Mongol Rally 2011 - Black Sea Detour 
Our plan was to try to make it into Moldova and enter Ukraine from there, but it was not to be.  We tried twice at two different borders and were sent back both times.  Since we were running out of options, we decided to try our luck going south around the Black SeaHere I am making sure not to neglect my exercises even though we happen to be sleeping in a farmers field. :-)
Our plan was to try to make it into Moldova and enter Ukraine from there, but it was not to be. We tried twice at two different borders and were sent back both times. Since we were running out of options, we decided to try our luck going south around the Black Sea

Here I am making sure not to neglect my exercises even though we happen to be sleeping in a farmers field. :-)
Last comment 07/16/14.

Viewed: 946 times.

Crossing into Bulgaria was easy because we were staying within the European Union. The big test was whether we would be able to cross into Turkey.
Crossing into Bulgaria was easy because we were staying within the European Union. The big test was whether we would be able to cross into Turkey.
Last comment 05/15/22.
Viewed: 889 times.

We had a nice seafood dinner in the seaside city of Varna, mentally preparing ourselves for being turned back for the fourth and final time.
We had a nice seafood dinner in the seaside city of Varna, mentally preparing ourselves for being turned back for the fourth and final time.
Viewed: 916 times.

We had no trouble getting across! I stressed to Ed that we both needed to appear relaxed at the border so he put on a large smile for the guard. The guard took a long look at his face, looked down at his passport and said "You are a happy man.  Welcome to Turkey!"
We had no trouble getting across! I stressed to Ed that we both needed to appear relaxed at the border so he put on a large smile for the guard. The guard took a long look at his face, looked down at his passport and said "You are a happy man. Welcome to Turkey!"
Last comment 08/11/14.
Viewed: 875 times.

We were very excited to still be pushing forward in our journey. We fought the craziness of driving in Istanbul, stayed the night at a hotel downtown where the illiterate owner had to walk across the street and ask the mini-mart clerk to write down our information in Turkish.  The next morning we played tourist and saw the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia.
We were very excited to still be pushing forward in our journey. We fought the craziness of driving in Istanbul, stayed the night at a hotel downtown where the illiterate owner had to walk across the street and ask the mini-mart clerk to write down our information in Turkish. The next morning we played tourist and saw the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia.
Last comment 04/19/22.
Viewed: 928 times.

Afterward we went to the Grand Bazaar for Ed to be able to pick up some mosaics, and then to a shwarma shop for me to stuff my face. :-)
Afterward we went to the Grand Bazaar for Ed to be able to pick up some mosaics, and then to a shwarma shop for me to stuff my face. :-)
Last comment 04/19/22.
Viewed: 879 times.

Hew what's that sign say? It's a stopsign, Dur!
Hew what's that sign say? It's a stopsign, Dur!
Last comment 10/15/14.
Viewed: 901 times.

We made our way east along the Black Sea coastline to the coastal city of Trabzon. We arrived at the city just in time to hear a firework go off at dusk, signifying the start of the iftar meal. Just inland from Trabzon we visited the Sumela Monastery which has been a monastery since the 4th century. The drive up the windy ethereal road and the view from the top were as enchanting as the monastery itself.
We made our way east along the Black Sea coastline to the coastal city of Trabzon. We arrived at the city just in time to hear a firework go off at dusk, signifying the start of the iftar meal.

Just inland from Trabzon we visited the Sumela Monastery which has been a monastery since the 4th century. The drive up the windy ethereal road and the view from the top were as enchanting as the monastery itself.
Last comment 04/19/22.

Viewed: 898 times.

For the final portion of the trail we had to ditch the car and hike.  We weren't sure if we were in Turkey or Middle Earth.
For the final portion of the trail we had to ditch the car and hike. We weren't sure if we were in Turkey or Middle Earth.
Viewed: 958 times.

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