Bike to Byzantium 1999
In July 1999 I set off from York on my bicycle with the intention of getting to Istanbul within 34 days (it was all the time I had available). The plan was to roughly follow the progress of Constantine the Great, who was proclaimed emperor of Rome in York and who, eventually, founded his capital in Constantinople (Istanbul). Things didn't go quite to plan, however. When I was a couple of days away from Bulgaria, northwestern Turkey was hit by a huge earthquake which killed and injured a lot of people in Istanbul. I therefore decided to change my destination to Constanta in Romania, which (as the name suggests) also has links to Constantine. And I did the whole thing without underwear too!
Here is a rough map of the route I took:
You can clearly see where I changed course as I reached the Romania/Bulgaria border. Those last few days by the Danube were very hard work. I had to do 100 miles a day, almost right down at sea-level in temperatures of about 44 deg Celsius (112 deg F), and I became really quite ill with dehydration.
Total distance: 3597 km (2235 miles)
At the moment I only have a few of my photos scanned in, and even these are quite poor quality scans - I'll sort this section out properly soon. (NB I wrote the word 'soon' in about the year 2000. It's now nearly 2004 and I still haven't done it!)
Telc, Czech Republic - main square
Budapest - the Parliament building seen from the Fishermen's Bastion