Cyclists on a globetrotting mission arrived in Istanbul Sunday to kick off the Turkey stage of their tour.
Christian Pries and Maren Hagel have cycled across Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia, Italy, France, Iceland, Romania, Greece and Bulgaria. Now, they are on their last stop, Turkey.
Pries' journey across the world started 22 years ago and has taken him to 50 different countries.
The duo aims to visit as many cities as possible in Turkey, they told Anadolu Agency (AA). "The best thing about cycling is that it's slow, so you don't miss any details," Pries said. "You can explore nature closely. It is easier to talk to people, to listen to their stories and learn about their culture," he added.
Pries said he has encountered hospitable and kind people around the world. He said cycling is "the best vehicle to be respectful to nature," adding that "You don't need gas, and you don't spoil nature. Besides, you do sports, which is good for your body."
"I had the most beautiful moments in my life and the most important experiences during my cycling trips."
Recalling his first trip to Istanbul, Pries said: "We had the chance to travel to many historical places by bike, but the city had a surprise for us; we went soaking wet."
"When we start our Turkey tour again and come back to Istanbul, I want to rediscover the beauty of this city. Despite the rain, everything was very nice," he said.
Hagel recalled her tour in Romania, saying: "After visiting many countries, we came to Romania. People were busy harvesting. We stayed with the farmers in Romania and worked with them ... we made cheese and bread with them. This way, we got to know them more closely in their most natural state."