Swiss family tours Turkey on bicycles
A Swiss family of four has been touring Turkey on two separate bicycles, planning to finish a 3,000-kilometer route in three months.
The Burger family’s cycling tour began in the western province of İzmir on April 16 after they flew into the city from Switzerland with their special bikes.
Since arriving in Turkey, the 42-year-old father, Martin Burger, an architect by profession, and his physiotherapist wife, Sbiylle Burger, and their two children, Noemi, 9, and Aline, 7, have been on their bikes riding day and night.
Traveling the Aegean provinces of İzmir, Aydın, Denizli and Muğla, the family is nowadays in the southern province of Antalya after cycling some 700 kilometers.
“We are riding 30 to 85 kilometers daily. Depending on the beauty of the places, we stay and camp for two or three days,” Martin Burger told Demirören News Agency.
This is the second time the couple is in Turkey. “In 2010, we cycled from Switzerland to China. Following a route from the northwest to the eastern provinces, we passed Turkey and entered Iran,” Burger said.
“During that ride, Turkey has fascinated us. So, we decided to come and ride again.”
This time, the couple is with their children, spending time swimming or trekking in nature. The couple also teaches their kids lessons during their spare times.
“We are touring Turkey at a time of the pandemic,” said Burger.
Underlining the aim of this trip, he said, “We want to see the beauties of the country and learn about the local culture and the people.”
Thanking all the people they have met so far, the family praised Turkish hospitality and said Turkish people were “the most wonderful people on Earth.”
“I would say this frankly: A Swiss would never offer a cup of tea to a stranger. Here, people serve food, fruits and vegetables to us. They give presents.”
When asked about the safety of the trip, he said they believed Turkey was a safe country.
Mostly staying in tents they pitch, the family, however, sometimes prefer to stay in hotels.
The couple’s eldest child, Noemi, thinks Turkey is beautiful too, but added that Turkey must preserve its picturesque nature and keep its environment clean.
“People throw their trash out on the roads and nature. They are polluting the country. They should not do that,” she urged locals.
The family will hit the roads again once they leave Antalya for the Central Anatolian provinces of Konya and Aksaray.
“We, then, will visit Cappadocia and determine a new route afterwards,” the father noted. For now, where they will head after Cappadocia is uncertain.
The only thing that is certain is that their trip in Turkey will end mid-July.