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Travel Blogs (8)

Tuesday, 12 January 2010 08:10

KTLN on tour - driving from Kalkan to Kent

Have you ever wondered what it is like to drive from the UK to Turkey, or the other way round?

In January 2010, the KTLN team made that journey, (except for Katie-Ellen, who stayed at home) - from Kalkan to England, and we thought it would be fun to share the adventure with you.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 08:11

Turkey to UK - Kalkan to Çanakkale

Day 1.

Left a dark and rainy Kalkan at 6.50am on Wednesday 13th January 2010.  Temperature 10c.

The aim today, is to reach Çanakkale, which we reckon is about 750km - about ten and a half hours driving.

We are looking forward to the trip, and to seeing family and friends in the UK, but we can't help feeling sad as we drive up the new road, overlooking a shadowy Kalkan Bay.  

Thursday, 14 January 2010 08:12

Turkey to UK - Çanakkale to Thessaloniki

Day 2.

Today, Thursday, we left a cloudy and cool (6c) Gelibolu at 9.50 heading for the Turkish border, and onwards to Thessaloniki, Greece.

Our first aim today is to drive to the border at Edirne and get the car officially out of the country.  Bringing the car into Turkey will be the subject of a forthcoming report on KTLN, but suffice it to say, if your passport shows you brought a car in to Turkey, you better make sure it is noted to show the car has gone out again.  

A few problems we had with the car, whilst it was in Turkey mean that I am nervous about getting through.  More of this later.

Friday, 15 January 2010 08:13

Turkey to UK - Thessaloniki to Igoumenitsa

Day 3

Firstly, a post script from yesterday.  As if our morning wasn't exciting enough, there was another incident that got the adrenalin going.  Whilst speeding along a Turkish motorway, the airbag warning light started flashing.  

The prospect of an airbag exploding at any moment is enough to induce a little perspiration.  However, this happened once before, and when the car was last serviced, the guy told me not to worry about it.  So I didn't.  Anyway, today, Friday, it isn't flashing any more.

Last night we had 5 star luxury, complete with fluffy bathrobes, slippers, and this morning a hearty breakfast.  We made the most of it, because tonight we will be in a cabin, serenely slipping through the Adriatic.

Saturday, 16 January 2010 08:14

Turkey to UK - Igoumenitsa to Parma

Day 4

We have now left Greece behind.  It was a brief but enjoyable journey.  I am ashamed to say we hardly spoke a word of Greek whilst we were there.  But at least we do know "yes", "no", "please" and "thank you".

Before we start on day 4, (Saturday), let's begin with the overnight journey by Superfast ferry, from Igoumenitsa to Ancona.  The scheduled departure time was 20.00 on Friday 15th January, however, we didn't set sail until around 21.00.  

But once we board, we can't get over how fantastic the ship is - the Superfast V, compared to the ship we had when we originally drove the car over, (Ancona to Çeşme).  It is in a different league.  It has everything you could possibly want, and I can't praise the ship or its staff highly enough.

Sunday, 17 January 2010 08:14

Turkey to UK - Parma to Aix-en-Provence

Day 5

When in Parma you have to sample the ham, so at breakfast, that's precisely what we do.  It's pretty good.  We check out at 9.20 and our aim today is to reach Aix-en-Provence.  

We have chosen a route that takes us along the Cote d'Azure.  Yesterday we drove up the Adriatic coast for much of the day, before heading west to Parma.  Today we will have the Mediterranean to our left as we drive from Italy to France.

It's another morning of grey skies.  It is only 4c, but at least it's not raining.  As we head west the landscape changes from flat lowlands to mountains.  As we drive up these mountains, we can see snow around us from earlier days, but thankfully the roads is clear.  The temperature falls to zero, so we have to take it steady on the winding roads.

Monday, 18 January 2010 08:15

Turkey to UK - Aix-en-Provence to Dijon

Day 6

We enjoyed our evening in Aix-en-Provence.  We hope we get an opportunity to return one day.  As we don't have so far to go today, (Monday), we treat ourselves to a lie-in.

The plan is to head north to Dijon, in central France.  We had originally thought to stop at Nuits Saint Georges, just south of Dijon.  It's a lovely town, but we remember stopping there on our outward journey last year.  We arrived on a Monday and there wasn't much open.  So we figure that as it is Monday again, Dijon will be a bit more lively.

As we leave A-e-P, it is a glorious, blue sky, sunny day.  The temperatures start out at 5c, but get as high as 11c en route.  It makes such a difference from the grey skies of Italy.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010 08:16

Turkey to UK - Dijon to Dover

Day 7

Last night, (Monday), we pushed the boat out and had our last meal in continental Europe - one duck and one shellfish platter (perhaps a high risk meal for the driver, looking back on it).  

As we walked back along cobbled streets to our hotel the temperature must have been at freezing point.  We again marvelled at the scale and elegance of many of the buildings.  Some of the old wooden doors were perhaps 8 feet high.  "Look at the knockers on that", said the KTLN chief navigator.  I spun round quickly to see the KTLN chief navigator pointing at the door furniture.  They were indeed impressive.

This morning, (Tuesday), we had a simple, but enjoyable breakfast at Hotel Republique, before heading off.  The hotel proprietor had warned us that we could expect 'beaucoup de brouillard'.  No sooner had we pulled out of the hotel courtyard, when the freezing fog hit us.