Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Through Istanbul and our last night in Turkiye

I had our route all planned out to get through Istanbul. We would take the tunnel, the entrance to which was only a couple of kms from where Max had been parked. And we set off at about 10:10am, when we figured "rush hour" (if there is a such a thing in Istanbul) might be over.

We got to the turn off to the tunnel and I saw the height restriction sign that said maximum 2.8 meters. Well, Max is 2.8 meters! I hadn't even thought there might be a height restriction, but apparently this tunnel isn't used by heavy trucks.

I wasn't about to take the chance that Max might squeeze through!

So I had to make a last second decision not to take that turn off. And then I had to find somewhere to pull over and figure out a new route. I decided on a bridge further north and then towards the Istanbul Airport. I kind of let Google Maps lead us blindly through Istanbul. Fortunately it didn't send us anywhere we didn't fit! But it was sure a convoluted route and it took us almost two hours to get out of the city!

Part of our route through Istanbul

In hindsight, I should have bought and registered for the toll pass.
But, we got to see areas of Istanbul that many people don't!

Lots of traffic going across the bridge.

View from the bridge.

Four lanes in each direction.

Such a huge city.

After the airport, traffic calmed down a lot, and eventually we got ourselves onto some back country roads. We found a nice free camping spot about 120 kms (75 miles) from the Bulgaria border.

Nice quiet spot for the night.
GPS 41.61478, 27.661398

A stray dog was our only neighbor. She sure was a sweet thing. With a tail wagging like crazy! She was really shy though.

Ruth trying to pet our new friend.
The tail is wagging so fast it's blurry in the photo!

We had a good night, and today the sun has returned and things are warming up. We will fill Max's propane and diesel up one last time before crossing the border, and then we will be in to Bulgaria!


And in Canada...


  1. You have been awarded a big gold star for managing to negotiate the traffic through Istbanbul and avoid the max headroom space.:)

    1. Lol, thank you Vera! Definitely kudos to Kevin for noticing the height sign before getting onto the road for the tunnel. When researching the route out neither one of us thought about the tunnel's height as the tunnel was only opened in 2016 but I guess they don't want the big truck traffic on that route so they purposely made it shorter.

  2. On a recent road trip, I see RVs on the road and we went through a few tunnels. My daughter says to me 'How do they know they can fit?' The tunnels don't indicate their max height. The new RV are like vans with height...tall looking things. Glad Max opt to bypass that tunnel :-)

    1. In all our travels through the US, I think we have always seen height signs for underpasses, tunnels and bridges, so I am sure that there must of been one and you just didn't see it. If it was on a scenic road, there may have been a height sign as you got on the road showing the what the minimum height was and you just missed it because after that point they then may not have posted the heights.

      It is possible that we may have made it through the tunnel but we certainly weren't abut to try, we are glad that we bypassed the tunnel as well.

  3. Looks like you picked an excellent overnight spot! We have very little luck with Google maps on our phones. I think it is because we don't have enough memory. We are looking for new phones now. What happened to paper maps? :)

    1. It was a great overnight spot, definitely a bit of garbage around, too much to pick up unfortunately but other than that it was pretty and it was quiet overnight.

      Google maps is the only thing we use now but Kevin always checks out our route beforehand, although there are times when it decides to take us on a shortcut but we have a look at the road first if it doesn't look good we continue on and take the slightly longer but main route instead. Paper maps are ok but using Google maps in the city is so much better and quicker than trying to follow a paper map with all the roads/streets and the tiny printing.

  4. These photos from splendid İstanbul🤔


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