Journey Reports

Turkey   June 15th 2016, Istanbul, Turkey
About Greece. Foothills of Europe

Camping in the plantage

Jakob & Ernest:

Incredibly, we are in Istanbul! After almost two weeks we have left this beautiful Greece with its ancient culture, the delicious food and the helpful, friendly people.

On our way through Greece we saw for the first time in our lives refugee camps. Unfortunately we could only see into them through the fences from the outside because the police forbade us to visit the camp. Shortly before the border with Turkey, we met three Swiss cyclists on their way by bike to Shanghai. They had been working as volunteers in Idomeni and noticed impressively what actually happened in the camp. They told us of great encounters with Syrians, Afghans and Pakistanis, and were only quenched and angry about sensationalist reporters who would have preferred to photograph the burning wagon instead of helping extinguish the fire. Specifically, we want to mention the example of a reporter who has spread that prostitution, drugs and violence dominate everyday life in the camp. But when thousands of people live together in a confined space, it may be that something like prostitution occurs sporadically, although never anything was known of specific cases. And yes, there were drugs, marijuana. But this drug is also found in moral and elegant German villages and town quarters, perhaps even more frequently. On the subject of violence in the camp, the three Swiss expressed as follows: of course, there was now and then a small scuffle or an argument, but in all that time, in which existed the camp, there was nobody killed or seriously injured due to external forces.

Greece was perfect for us for cycling, because there were few cars on the streets. Now, the cause of that is not that the Greeks prefer hiking on foot from place to place, but to the high taxes they must pay. About 70% of Greeks cannot pay their taxes, which has meant that many cars have been decommissioned. In conversations with older Greeks we learned what it means to live in poverty at old age. Back then economically booming Germany needed workers from Greece, Turkey and other countries. People, who then came to Germany, now receive their well-earned German pension and do not have to worry. However, those who remained in Greece and have been working here must come to terms with a very low Greek pension.

We felt very safe and welcome in this country. The Greeks, who crossed our path and enriched our experience, were very helpful and open people. Hosts cooked deliciously for us, and we already miss the Greek food.

The first days in Turkey were very exciting, and we look forward to the next two weeks with the Salesians in Istanbul. You will soon hear from us again!

{Translation from German: Webmaster}

First wild camp^ First wild camp ^
 i20160617-02 i20160617-03Camping in the plantage^ Camping in the plantage ^
​Thessaloniki​^ ​Thessaloniki​ ^
​B-day jump i20160617-07^ ​B-day jump ^
​Irni Happy B-day​^ ​Irni Happy B-day​ ^
Adventurer's meeting^ Adventurer's meeting ^
 i20160617-10​Camping shower​^ ​Camping shower​ ^
We love road constructions^ We love road constructions ^
Istanbul^ Istanbul ^

Comments to this report:

Burkhard writes:

June 18th 2016, 09:53

Danke mal wieder für euren aufklärenden und mitfühlenden Erfahrungsbericht ! Wenn die Reporter aller Medien mit dem Rad zum Ort ihrer Recherche fahren müssten, sähe die Berichterstattung anders aus. Dir, Jakob, alles Gute noch nachträglich zu deinem Geburtstag!
Ob Straßenbau liebenswert ist (für km-heischende Raser sicherlich), darüber könnte man diskutieren, aber spannend ist es doch auch, sich mal so ein paar tausend km auf gestampfter Lehm- oder Geröllpiste vorzustrampeln. Das verlangsamt das Tempo und macht aufmerksam für das, was am Wegesrand geschieht. Euch weiterhin Alles Gute auf eurem Weg.

Martin Heilscher writes:

June 22nd 2016, 08:11

Wow Asien! Was für Wege habt ihr schon bestritten und welche werden noch folgen, nun im neuen Kontinent. Es tut so gut zu hören, dass euere Herzen nicht müde werden und euere Augen nicht trübe. Medien sind gemacht, Erfahrungen erlebt. Wir wünschen euch weiterhin gut Erlebnisse und den Mut euere Erfahrungen zu suchen. Solche Botschafter braucht die Menschlichkeit!

Benedict writes:

June 22nd 2016, 13:59

Wieder ein toller Bericht von euch. Klasse,dass ihr den Camps mal auf den Zahn fühlen wolltet. Aber jetzt bin ich gespannt wie Hulle auf das, was ihr bei den Kollegen in Istanbul erlebt. Da gibt es ja offenbar genug zum Thema Flucht zu erfahren.
Herzliche Grüße

Motta writes:

July 09th 2016, 04:08

Jakob and Ernest,
What you are doing is a big challenge for anyone else who wishes to build bridges in order to be connected with other world. Eventually, it is a great adventure for you both, but it also reflects the life's adventure of each and everyone of us. Keep it up, bruder!

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