Bulgaria – Lyubimets 05 – 06 September 2018

Sile, Turkey to Lyubimets, Bulgaria. First I went across the new Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge , it is the second tallest bridge in the world after the Millau Viaduct in France. This bridge crosses over the Bophorus strait at the north end as far from Istanbul as you can get thus avoiding the the mess of traffic around the metropolis. There is a toll after the bridge, 18 lira and you have to pay in cash, the HGS card does not work here, I had changed all my lira to euro and after the girl called someone she allowed me to pay in euro and gave me change in lira which I used at the next fuel stop so remember to carry some lira with you. After the bridge you travel south to join the main east-west freeway and go from 120kph to 50kph for about 50km and then no traffic until the border with Bulgaria. The bridge was not shown on my 2017 Garmin maps so I just followed the signs to Edirne which is the closest city to the border.

There was the usual queue of Turks returning to the EU, each car has at least 4 people in it and they all get checked by immigration and customs on both sides. I rode to the front of the queue and got through the Turkish border in 5 minutes, next Bulgaria and an even longer queue opening every boot probably checking to see there were no illegals hiding in there. There was even a gate you have to go through which was spraying something on the underside of cars and me as well. While riding through it an idiot Turkish driver bumped me in the back, how these people get driving licenses is beyond me, their total lack of discipline and inability to follow rules is what keeps them where they are. After that a stamp in my passport and I was through both borders in 20 minutes, if I had to wait in the queue it would have taken 2 hours.

Lyubimets is a village just the right place for a rest day. Absolutely nothing here and it also happens to be Unification Day which is a public holiday and most places are shut. I did not have any local currency so I just paid in euro’s and at petrol stations I used a credit card.

 

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