6,000 km. 13 days. 8 stages. 4 bikes. A trip planned through a forum of motorcycle enthusiasts, which started out as a challenge full of enthusiasm, was lived with surprising camaraderie and spirit of adventure, and ended with nostalgia, leaving us all with the desire to live an experience like that again.
IN THE LAND OF THE CRESCENT MOON
The first part of our trip starts with a brief warm-up of the team during the voyage by ship from the port of embarkation, Ancona, to the first stage in Greece, Igoumenitsa. As soon as we arrive we see the bikes and gear… GIVI is with us too: everything’s OK!
Fantastic landscapes are awaiting us. In Greece we find the towers with monasteries suspended in the air of Meteora, an incredible view also seen in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only. Then Stavros – Thessaloniki, quite a nice little town, where we have dinner keeping our eyes on our bikes, parked out in front of the restaurant tables. But we can’t wait to arrive in Turkey, the Land of the Crescent Moon. In the chaotic traffic of Istanbul we discover the beauty of the Bosphorus Strait, the charm of the Blue Mosque, the dance of the Whirling Dervishes, and that of a lovely belly dancer. We resume our trip along the dilapidated roads that take us to the Salt Lake, Tuz Gölü, a huge white expanse that becomes dazzling in the sunlight. Incomparable!
We then arrive at Uçhisar in Cappadocia, the austere town whose fort is a huge peak of volcanic rock perforated by a thousand cavities. In the nearby Göreme with its Fairy Chimneys, pyramids of friable rock, we feel as if we’re in the midst of a sci-fi film: and in fact, it’s precisely in this valley of lunar atmosphere that some scenes of Star Wars were filmed!
The second part of our trip continues in Cappadocia. We must absolutely not miss the underground city of Derinkuyu: it goes down as far as 85 meters below the surface! In ancient times it was used by Turks under siege and the first persecuted Christians as a refuge.
The excavations continue today: it seems that, in addition to the 11 levels already discovered, there are still more… We come back up to the surface for a brief stop at Konya, a very livable, tranquil, colorful city. In Denizli we visit Pamukkale, the “Cotton Castle”: enormous calcareous cascades forming a fantastic natural landscape that is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
We head back northward to Izmir, the ancient Smyrna: from here we take off for an excursion to Ephesus, whose ruins still bear witness to its great beauty, famous in antiquity for monuments such as the Great Theatre, the Library of Celsus, and the Odeon, the small theatre. Dusty roads take us to Canakkale, on the Dardanelles Strait, where we take a ferryboat to Eceabat and then a road full of potholes to cross the Turkish-Greek border from İpsala, where the historic encounter between Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix and Mithridates the Great took place. Our trip was also great: on the way home, we relive all its emotions in our minds.
Watch the gallery
4 motorcycle enthusiasts who met on the forum http://motoviaggiatori.forumcommunity.net and found the camaraderie of a real team during a trip.
Riding his SUZUKI V-Strom, la DL 1000
Massimiliano, aka Macho Max, from Pavia, is a member of the editorial team of the online motorcycle magazine www.smanettoni.net of the Italian Stunt Team SWOT GANG – Smanettoni Wheeling Official Team, which features technical sections like “Scuola Stunt” (Stunt School) and “Prove Moto” (Bike Tests). His bike travels with the following accessories: 33L Trekker Side Cases – Maxia E52 Top Case – 80L WP401 Waterproof Tail Bag – WP403 Waterproof Backpack – S952 SAT Nav Holder – S300 Safety Kit (in Turkey you have to carry 2).
On his KAWASAKI GTR1400
Coming from Turin, he arranged to meet up with Massimiliano and Andrea in order to be able to leave together already from the A1 Autostrada tollway.
His bike is carrying the GIVI V46 Top Case.
Riding his BMW R1200GS ADV
From Florence, he arrives at the appointment with Sergio and Massimiliano on the A1 near the Bologna exit.
Riding the first SUZUKI V-Strom, the DL 650
From Foggia, he joins us directly from the port of Ancona, from which we sail for Igoumenitsa. His bike’s accessories include the E460 Top Case. During the trip he stoically braves a problem with the clutch wire (solved in 20’ with the aid of a mechanic) and a punctured rear tire (after a long stopover with the timely intervention of a tow truck).
If you plan to travel by bike in countries like Greece and Turkey, remember that you will find nicely asphalted roads but also stretches full of potholes, rough and ruined, or smooth as glass. Accessories have to be not only functional, but also sturdy, scratchproof, and heat- and dust-resistant. N.B.: in Turkey, the Highway Code makes it mandatory to carry 2 Safety Kits.