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  • ZetrosZone camper in front of sea scenery

    Turkey: Wild Horses, Culture and Coronavirus Madness

    Working from home? Not for @Zetroszone! The escapists, Sabine and Michael, and their truck, a Mercedes-Benz Zetros, are behind this name. We already introduced the three of them to you before the start of their major trip. This time, Sabine and Michael tell us about their journey of discovery through Turkey and of their Covid-related obstacles.

  • The coronavirus pandemic may be able to bring half of the world to a standstill – but not our Zetros. Our journey has now taken us to Turkey. Out and about in Istanbul. We are truly fascinated by this city on the Bosphorus with just under 20 million inhabitants. It is the only city on the planet to straddle two continents. This is where Europe meets Asia, but also where tradition meets the modern day. In its 3,000-year long history, the city has spawned monuments such as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace. Our tour takes us through all of these magical places and we seldom stop gazing in wonder at the sights we meet.

    We then continue on to the Sea of Marmara to Bandirma, Troy, Foca and Izmir, and then head south through the hinterland. In Side we make a detour into the mountains where wild horses live on an upland plateau at an altitude of over 1,000 meters. The journey there is quite an adventurous one along vertiginously high and narrow roads with no crash barriers. At night, the temperatures fall to well below zero – but thanks to our Webasto Thermo 90 ST parking heater and our Air Top Evo 5500 air heater, it is lovely and warm in our living space. There are now successors to the equipment fitted in our truck, but although our heating systems have clocked up quite a few hours, they are still working perfectly.

    View of Istanbul from the blue mosque Stunning view of the metropolis Istanbul. 
  • On a journey of discovery trough Turkey. 

    Sunset directly on the water Paradise on earth - beautiful sunset in Samandag. 

    Next destination: an old caravanserei. We visit the walled roadside rest stop on a caravan road and then continue on towards Samandag. Finally we reach the Biblical region of Mesopotamia. One day we're standing on the banks of the Euphrates and the next day, we're overlooking the Tigris.

    The evening sun sinks gradually into the water and bathes the sky in wonderful shades of gold and orange. The colors are reflected beautifully in the river. There is a deep, peaceful silence in the air, broken only by a few birds telling us about their day. We reach Sanliurfa in good time and visit the famous tombs cut into the cliffs.

    There are numerous checkpoints along the Syrian border but everyone is very friendly and helpful and people often give us a cheery wave.

  • Traveling under the shadow of the coronavirus.

    Our plan is to travel through Iraq and Saudi Arabia into the Emirates or to Dubai at the end of our Turkey tour. Unfortunately our visa application is turned down by Iraq. Entry from Germany is prohibited because of Covid-19. Our reasoning that we are not entering from Germany and have been in Turkey for months – from where there are no entry restrictions – unfortunately falls on deaf ears.

    Instead, we apply for a transit visa for Iran, which is approved. However, when we come to book the ferry, we are told by the ferry company in Iran that they can transport the Zetros to Dubai but we cannot travel along with it (no passengers can be carried because of Covid-19). So far, so annoying. That’s why we change our plans and continue travelling through turkey.

    At any rate, the country really impressed us. We were here for a total of four months. In spite of this, we have the feeling that we have hardly seen anything. We experienced a country that is home to unbelievably warm and hospitable people and amazing sights. Our warmest thanks, Turkey! Until the next time.

    ZetrosZone Camper on the Beach Bye, Bye Turkey! That was an adventure - now it's off to Sicily. Stay curious!
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