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When arriving from D575/E881 (which connects Bursa with Yalova, and then on to Izmit and via ferries to Istanbul) to the west of Iznik, you have two choices. One of the roads skirts northern shore of Lake İznik, and the other follows the southern shore (İznik is located at the extreme eastern shore of the lake). Northern road diverges from D575/E881 at the city of Orhangazi, while southern road diverges from D575/E881 at a non-urban junction with traffic lights, located between Orhangazi and Gemlik. The truck driver who gave hitchhiker Vidimian a lift to this junction said the southern road is better trafficed, however once on that road – and found the vehicle frequency a little on the low side, many drivers reported that the northern road is in better condition, and thus has more traffic. Also many drivers admitted Vidimian that had they seen his sign saying simply ‘İznik’ earlier, they wouldn’t stop at all, since they were not going all the way to İznik but to villages on the way. So it may be a better idea to write the name of somewhere else along the road in addition to İznik. Writing Sölöz might be a good idea, since it’s a village more or less in the middle of the entire distance (from junction of D575/E881 to İznik), and also there is a fork there with a road diverging towards the town of Yenişehir, so drivers heading to both İznik and Yenişehir would think they can give you a lift to Sölöz, making you one step nearer to İznik.
The old town (=pretty much whole town) of İznik is enclosed with ancient city walls with four gates roughly corresponding to four cardinal gates. Gates are named after the towns the road exiting the gate in question leads to. Therefore it’s easy to guess on which road and which side of the town you should be hitching once you’ve decided where to move next. A quick guide of the gates:
- Istanbul Gate (İstanbul Kapı) – north/on your right side when looking towards the lake in the town square. Road leading to the highway (D130) between Yalova and Izmit, exactly between Karamürsel town and Topçular jetty (which has ferry links to Eskihisar near Istanbul. Also the road along the northern shore of the lake to Orhangazi leads from here.
- Lefke Gate (Lefke Kapı) – east/behind you when looking towards the lake in the town square. Road leading to Mekece and Osmaneli towns on the highway (D650) between Adapazari and Bilecik; eventually between Istanbul, Eskişehir, and Antalya. (note: Lefke is former name of Osmaneli)
- Yenişehir Gate (Yenişehir Kapı) – south/on your left side when looking towards the lake in the town square. Road leading to Yenişehir in the south. Also the road along the southern shore of the lake to Gemlik and Bursa in the west leads from here.
- The fourth gate, Lake Gate (Göl Kapı), in the west of the town, or in front of you when looking towards the lake in the town square, doesn’t lead to an inter-city road, but gives the town access to the lake shore.
Hitching on the road to east (via Lefke Gate) is not very difficult. If you get into the town via the road along the southern coast of the lake, you’ll find the traffic on this road absolutely much steadier.