Harry Schlo▀macher

Six-month ASIA ADVENTURE__PART--4

 


...The brief tour of the world-famous city in the sea was followed by a night trip along the Yugoslav cliffs. Between Dubrovnik and Titovo Uzice we had to take the first hurdle, an incredibly bad "road". We took turns driving about 350 km over a "road-like heap of rubble" at an average speed of 15 km/h. Rock - partially rolled down in a makeshift manner, e.g. Partly still in its original state - then again huge scree ruts caused by trucks made driving no fun. For hours we had the feeling of driving over a deep-grooved washboard and then we felt more like we were in a small boat on the high seas than in a "VW" on the road: for a while it went from left to right - up and down, and over our vehicle lurched from one furrow to the other on larger rocks. All in all, this was an extreme ordeal for the car and its occupants.

We got off lightly (only the horn and license plate were broken off, only one hubcap was damaged) near Cicevac we reached the so-called Yugoslav "highway". Single lane - peppered with overtaking bans and the unbelievable: near Nis there was real local traffic - pedestrians, horse-drawn carriages, etc. populated the "motorway" here.

Provided with a transit visa (to get at the border for 15 DM) a night tour of the Bulgarian capital Sofia soon ended our "day program". There were only a few modern hotels in the center of Sofia, but they honestly exploited their monopoly - in a capitalist way. Rooms there were only available at "horror prices", which I really liked in this communist model state surprised. We hardly saw any hotels - but we saw Marx and Lenin on almost every corner. The two communist greats presented themselves oversized, sometimes towering, on posters or in the form of statues.

 ...EDIRNE...ISTANBUL (6 days rest, various visits and some contacts) Later (around "12 noon") we were "continentless" - more precisely: we were on a car ferry that crossed the Bosporus and us should therefore bring from Europe to the Asian mainland. ...My head was still ringing from the wild, never-ending horn concerts in the streets of Istanbul (although unfounded honking is forbidden by the police here!). I took one last look at the city of the "Hagia-Sophia", the even more beautiful "Blue Mosque" and the innumerable American road cruisers that punched through the throng of traffic without any system. But, it works quite well - it's really amazing. Venice, Dubrovnik, Sofia and Istanbul were now memories. Europe was behind us and we were on the eve of a trip to Asia, of which we did not know what pleasant and less pleasant experiences it would bring us.


 (to be continued)



 

 

 

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Published on e-Stories.org on 06/04/2023.

 

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