Thursday, 6 November 2008

The Balkans - 3 - Greece to Turkey

Having crossed from Bulgaria into Greece I drove down the eastern border of Greece to the crossing into Turkey near Ipsala, Turkey.

First of all, however, I made a small detour near the Bulgaria/Turkey/Greece tripiont into the Greek village of Kastanies which has a border crossing with Turkey. I think this is the only land (as in not even across a river) border crossing between the two countries. I did not want to enter Turkey at this point as I had a mission to find a geocache in Greece first - but I did check out the border post on the Greek side as you can see in the following video.

The actual crossing into Turkey, however, was another story. As you can see from the following video, the Greek authorities were concerned about my camera as well as the documents for the car. The car being registered in Serbia, and being a rental, they wanted to check that it was permitted to take it into Turkey before they would let me through. Although the insurance documents were in order there was no annotation in the rental contract about taking it into any other country. Fortunately I eventually remembered that I had a paper copy of the original booking off the internet and that explicitly stated that I was allowed to take the car into both Greece and Turkey and that satisfied them. As for my camera, they wanted to check that I had not taken any video of "prohibited" places in Greece (although how I was supposed to know that an particular place was "prohibited" I don't know). They spent some time looking at the video footage I had taken and eventually seemed content to let me proceed, asking me not to video the area between the inspection post and the border. You can see the result in the video below. For a fuller video of the actual border crossing I have found this one on YouTube which may be of interest.

Once I reached the Turkish side it was a matter of a lot of stops, my failure to understand the instructions being given in virtually non-existent English about where to go to buy a tourist visa, all of which combined with the delays on the Greek side to make this border crossing take about 2 hours. Sadly this meant that I arrived at the Anzac memorial to Gallipolli just after sunset (1715 at this time of year) which lessed the impact of that most interesting place.


Anonymous said...

nice videos

I would reccomend you to visit cyprus and the UN buffer zone there. The variety of landscape been divided by the no mans land
is vast.From mountains and mines in the west,low hills and urban areas in the centre, plains and beaches in the east.There is also famagusta,a city frozen in time since 1974 and various enclaves and salients.actuallly you can even find some very strange quadropoints sice there are four different entities on the island:UN,the republic of cyprus,the british sovereign bases and the turkish occupied areas.
I have undertaken sone risky journeys close to the buffer zone but I can get too close since I am a cypriot,which means if spotted i can be shooted at by turkish soldiers in their outposts.Despite that i managed to take some pictures.

If you can, please visit the island to take some videos and pictures since in your status as a foreigner,you can take more detailed pictures.

In case yo do so,be careful of any minefileds and hidden outposts since the buffer zone is an uncharted border that is becoming increasingly harder to spot in some areas due to the stability of the region and degradatiom of man-made obstacles due to time-fatigue.

Anonymous said...

Very interest videos. I have to explain somethink about the camera control at the Kipi border station. As you know the Evros region is fully militarized.(on both sides of the river). A lot of sensitive military instalations are there. Taking fotos or videos of all these instalations is forbiden. This is the reason for this check.