Edirne Doğa Sporları Kulübü – EDOSK (Edirne Nature Sports Club) has organized a one-day cycling tour named “3 countries in a day”. I went to Edirne from Istanbul by bicycle to participate in. You can read my story about riding 265 kilometers in a day, from Istanbul to Edirne.
I woke up 5 AM in the morning. I met with EDOSK members at 6 AM at the city center of Edirne.
A cyclist from Greece (Grigoris Azorides) and one of his friend (I forgot his name) met us. Then we hit the road to Kapıkule, the main border gate between Turkey and Bulgaria.
After we entered Bulgaria, two Bulgarian cyclists joined us, and they guided us to Svilengrad, Bulgaria.
After about 10 kilometers in Bugaria, we arrived Svilengrad.
Svilengrad (Bulgarian: Свиленград) is a town in Haskovo Province, South-central Bulgaria, situated at the border of Turkey and Greece. It is the administrative center of the homonymous Svilengrad Municipality. As of December 2009, the town has a population of 18,132 inhabitants (wiki).
Svilengrad is a very small town. But it has a velodrome! There is no velodrome in Turkey (year of 2009). Not one.
After drinking coffee with the members of the local cycling club of Svilengrad, we started to pedaling to Greece with them.
After pedaling about 10 kilometers, we arrived the border gate between Bulgaria and Greece.
Our destination in Greece was a small border town named “Kastanies”.
Kastanies (Greek: Καστανιές, plural form of chestnuts, Turkish: Kestanelik which means “chestnut” too), older form Kastania, is a town located in northern part of the regional unit of Evros, Greece, and is part of the municipal unit of Vyssa. It is situated by the Evros River which forms the border with Turkey (wiki).
We went to a promenade near Arda river, and drank something in there. It was noon.
The Arda (Bulgarian: Арда, Turkish: Arda, Greek: Άρδας, Árdas) is a river whose source lies in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains near the town of Smolyan, flowing 290 kilometres eastward past Kardzhali and Ivaylovgrad and through Greece in the northern portion of the Evros prefecture including Kastanies. It then enters the Maritsa (Greek: Έβρος, Evros) just west of Edirne, Turkey (wiki).
After the noon break, we cycled to a very small village named Marasia.
Marasia (Greek: Μαράσια, Turkish: Maraş) is a village in the northern part of the Evros regional unit in Greece. Marasia is part of the municipal unit of Trigono. In 2001 its population was 198. It is situated between the rivers Evros and Ardas, close to their confluence (wiki).
Then we returned back to Kastanies and cycled to Turkey border. It was time to return home.
The Maritsa or Evros (Bulgarian: Марица, Ancient Greek: Ἕβρος (Latinised as Hebrus), Modern Greek: Έβρος, Evros, Turkish: Meriç) is, with a length of 480 km, the longest river that runs solely in the interior of the Balkans. It has its origin in the Rila Mountains in Western Bulgaria, flowing southeast between the Balkan and Rhodope Mountains, past Plovdiv and Parvomay (where the Mechka & Kayaliyka River joins it) to Edirne, Turkey (wiki).
Karaağaç (Greek: Ορεστιάδα, formerly anglicized as Orestiada) is a settlement in the İpsala District of Edirne Province in northwestern Turkey. It was a part of the defensive line Lüleburgaz – Karaağaç – Bunarhisar in the First Balkan War. In this times the name of the situated here Adrianopol railway station is “Demirtash” (French: Demir Tashe (Demir-Tashe) Turkish: Demirtaş (Timurtaş)) (wiki).