Journey of Hope crosses the finish line

Jounrey of Hope

The Journey of Hope team with Commissioner Tibor Navracsics

Day 19

5 Sep. Ostrava – Broszkowice, 98km

No events. An ordinary ride with some rain. A great hotel in Oswiecim Gmina, Poland.

Day 20

6 Sep. Broszkowice – Krakow, 82km

Our ride was mostly on separated bike roads today. We prefer these since you feel much more comfortable and safe. At the end of the day we arrived in Krakow where our Turkish friends from Izmir joined us the in the evening.

In Krakow we also had some other visitors who had driven all the way from Romania to meet us: Mihai Androhovici, Vice President of Romanian Federation Sport for All, and his lovely family, and we all had dinner together.

Journey of Hope

Out of Krakow

Day 21

7 Sep. Krakow – Piwniczna Zdroj,  94 km  (868 m elevation gain).

Although we had some difficulties in finding our way out of Krakow because Feridun and his beloved Leyla (the navigation programme) did not have a good night! However for the rest of the road we were very happy since we where with our dear friends from Izmir.

Day 22

8 Sep. Presov, 93km

We were met by a teacher and her lovely students at the border of Slovakia. We had some really warm minutes there due to the wonderful weather. When we had about 30km to Presov where we met some guys from the Sport for All Federation as well as some young cyclists. The last part into the city we were also escorted by a car from the young cyclists’ group until Presov. In Presov we were warmly welcomed by the vice mayor and other staff who were really kind and sincere to our team. We did several things in Presov, including watching the city from the top of a former water tower, visiting the museum and having fun at the wine tasting festival. Even though we only had short time in this lovely city, we felt like we got to experience a lot. For dinner we were offered some of the famous goulash combined with the national Slovakian drink Borovička, which is an extremely strong Juniper brandy. At the end of our stay we where surprised with a certificate to show that we had visited this lovely city and also passed the 49th degree latitude.

In Slovakia we have seen some drivers who show us their sympathy by pushing their cars’ horns, a sound that is quite familiar to us. It really made us feel at home for a bit in this country J.

Day 23 – 24

9 – 10 Sep. Kosice, 67km

The big day!

We arrived in Kosice on 9 September. Kosice was the host city for the European Week of Sport’s opening ceremony. The 2016 Week was officially opened by Commissioner Tibor Navracsics and other high-level representatives of the European institutions and the sport world, from this beautiful city of Slovakia, in the morning of Saturday 10 September. Retro bike festival and Europe – wide FlashMOVE were two of the colourful event in the day. For us, it was great to see all the ISCA family again. We love them all!!

And it was of course our honour to be announced as the Journey of Hope NowWeBike team during the opening programme and to be congratulated directly by the commissioner Tibor Navracsics.

Day 28 and 29

13-14 Sep. Budapest, 135km

We were welcomed in Budapest by the Hungarian Sports for All Federation officials right in front of the city sign and escorted to our campsite. The next day Dr. Akos Füzi guided us to the city centre where we again met people from the federation, all with their bicycles. We were welcomed in Budapest by Judit Danada, Head of Sport Unit at the Municipality of Budapest and Péter Berényi, Head of Department at the State Secretariat for Sport of the Ministry of Human Capacities.

We had a wonderful opportunity to cycle around this beautiful city.

One thing that really surprised us was that, on our way to Budapest we stopped for a short break in Hatvan where we met some really warm hearted people. The vice mayor welcomed us by saying ‘’Merhaba’’ which means hello in Turkish. We were really surprised, but turns out that this lovely town has been sister cities with Alpullu in Turkey since the time they built a sugar factory in 1924.

Day 30

Journey of Hope

Journey of Hope team, during the side event in Bratislava

16 Sep. Bratislava, 30 km

It was the time we met our dear teammate Saska Benedict Tomat again. This time she was with her husband Roman and their lovely dog. She had also brought with her our airplane packing for the bicycles. This was a priceless support for us.

In Bratislava at the old town square, we participated the program organised by the municipality and the Federation of Sport for All. The program included a Cycle Against Cancer and Cycle to Shop campaigns, and the European Mobility Week.

We were very much excited when we were selected to be the part of acrobatic bike show here. It was great, a cyclist did tricks and also a jump over several people that where laying on the ground.

Day 31

Journey of Hope

Jouney of Hope team during a rest stop in Vienna

17 Sep. Bratislava – Vienna, 129 km

The team was now consisted of five people with Saska joining us again. We had two other companions as well: Can Özgür from Vienna and his father Gürcan from Izmir, Turkey. And of course the Ege Pedal team of three who also joined us. We had a very comfortable riding day, especially since we had Roman driving ahead and waiting for us with some snacks and beverages.

When we arrived in Vienna we went directly to the street where the Street Life festival was organised. There we visited the Radlobby tent. Andrej Felczak from Radlobby took us at the festival scene and Feridun told the people about our Project.

And now it was time to pack for our flight back to Turkey. We rode to our hotel, met Roman again, packed our bikes and…

It was all over.

Some kind of blues was in the air now. We didn’t want to split up with our dear friends.

By the way, Saska; the dinner you prepared for us was great.

And of course with all the support from ISCA family, we felt really special.

Thanks for reading my diary – it has been a pleasure sharing my adventure with you. Until next time… Adnan

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