Border crossing Turkey to BulgariaNovember 13, 2019 in Turkey ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C
This border is a special one. We're entering the EU! After many months of traveling, with an Australian registered car and our new four-legged family member. We're prepared, but we're still kind of holding our breaths. Will everything go well with our car paperwork? Will we be able to buy a greencard (European car insurance)? Will they mind Bear?
In order to calm our nerves (and tire out Bear), we take a prolonged lunch break at Edirne. The center of the town is pedestrians only and it has a lively markethall atmosphere to it. We have our last balik ekmek (fish sandwich) from the local fishmonger, stock up on veggies from a small market vendor, get some bread and some goodies for Bear from the butcher. Afterwards we enjoy a lovely stroll along the city's river, trying to animate Bear to run much more than we feel like. He's excited but mirrors our full bellies causing a certain type of after-lunch-laziness. Alright then, off we go.
We reach the border around 3pm and pass the Turkish side within 5mins without getting out of the car and any type of customs check. Easy!
After driving through an obligatory desinfection station and paying a fee for it on the Bulgarian side, there are a few cars lined up and we need to join the queue. Turning the engine off usually is Bear's cue to be able to get out, so of course, he wakes up. With both of us staying in our seats, he calms down again, but surely, no deep sleep anymore. Oh well...
Once it's our turn, I have the pleasure of passing our documents to the nice border officer, as he, too, operates out of a window and neither of us has to get out of the car. Yet. The car registration is a bit frowned upon, but quickly accepted. The only problem is that we don't have an insurance yet, so the officer is going to keep our passports until we've purchased one at the exit gate. Fair enough. Customs control happens right afterwards, Tom needs to open up the back. I try to keep Bear busy and lying down, but the officer only takes a quick look, nods and waves us through. Deeeep exhale and off we go.
Next is buying a vignette to be able to drive on Bulgaria's roads (only possible with cash, 8€ for seven days) and afterwards, we get the green card. The booth is located after the last gate, but we could park at the side of the booth while getting everything done. Again, payment is possible only in cash. There is an ATM close by but luckily we still have dollars that we can use. The greencard is $60 for one month.
Tom takes the new paperwork back to the border officer who returns our passports and that's it. It just took one hour, we're back in the EU and Bear officially is an EU citizen as well.
(PS: unfortunately no border pictures. I was too tense to remember 😜)Read more