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Read about our experiences and encounters with folks and give us your feedback.


We have landed in Istanbul, Turkey, right on the edge of Europe. Normally we don’t land, of course, we just roll up to a stop–but it seemed a flight from India to Istanbul was our best option considering all the red tape facing us for an Iranian visa (a required guide at 100 USD per day plus an indefinite wait) and since June was already upon us, we left the ground for the second time in over 10,000 km of biking.

Thanks to a brief conversation in Kolkata we found a flight on Air Arabia that would just fit within our budget.  The catch was that it involved two red-eye flights back to back with a 12 hour layover on the Arabian peninsula.  For us, no problem.  A few of us decided to see part of the famous city of Dubai (comparable to Las Vegas) while we waited in the United Arab Emirates for the waking hours.  This was our first transitional shock.  We went from India’s cheap local food and foot traffic to excitedly pointing out establishments like Krispy Kreme, Pizza Hut, Hardees, Baskin Robbins…  In the outskirts of Dubai we encountered heavy automobile traffic and high rise buildings, reminding us of U.S. cities, but interlaced with ornate mosques and minarets rising between the storeys; all of this plopped in the middle of sand for miles around.  Curious, we checked prices at the local supermarkets and found them to be more similar to U.S. prices as well.  That evening we ate our packed peanuts and bread supplemented by McDonald’s ice cream cones and wondered  what the “Europe Leg” of our trip would be like.

And here we are, facing Europe just across the Bosphorus Strait.  We are staying on the Asia Side of the city, in a very nice apartment in a very comfortable neighborhood.  The young Turkısh woman we talked to in Kolkata back in March, who told us about the flight, also invited us to stay with her when we came through Istanbul.  She gave us her sister’s phone number and the address to the apartment, and told us she would arrive a week later.  We met her sister for the first time just outside the apartment, and were welcomed as if to our own home.  Here we can cook, wash clothes, shower, use the internet, and even watch a DVD in English occasionally!  We are well provided-for.  

As part of the transition to the European continent we have been eating fresh bread, cheese, and pasta rather than rice.  (Our fuel tanks are equipped with highly developed converters).  So far this culinary change seems to have had no ill effects, and we are greatly enjoying the new flavours of Turkey.

Another important transition for FBR came together two days ago when we added a mom to our crew.  Jim’s mom flew in to join us for the summer as we cross the Eastern side of Europe.  Welcome Netzy!  Once again we are five members–with a new mom dynamic–about to tackle a new continent.  We look forward to hearing her perspective from this side of the blog.

In the next couple days we anticipate touring this ancient historical city of over 15 million, seeing some sights, checking on visas, enjoying our new friendships, and finding two bicycles–one for  Netzy and one for myself so we can continue pedaling our way to Paris.  Stay tuned…

8 Responses to “Transıtıons”

  1. Tracy Says:

    WOW!!!!! This is such an exciting team!!!! Pedal on, Netzy, Nakia and boys! Urghhhh! I would definitely join in if i wasn’t still at school…

  2. Rod Says:

    Oh wow, a surprise in the line-up and how fun for Netzy–Buckster is ready to join the expanding FBR “equip” for a run to Paris too but wonders if they have back wheels for a dog that has more engine than transmission. He has assured me that rice, bread, cheese, pasta, grapes or whatever are fine fare . . .
    Best wishes on all fronts and we continue to cheer you on from afar!
    You were in my dreams Andrew . . . good ones.

  3. Angela Says:

    That is a freakin’ exciting, awesome journey! Mom power rules!!!!!

  4. Autumn Says:

    YAY for mama dean!!!

    i’m happy you all have some pasta-lovin in your lives.

    eat well, sleep well, and good luck with the bike searching…

    peace and love,

  5. Adam Says:

    Too cool,

  6. cassie Says:

    So glad to hear that all went smoothly with meeting up with Netzy. I have loved following your adventures this past year and am grateful to be able to live vicariously through your fabulous postings and photos. You are all an inspiration and Netzy is my hero!
    Keep on pedaling, Cassie

  7. Dan Says:


    Your stories continue to amaze me every time I catch up on the blog. Safe Travels and Good Things,


  8. stephanie meza Says:

    hey andrew this is darla’s sister you have traveled a whole lot. im now going to the church and i will be helping out with vbs we all miss you hope that you have safe travels and take care.
    the lord is always with you.
    you are in our prayers.
    stephanie meza

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