Hey folks, great to have you back on our blog! Last time, I reported from Denmark, and then made a quick trip back home. But now, I find myself on an adventure crisscrossing Germany on the way to Turkiye. A three-week stay awaits me for the #ContiEuropeanRoadshow, and it will undoubtedly be a unique experience for our show truck and me. I’m really excited about what lies ahead, especially since it’s my first visit to the land of Baklava and tea. I’ve heard quite a bit, but now I’ll finally get to experience the warmth of the locals and the traffic hustle and bustle. Most of all, I’m looking forward to everything going smoothly and making the Turks happy.
Good preparation is everything
I’m thrilled about the journey but also pretty jittery because there are loads of new experiences in store for me. The Turkish culture is quite different from anything I’ve encountered so far, and that’s certainly because Turkiye isn’t part of the EU. German mobile providers don’t include Turkiye in the EU roaming, which means that calling in Turkiye will set you back a hefty 1.50 euros per minute, and internet can also be quite an expensive affair! But with a prepaid card for my phone and hotel Wi-Fi, I’m sure everything will work out.
And that’s not all. Before I could hit the road, there was a ton of bureaucratic stuff to deal with, and it was truly time-consuming. I had to apply for both European and Asian insurances because I’ll be driving through different parts of Turkiye, and German car insurances usually only cover up to the Bosphorus. So, I had to take out separate short-term liability insurances and, for safety’s sake, draw up a rental agreement for the trailer to prove that I’m allowed to move it. That certainly makes things easier at the border, but it was quite a heap of paperwork!
Behind the wheel, and off we go…
My journey towards Turkiye starts at midnight. My first two pit stops take me to the Czech Republic and Slovakia. So far, everything is going smoothly – I’m optimistic. From the Czech Republic, it’s on to Slovakia and Hungary, and then to Romania. Time for a break!
Here’s a little insider tip from me: Look for rest stops with Turkish cars; that’s usually a good sign. This advice was given to me before the trip, and it was a good one. So, my rest stop in Romania was at one such rest area.
The rest stops here, however, leave a lot to be desired. The toilets and washrooms are in quite a sorry state, and there are only a few shower facilities. Sometimes you’ll even see pipes sticking out of the walls – not exactly the place you want to freshen up. Nevertheless, I seized the opportunity and showered again after several days. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and go for it!
Adventure in Romania
Just before the Bulgarian border, it was sheer chaos: Over 100 trucks lined up in a more than six-kilometer-long queue at the border crossing. I had to come to a stop and walk four kilometers to the nearest gas station to buy a vignette for the next day. The penalty for driving without a vignette is a whopping 600 euros – something I really want to avoid.
And then Romania… My goodness, it’s intense! The roads are narrow, packed with trucks, and people drive pretty fast – it seems like speed limits are not taken too seriously here! And I say this as a German… Even when people are walking on the road, others often drive way too fast.
All in all, I’m genuinely surprised by the experiences here in Romania. It’s hard to believe how exciting and sometimes even dangerous it can be. But hey, that’s all part of the deal when you’re on the roads of Europe. And I wouldn’t want to miss these experiences for anything. Therefore, I am beyond excited what awaits me once I arrive in Turkiye!
Until then – see you on the road,
Have you ever been on the road from Germany to Turkiye? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.