurus Mounts

We came across many tourist mini-buses, most of them Germans, who come to visit the Altınbeşik Caves. We climbed at more than 1500m altitude. We managed to end this difficult climb after two days.

Turkey by bike, 1510 meters above sea level. Cycling Turquey, at an altitude of 1510 meters.
Finally at the summit, at 1510m altitude!
Turkey by bike, in the mountains. Cycling Turquey, in the mountains.
Mountains !

Behind the mountains, a vast plateau extends in all the center of the country: the road which awaits us on several hundreds of kilometers thus announces flat and without too much relief, we did the hardest part. While traveling through the mountainous roads and vast meadows of Anatolia, we are enveloped in a dazzling landscape that extends from both sides to the snowy peaks that dominate the plain.

Turkey by bike, on the road to Derebuçak. Cycling Turquey, on the road in Derebuçak.
Village of Derebuçak.

In Konya, the most conservative of Turkish cities, in the heart of the country, we visited the mausoleum of Mevlana, Turkey’s second most visited site. A mausoleum is a sumptuous funerary monument of very large dimensions.

Turkey by bike, Konya. Cycling Turquey, Konya.
Entrance to the Mevlana Museum.
Turkey by bike, Konya, Mevlana. Cycling Turquey, Konya, Mevlana.
Mevlana Museum (in the background on the left)

Here, in his tomb, rests Djalal al-Din Rumi nicknamed Mevlana (which means the “guide”, the “sanctified” or “our master”). Rumi was a mystic poet and a saint of Sufism (a mystical tendency of Sunni Islam). He is the father of the whirling dervishes, a brotherhood of 13th century Sufi Muslims, who turned on their own in an hypnotic dance to achieve trance. They are today a symbol of tourism in Turkey.

Turkey cycling, tea with the young car park in Konya. Cycling Turquey, tea with the young guy working in the parking in Konya.
The guy from the parking next to the museum kept our bikes and invited us to drink tea.

For our first night in Konya, we camped in a large park 5 km from the city. This Sunday morning, from 9:30, there were already groups and families who were preparing barbecues despite the weather a bit rainy (turkish people are very fond of outdoor barbecue). There were even newlyweds with their photographer. We then went to town where a young cyclist wanted to take a picture with us.

Turkey by bike, Konya city center. Cycling Turquey, Konya city center.
Konya, city center.

The other two nights, we were welcomed by Mucahit, a young research assistant at the university, with a huge generosity and hospitality. We had a great time with him.

Turkey by bike, at Etliekmek's restaurant with Mucahit in Selçuklu. Cycling Turquey, Etliekmek restaurant with Mucahit in Selcuklu.
Mucahit invited us for diner in a restaurant of “Etli Ekmek”, specialty of Konya city, “kind of Turkish pizza”. On the photo in the center of the table, a Künefe (dessert made of melted cheese between two layers of angel hair that Arthur loves).

We went back in seal, direction the city of Aksaray. We had to take the highway, straight, flat and monotonous. The drivers gave us little blows of horn, sign of encouragement. At the end of the day, we asked villagers to put our tent behind their house in the village of Esmekaya. They accepted willingly. We were once again invited to have tea and dinner in their home. A few minutes later, other members of the family and of the neighborhood were invited to come and see us. The communication was quite difficult, but with a little “Google Translation” we managed to communicate.

Cycling Turkey, at the village of Eşmekaya. Cycling Turquey, in Eşmekaya village in locals home.
The hospitality and permanent generosity of the people in Turkey is an inspiring lesson of sharing.
Cycling Turkey, at a family's home in Eşmekaya village. Cycling Turquey, at a family's home in Eşmekaya village.
Mehmet’s family!
Cycling Turkey, at a family home in Eşmekaya village, Arthur and Samet. Cycling Turquey, at a family home in Eşmekaya village, Arthur and Samet.
Arthur and his new friend Samet!

On Wednesday, April 11, we arrived in Aksaray, a city without much interest, but thanks to Önder and his friends, who insisted on inviting us to dinner and showing us around the city, we had a great evening.

Cycling Turkey, party in Aksaray with Önder and his friends. Cycling Turquey, evening in Aksaray with Önder and his friends.
Aksaray team!

Next step, Cappadocia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *