This is the original itinerary that I had in mind. I knew since the beginning that a full overland trip wasn’t possible because of the Syrian situation. That is why I decided to go to Cyprus instead.
What I didn’t know was that I was going to be forced to change my itinerary more than once. This is a lesson: sometimes it’s better to make some research before planning… and dreaming… too much!
Here are the things I had to change:
- The initial plan was to travel by land. This is not going to happen… In fact I will have to cross only 2 borders.
- I thought I could reach the south of Turkey by bus and then take a ferry to North Cyprus, to continue to Cyprus and fly to Amman. WRONG. You can’t cross the border from North Cyprus to Cyprus without coming back, and anyway staying in North Cyprus is illegal as the territories are occupied and the self proclaimed “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” is not recognized by any country in the world (except Turkey of course).
- So I will have to fly to Cyprus instead, skipping TRNC – fair enough but there are no direct flights from Turkey to there. This means that I will have to skip the road trip to the south of Turkey AND I will have to stopover in Athens (I could also opt for a stopover in Cairo but that didn’t make much sense, right?).
- There are ferries from Northern Cyprus to Lebanon but I won’t go to Northern Cyprus. Also, if you enter Lebanon then you can’t enter Israel, so I will just skip Lebanon too. I will fly from Larnaca (Cyprus) to Amman, Jordan.
- If you’re wondering why I am flying to Amman and not Tel Aviv, which is closer, the answer is that you can’t fly to Israel with a one way flight. Therefore I will fly to Amman even if it’s more distant and will finally continue my trip by land through Jordan, Israel and Egypt.
- WRAP UP: no more road trip to southern Turkey, no more Northern Cyprus, no more Lebanon. If I don’t get an Israeli stamp on my passport I can go to Lebanon afterwards.
Here is how the new itinerary looks, roughly:
As you can see it is very different from the original one. The road trip will be just a small part of the journey, but nevertheless I am very happy and excited!
What a headache! How long are you staying in Athens for?