Monday, 24 September 2012

Canakkale and border crossing from Turkey to Greece (23-24 Sept 2012)

We reached Canakkale on 23 Sept 2012 and took the ferry across the Dardanelles to Kilitbahir.

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Queuing up to board the ferry from Canakkale to Kilitbahir.


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Making our way towards Kesan

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Road leading us to Ipsala, border town with Greece.


TURKEY / GREECE BORDER CROSSING:

We crossed the border on 24 Sept 2012, having spent 27 days in Turkey. The exit from Turkey was quick except for a little delay having to go back and forth to find a border official to stamp our Carnet. Actually, Turkey does not require a Carnet for temporary importation of vehicle. However, as we had the Carnet stamped at entry, we had to get the officials to stamp it on exit or risk losing the deposit that we have placed for the Carnet at home.

At the Greece border, the official asked us for our Green Card insurance before stamping our passport. We told him we did not have one and would like to buy them. The custom official told us to go back to the Turkish side and buy them there and then come back. Since we could not see any insurance booth on the Greece side, we made a u turn and drove back to the duty free shopping area on the Turkish side of the border and went in search of an insurance company. We found one and the guy told us that as our vehicle was not registered in Turkey, we could only be given a policy for 30 days maximum (we wanted to get a longer period to cover our stay in Europe and UK). He then told us that we can buy the same insurance at the Greece border for a cheaper price. So, we drove back to Greece and told the border official that we wanted to buy the insurance right there at the Greece border. It was only then that he pointed us to the office where we can buy the insurance. Wonder why he did not just point us to the office in the first place (there are no signage and it is one of the other border official who help issue the policy). We bought our 30 day cover for EUR180 and our passports duly stamped and we are allowed to enter Greece.


GREECE:

Once in Greece, we made our way towards Alexandrapolis and onwards to Kavala. We went past olive and cotton farms. We stayed out of the E90/A2 highway and took the inside roads as much as we can. Though two lane, the roads were pretty good and the zig zagging up and down rolling hills makes for a nice drive.

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The highway, which we usually only use when the inside roads goes too far off course. Trying to recall all my mathematical symbols to read this sign board. No worries though, there is an English one just up ahead.

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The inside road – just as good. Plus, we get to drive at a slower speed and enjoy the view.

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