A certain nephew of mine used to ask this on car journeys when he was small. He asked it irritatingly often, and would repeat his query into his adult years when he wanted to goad people. He alternated with “C’est encore loin, Grand Schtroumpf?” (The latter question in French is a quote from the smurf comics he read.)
We set out from Bangkok in January with the idea of cycling “to Europe.” We had our supporters, as well as our fair share of doubters and naysayers. I had my own doubts when we left. The question we’ve asked ourselves in the last few days has been “Are we there yet?”
If we’d crossed the Dardanelles Straight to Gallipoli, the obvious move from Asia Minor to Europe there would have been the precise answer to the question. When we changed to a route through the Greek Islands of the eastern Aegean, however, we thought we’d change our definition of our arrival in Europe to having reached the Greek mainland, since these islands are still so physically close to Turkish Coast in Asia Minor. Now, having spent several days in Greece, we’ve reviewed that deferral. We think it’s fair to say : “We’re in Europe!”
There are so many cultural and economic clues that mark the contrast with Turkey, and which define us as being in Europe, it’s impossible to deny or delay admitting that we’ve arrived. It’s a good feeling.
PS from goal-oriented Chris:
I had always known we would have to take buses and taxis over some of the terrain. So I had always thought we would do a “15,000km ride from Bangkok to Europe”. The bike odometers are at 14,000km so completion of the journey for me requires another 1,000km. But as Margo says, “Once we reach Europe, the rest is gravy.”