Camping gear was undusted, boots checked, friends along the way were contacted. Maps filled the room and lines were drawn, websites were explored for specific parts and the GPS updated. A Turkish visa needed to be arranged, for the rules had changed since last time I was there. Insurance matters had to be sorted, as did camera equipment. For articles good photographs were essential.

The restored electric power plant and music centre ‘De Centrale’ in Ghent became the point of departure, the similar plant 'Santral Istanbul' the end- or better turn-around point of the journey.

Including a few detours, the outbound journey was to go via France, Switzerland, Italy and the entire Balkans; the return journey would go in a straight line. And because she became my sole and soul companion, I gave the Zero DS a name: Xena. For more then one good reason =,-]
Here is one:

I knew I had to ride slowly. Yet how slow, and how far I would get, I ignored.



In order to reach the longest distances, I knew I had to ride slowly. Yet how slow, and how far I would get, I ignored. Due to the late delivery of the new DS, I could only fetch her two days before departure. Hence the real test started on day one of the voyage. I set the GPS on ‘shortest route, including off-road, no highways’, and one address in Brescia.

For me, traveling means unwinding. Stopping enough, looking around, let coincidence and serendipity take over, adventure, freedom, rerouting. And above all, meeting people, talking and listening. And motorbiking of course. This exploit on this motorcycle promised all that, and she fulfilled all of it and beyond.

Basilica Cistern, Istanbul. In the cistern, one finds two columns carved with the head of Medusa. The origins are unknown, though it is thought that the heads were brought to the cistern after being removed from a building of the late Roman period.

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