Day 4. At good speed through Iran and Turkey

World Record Run: Shanghai to Venice (August 19th to August 24th)
Istanbul / Turkey

We were traveling through Iran during the whole night and morning. Such cities as Shahrud, Semnan, Qazvin and certainly “the heart of Iran”, Tehran, were left behind. The road was always open, and heavy traffic could only be observed near such large agglomerations as Tehran and Tabriz, but it was not heavy enough to cause traffic jams. We were traveling in such a manner all the time just making short stops to change drivers. During one of our stops we were observing a very funny scene: people who had been traveling by car for a long time stopped for the night, and instead of sleeping in their cars or at least in tents, they lay down on the ground near their cars, covered themselves with blankets and had a rest. That’s an advantage of hot Persian nights. On the other hand, it certainly seems unsafe. Even as we changed drivers, we tried to hide our car farther from the road; and here we see people sleeping, in fact, by the roadside. However, we saw a lot of such cases later. In Bazargan near the Turkish border we said goodbye to our guides whose assistance made our journey through the whole country, west to east, quick and safe. We will miss you, Kamran, and your friends as well as wonderful Iranian babas you treated us with all along the way! Thank you and your friends who spent the day and night with us!

We spent about half an hour to cross the border between Iran and Turkey, which can be considered a record in its own right. Thanks to Iranian and Turkish border guards for their professional and quick work!

Turkey greeted us with hot sun, beautiful mountain scenes and open roads. And we again made several photos against the backdrop of the magnificent Mount Ararat! The only difficulty on our way seems to have been to find a local SIM card with mobile Internet. The matter is that local population does not speak English at all, and we unfortunately do not speak Turkish. Of course, we have a phrasebook with us and can even say some words, but when something is said back to us, that's where we really struggle. We were saved by our friends from Volkswagen Akkar dealer center – they joined our team and helped solve all the issues. We thank them a lot! Now we can make calls and use the Internet!

We met an amazing couple on our way: two seniors from Italy (certainly from Venice) travel across Turkey by motorcycle just like real bikers. Naturally, we have met lots of bikers, including in China, during thousands of covered kilometers but all of them were rather young. And here we see much older people still full of desire to live such an active and energetic life!

The day is over but we continue moving westwards. We have to cover several hundred kilometers to reach Istanbul – and we will cross the Turkish capital this night! And that means we stand a real chance of reaching Venice tomorrow at night even though there is a great traffic jam ahead of us. We hope it will not impact our arrival at the Bulgarian border tomorrow morning.



Authors: Peter Bakanov, Dmitry Makarov