|The Sultanahmet, also known as the "Blue Mosque"|
|THE place for köfte - Tarihi Sultanahmet at #12|
|One of the cars in the Allgäu-Orient Rallye|
At first, we think it is some sort of PR gimmick. All the cars have roof top carriers filled with things like suitcases, thermarests and sleeping bags, even bobby cars for kids. They look tired, used up. After a closer look, we see that every single car has German license plates and almost all of the cars are German-made. I find a couple of men sitting near some of these cars. They look non-Turkish, so, figuring they might be German, I speak to them in German.
So what's a Rallye? Jon explains that it's a sort of cross-country car race. You can read all about a Rallye and this particular one (in German) here: In short, the drivers have to drive cheap used cars, and can't drive on any freeways, toll roads or ferries.
There must be a couple hundred of these cars. The men tell me they're in a race that began at the Lake of Constance. They're on their way to Amman, Jordan. They left Germany a week before, driving all the way to Istanbul without ever having to be on a ferry. They have three more weeks to go. The only part they will do on water is when they have to take a ferry around Syria, which is too dangerous to drive through right now, with a civil war going on.
What an adventure! If I had time and a companion, I’d do it, even if I ended up last.