Cycling in a crowded metropole is never a joy. So how to avoid that in the case of 14 million people Istanbul?
By taking a Bosporus-ferry 90 minutes north to a little village called Anadoulu Kavagi, then ride just a short distance to a little town on the Black Sea coast. Nice plan, and it worked. But not completely as expected. The way out of the valley from the village may very well be the steepest we ever encountered. A couple of kilometers pushing and sweating. And once riding and climbing we were sent back for a detour of 13 k as the road we wanted to take was not possible. It's the stoicus in ourselves that makes us cope with these circumstances, an attitude learned during our trips over the years.
The region is very hilly, consequently the roads are very undulating and every day there's an awful lot of climbing to be done. The scenery is beautiful, the people are kind and helpful. Free sightseeing tour in an expensive car, bargains in hotels, a policeman asking our age, blowing horns and waving and shouted “Merhaba (Hello)” from passing cars, an extra boiled egg offered to take with us, drinks paid for by regulars, a free pastry handed over to us by a street vendor, etc.
In the mean time, 3 days after Istanbul, we have reached Agva Merkez, a small beach resort with enough little terraces for us to quietly end the day.
Opposite our room.