From the first moment that we decided to visit Evros, simultaneously it began to pass from our mind the script to visit neighbouring Turkey. So it happened …
Our basic destination was the city Edirne (Andrianoupoli), that it only abstains 14km from the border Greek village (and frontier station) Kastanies. Nevertheless we preferred to enter in Turkey from the more southern frontier station of Kipi (the Turkish station is named “Ipsala”).
Our purpose was to realise a way on Turkish territory in order to lead us to Edirne. Without allocating particular information, we were satisfied from our map that it had marked as “interesting” way Malkara - Hayrabolu (40km). From there we would follow north-western course in order to lead us to Edirne. The length of the way in Turkey was roughly 200km.
We began at 9am and fill our tanks with fuels before Greek frontier of Kipi. Something essential, while the price of the petrol in the neighbouring country is the highest in the world!!! In this travel the price of the white gas approached 1,45€/litre. In the Greek borders we passed quickly and after 30 minutes, we had passed also the frontier control of Turks.
The essential documents are: passport (or identity), clearance, green card. In the case where the name that is entered in the authorisation is not yours, it will need you have a translated attorney of householder with you. Also, so that you avoid small delays because of “self-willed” of certain - fortunately minimal - employees, it would be best that you have in good condition your documents and in the green card is entered precisely the number of your plate, as is entered in the authorisation (that is a four number figure).
We left the frontier station Ispala and we followed the monotonous straight road that crossed a level plain. After 30km we passed the town Kesan and continued for Malkara that it abstained 38km. The way was also monotonous, apart from a small department afterwards Kesan, that crossed a region with pines.
In Melkara we left the central national network and we turned left for Hayrabolu that it abstained roughly 40-45km. The narrow and mediocre quality road crossed immense extents of meadows. Some of them were cultivated while certain other was clearing. The result was a landscape with different forms and colours in combinations of brown, yellow and nuances of green. In these immense uneven meadows stood solitary some trees giving one different brushstroke in the landscape.
We crossed certain small rural villages in order to lead us to the rather incurious town Hayrabolu. We made a few minutes stop for exchange. From there and beyond we followed the labelling for “Uzunkopru” and “Edirne”. The way in the same pattern, with comfortable turns and minimal traffic. In Uzunkopru (41km) we met a rural town, without some interest, apart from the stone bridge.
The meaning of the name of the city is: Uzun-kopru = far-bridge and emanates from the stone bridge that is allocated in its exit. A sign that we met as soon as we crossed the bridge, informed us that it is the longer stone solid bridge of the world, length of 1270 metres! The truth is that the beauty of the concrete sight was lost because of the rest - rather miserable - environment.
We continued leading to a rural level region and after we passed Kircasalih (greek name: Megalo Zaloufi), we reached in Havsa (27km). There, we followed the blue plate for Edirne (green leads to the city via motorway). After 30km, we entered in the city of Edirne (greek name: Andrianoupolis). Covering only some dozen metres, it was given to you the sense of an arranged and also careful beautiful city. As it was proved then, it was not simply a sense, but a reality!
Andrianoupolis was founded by the Roman emperor Andriano, at the 2nd century A.D. It allocates rich history. For certain time period existed capital of the Ottoman Empire. Its geographic place is important, while is found in the crossroad of Europe - Asia, and as it is natural this was the reason of the big economic blossoming that knew. Today the fact that it is preferred very little by tourists, helped in maintains its traditional character. It is a city that attracts the few that visit it, in order to admire the beautiful panes, the indoor markets and the bridges.
Following the central road and the labelling for centre (Sehir Merkezi), we led to the impressive and imposing pane Selimiye Camii that dominates on a hill and it is visible from - almost any point of the city. We left the motorcycles in the back part of the pane, in front of the Ottoman cemetery and we began our tour.
In order that we take some strength, we visited one of the many taverns that are found in the region. Local specialties are fried liver and meatballs. If it happens and find yourself in the city, do not lose the occasion to try it!
Next, first sight that we saw was Selimiye Camii, the more beautiful work of the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. After we passed through an indoor market, we led in the interior of the temple. The first thing that impressed us was the harmony and peacefulness that inspired the space. Crowd of people visits it, as much as tourists, as pilgrims. Beyond internal, impressive were also the very tall minarets (71m.) with the particular architecture, while allocate 3 balconies!
We left the impressive pane and we went downhill in order to meet Eski Cami, an also beautiful pane that we admired externally only. The characteristic is that it combines two basically style of pane. Passing through Bedesten Carsisi (bargain), we led to foot walk with slabs Saraclar caddesi. There it was the heart of the old department of the city. Crowd of people enjoyed the afternoon taking a walk. At the length of the foot walk, except the many shop, we observed the old, wooden, traditional two-storied houses. Some of them had refurbished. We wandered in the region and led for coffee beside the impressive cupreous fountain.
At the same time in the foot walk, it was found the indoor market Ali Pasa Kapali Carsisi, the biggest of the city. We visited it and we looked a little bit at the merchandises of many small shops that allocated. We came out in the exit that is found in Londra Asfalti, opposite from the Ucserefeli Camii. The particular pane, has the architectural particularity that it allocates 3 balconies and its minarets are built in different time period. In the same street it was found the Turkish baths Sokollu Mehmet Pasa. The destroyed fireplaces stuck in the exterior wall that it sees in the street (opposite of the pane), they prove that the seminaries were connected sometimes with the baths.
The time approached 7am and we wanted to anticipate light when we would pass from the bridges of the city. We returned therefore in the motorcycles and began for the exit of the city following the plates Pazarkule (Yunanistan), that is to say the Turkish borders. In near distance we met the first stone bridge that connects the river Tunca. Really impressive. Little below it was found the second - bigger bridge that connects the river Meric (the river Evros). In the watercourse of the river they are assembled a lot of restaurants and outdoor refreshment stands, opposite from the restored fountain of Haci Abil Bey. The splendid sunset with background the river and the beautiful bridge composed a unique landscape, like it came out from a table of a painting…
When the sun fell, we decided to take the street for the borders that they abstained 10-14km, department of that were astonishing! The control was formal and we untangled fast. The greek frontier station of Kastanies, abstained 130km from Feres, where it was our base.
At 11pm. we returned with an intermediary stop in Orestiada. The total distance was 333km. from that 210km was in Turkey. I cannot say with certainty, either it deserves the labour realizes someone all this way in order to lead to Edirne, or to pass directly from Kastanies. It is a subjective subject. We, beyond the other, selected it with a disposal of “exploration”, after the way Feres - Didimoticho, we had passed enough times. Sure is that Andrianoupolis is a very beautiful city that deserves the labour to visit. Having travel in enough parts of Turkey, I can say it constitutes a good foretaste of the country, for those who will visit the country for the first time.