Kesan-Canakkale 121kms

So plan B is in operation….not to go directly to Istanbul, because my flight home is not till June 17th, but to go south in the direction of the Dardanelles, scene of the infamous Allied defeat in 1915, better known as Gallipoli.
In the town of Golibolu (Gallipoli) there is a small museum displaying photos, memorabilia and salvaged weaponry, but on the outside wall of the museum my attention was caught by this
…words written by Ataturk, the father of Turkey’s nation state. Then when I got to one of the Ottoman military war cemeteries
I was reminded that the Turks had declared jihad (a holy war) in the face of invasion
which meant that all Turks killed in the action, or died as a result of injury or illness, were automatically declared martyrs. The defeat of the Allies was momentous for Turkey….it provided the foundation for developing their nation state, led by the indomitable Ataturk.

En route south, I caught up with Jacques from Belgium….
Without knowing it, we had been tacking a similar course through Europe, but he was hoping to get to Jerusalem. Not via Syria, of course, but via Cyprus, where he will have to persuade a cargo ship captain to take him to Haifa. A retired lawyer and veteran of long distance walks, like me he is convinced of the value of always travelling solo.
Shortly after meeting Jacques, I stopped to chat to this goat herdsman with his dozen goats

and via unsubtle sign language, we managed five minutes of communication….but down the road I had to thread my way through cows on the road
was startled to discover a small herd grazing on a busy roundabout
and wondered what this shepherd of two tethered sheep did to keep his mind occupied all day
When you ride in excess of 100 kms every day through open countryside, you are going to stumble across many interesting situations.
But after climbing over a range of hills, and before I started 7kms of non-stop free wheeling, I caught my first sight of sea since leaving the Hook of Holland
the Aegean….which reminds me of something I read in the comically worded tourist brochure in Kesan (you know, the place that never gets any tourists?). In the same sentence it mentioned both the Mediterranean and the Agency…it took me a while to realise that it was probably a bad Google translation of ‘Aegean Sea’….!
So now, for two nights, I will stay in the bustling holiday town of Canakkale, and tomorrow I will speed the 40kms down to Troy…… luggage free!


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on June 7, 2014, in Kimbolton to Istanbul 4000kms: a crusader's route and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I have just ready your account of this journey from the start to today’s post. What a tremendous adventure, with some amazing experiences – not to mention some extremely varied weather conditions. Having just bought myself a rather large motorcycle your two wheels adventure has inspire me to explore further afield than these shores – watch this space (or my space!).

  2. Pilar Ariño

    Frank, I have been following your adventure to Turkey. I am sure you are an inspiration to so many people. Desde Zaragoza un abrazo muy fuerte y hasta pronto,

    • Gracias Pilar…..por primera vez en este viaje, oi a gente hablar en espanol, en las ruinas de Troya…..cuanto les salude en espanol, ellos se sorprendieron mucho……eran de Venezuela.
      Bueno, todo va muy bien, y gracias por el mensaje.

  3. Andrew Bethune

    I’ve missed some of your posts because I’ve been cycling towards Compostela across rural France, where wifi has been erratic to say the least. I’m at my cousin’s near Marmande at the moment. Two more days should get me to St Jean Pied de Port, knees permitting. Reading about your arrival in Turkey and interest in Ataturk. I wonder if you’ve read. Louis de Berniere’s book ‘Birds without wings’. A skilled evocation of Turkish small town life during the Ataturk period.

    • Thanks for that book recommendation, Andrew, and I wish you power to your wheels en route to Santiago….I did something similar two years ago….but you probably know the already.
      Concerning availability of WiFi, we have much to learn from E.European countries, where free WiFi is available virtually everywhere.

  4. I was at Gallipoli a few years ago — a very sobering place indeed!

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