As we crossed the Bosphorus we saw an optimistic sign saying 'Welcome to Europe'.
We heard from Maria and Tim, who've been following our progress from North Cyprus: "We have been reading your posts — it is lovely to be able to follow your journey and see pictures of all of the animals including George and Minky. Tomorrow morning we are flying back to England so that we are in plenty of time to pick them up. We are flying via Istanbul so we will be 'leap frogging' you somewhere over Bulgaria. Hope the rest of your journey goes well and look forward to seeing you in the UK." [...]
The variety and deliciousness of the goods for sale at the service station where we stopped for lunch rather put their UK equivalents in the shade!
We stopped for a lunchbreak and a doggy leg stretch at a roadside service station. Lunch was a proper feast: beans, rice, lamb, aubergine, salty village cheese, homemade strawberry jam ('organic', the waiter told us proudly), bread, and water. All rounded out by traditional cups of chai. Everywhere we've been in Turkey we've had a lovely welcome. From the manager of the hotel last night (who was pleased to tell us he has a dog) to the stallholders and waiters we've met. One of today's waiters was especially keen to chat with us and practise his English. He told us [...]
Riley told courier M how much he enjoys all the new sights, sounds and smells on his walk. A true gentleman, he jumps quietly back into his compartment after a walk, sitting patiently while his lead is taken off. Now that everyone's been walked and fed, we're heading for Edirne and then Bulgaria. We hope to be at the border late this afternoon. A bit nail-biting as it involves brand-new paperwork. Meanwhile, the weather is hot and humid — but we can still see snow on the hills.
Taffy is clearly looking forward to being reunited with Ken and Marion. In the meantime, he's being a true Welshman and showing great stoicism about the whole experience!
Lady is so affectionate that we really have to resist the temptation to carry her round on her walk! As soon as her lead is clipped on, she leaps into courier J's arms. She's told us how excited she is that she will soon be reunited with her mum and dad.
Kara suffered a very nasty broken leg not so long ago, so we're careful to lift her in and out of the van when we go for walks. Like Carrie, she's a member of the 'I love Bonios' club. She hunts around for the box each time she goes in and out of the van — I'm sure they're here somewhere!
Aston is first out for a walk, and sits patiently waiting for courier M to put her lead on. She's being very good about the journey, but doubtless would rather be at home. She's something of a big baby and we're sure she's missing mum and dad. So courier M makes sure he gives her lots of attention while they're out.
Ben is a lovely quiet chap, with great manners both indoors and out. He hasn't said much to us yet about his move. When we ask him: "What do you think of it so far?" all he says is: "Humph."