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Trip Report Daytrip from Istanbul

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Kartepe is the highest mountain close to Istanbul at 1,600 meters.
It is about a 100 minute drive once you have managed to reach one of the Istanbul bridges
with your vehicle.
You leave the Istanbul-Ankara motorway at the Izmit East exit, towards Sapanca and follow the signs through Kartepe Village at the low elevation.

In the Winter and into the Spring, the peak supports a resort with four or five slopes, four chair lifts, a t-bar and two peak cafes, one of them with an excellent view of Sapanca lake and its setting, at an altitude of about 1,500 meters.

The climb is not very long, has a number of spots where you can have your vehicle fitted with rental tyre chains, or even rent skis and sleds if you think you will get a better deal than at the resort.

There are a large number of scenic restaurants on the route up which operate year round because the area is very scenic.

There are some side roads into delightful valleys where restaurants offer live mountain trout and/or grilled meats, and spots for picnics.

We decided to have a look at kartepe for the first time yesterday on our way to our Nicaea (Iznik) home, and realized how much we have missed allthese years.

The weather was beautiful at 10 degrees C (50F) when we started but cooled to -2 (28F)
by the time we were close to the resort. There was no snow or ice on the road which made us regret we had taken the fuel inefficient but fun AWD Subaru Impreza instead of the more comfortable and economic Passat variant , something more suitable for my 70 years.

The hotel common areas looked fine, the two lifts we tried were OK. The hot wine at the scenic peak cafe was also almost as good as the ones we had at Dresden and Prague in November.

Unfortunately my skiing days have been over for some 12 years or so since I broke all ligaments on my left knee and DW was suddenly scared of injuries just before her Chicago trip. So we just walked in under the sun, took photographs and as we say it in Turkish, "Stole a Day From the Fate"

It took us another 90 minutes to reach Iznik from Kartepe.

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