a VirtualTourist member
Does anyone know:
1_if there are any trains going from Alexandroupolis to Edirne?
2_their running times?
3_how much it takes to cover the distance?
Thanks in advance
Thanks a lot, really.
Now listen to this other possibility: one gets off the train in Kastanies and after a walk of about 10 kilometres is in Edirne city centre. It's not so long a distance.
What do you think? You know if they allow you to cross the border on foot?
Otherwise, well, I suppose there is some means of trasport coming and going on the two sides of the frontier. I've read somewhere that only greek taxis do this job. I don't know.
If you have some more suggestion, please write.
My plan did work!
Last weekend I went from Thessaloniki to Edirne in the following way:
- train from Thessaloniki to Kastanies, which is a very little and desolated village on the greek side of the greek-turkish border. Its train station (which looks like a tiny bus station) is the closest greek one to Edirne.
- from there you can walk about ten kilometres in two hours and be in Edirne downtown (you can already see the city and its innumerable minarets from the train before arriving to Kastanies). Anyway, you can ask other people who are crossing the border by car to pick you up (but this might result strange to the bored frontier police...). On the turkish side you might be lucky and meet a taxi not far from the border. As to me, I prefered walking: entering the city on foot, crossing the bridges on Maritza/Meriç and Tunca rivers and seeing the mosques coming nearer and nearer, was really great.
- consult the greek railway website (http://www.ose.gr)
- be patient with greek trains: they're going to reach their destination at least half an hour late (in my case it was two hours).
- on the way to Edirne, you might have to trasfer to another train like all the passengers in Alexandroupoli.
- make sure the greek conductor on the train knows that you are getting off at Kastanies (otherwise the train might not stop). He passes several times through the coaches to announce the following stations. The best moment is when leaving Nea Orestiada, a relatively big town immediately before Kastanies.
- don't worry if in Kastanies you are the only person getting off the train: I guess it's normal. Close the door of the coach and wave the railwayman to tell him that he can go. Then walk towards the village, take the first road on your right, follow it until the main street and turn right again.
- if walking, obviously have a look to the weather forecasts.
- entering Turkey, some four hundred metres after the turkish control office, you'll meet with another military post and two or three young soldiers. Note that if you are walking they must verify that you have not entered Turkey in a clandestine way, for example passing through the wide fields which surround the area. Simply show them your passport with the seal and it'll be ok, even if they speak to you with rough manners (this because probably they don't like very much staying there...).
- on the way back, I suggest you take the train in a more important station in which you are sure the train is stopping. For this reason, you can take a bus to Nea Orestiada in the main square of Kastanies. There you can buy the ticket (1,80 €) in the little petrol station. Better being there around midday.
- don't be afraid of the frontier atmosphere: you're not doing anything wrong and the police aren't claiming you are.
There are some numerous local Otokar buses running from Karaagaç to Edirne. Karaagaç is a small village which is located have way between Kastanies and Edirne.
In May the cost was 2 liras, but due to the bridge reconstruction it was running only up to the river...
So the actual "walking distance" in this case is 1.3km from Kastanies to the Turkish border point + 2km to the Karaagaç...
Plus there are pretty good chances to catch some kind of taxi or small bus from the border point itself or Turkish military garrison (couple hundred meters from the border).
Or if you are able to spend the whole day you can always use Pythion-Istanbul car (it runs with Uzunkopru-Istanbul train)+ IC from Pythion to Solun and vice versa
I used to live in Edirne. As far as I know you are not allowed to walk through the border because Greeks consider the border as a military zone. You should find a taxi in Kastanies which is right at the border and Edirne is not far away from the border (I walked to the border from Edirne once). I am planning to cross from Edirne to Kastanies next April.
I hope it helps,
yilomka, I've personally crossed that border by foot (twice - from both sides) not so long time ago and had no problems with doing it ;)