18 August 2011

Having experienced no loss in tyre pressure all day I pulled into the hotel around 3 pm. And I mean literally, as I drove through the lobby doors through into the inner courtyard of the Hotel Rustempasa Kervansaray.

My room was small but clean and for 30 euros would be fine for the night.

Time to explore.  Here’s what I found.

Although technically I’m still in Europe this place feels a million miles away. It’s amazing how much the landscape, architecture and people have changed in the last 200 miles.

And this town is buzzing. No obvious signs that it’s Ramadan. People are just going about their usual business it seems.

I’m expecting to see this a lot in Turkey; Edirne’s skyline is dominated by the domes and minarets of the three huge Mosques that are all within a short distance of each other.

Pedestrian walkways dominate the centre of town and are lit with many coloured lanterns at night. There are several fountains that provide a cool oasis to the heat of the day.

Small motorcycles seem to have the run of the place, including the pedestrian zones. Helmets are optional and one way streets seem not to apply if on two wheels.

As darkness falls I go looking for something to eat. I mostly go for the local or traditional dishes and tonight is no exception. With a small cafe recommended serving local spicy food I am shown a table in this extremely small but busy restaurant. They turn the tables over super quick. As soon as you finish they start preparing the table for the waiting diners before you have even left your seat.

There are no menus. None of the staff speaks English.

Just a set meal that everyone is having called Edirne cigeri which is thinly sliced calf’s liver deep fried and eaten with dried and pickled chillies. Bread is served on the side with tomato and raw onion. Well I ate most of it (even though I would neither recommend it or likely order it again) and particularly enjoyed the chillies. The bread was very fresh. But I did what all the locals seemed to be doing and my stroll after dinner revealed several other cafes that also specialised in this local favourite.

Maybe next time I will ease myself into the local way of eating with a Turkish Salad.

Total miles today 206 (332km), cumulative 3,253 (5,235km).

Update: A great introduction to my targeted country on my Turkey motorcycle tour.  Tomorrow I’ll move on to Istanbul where I’ll spend a couple of days sightseeing while waiting to have my front wheel fixed (repaired or replaced – could be costly, hope it’s covered by warranty) at the local BMW Motorrad Dealer.