Pilgrimage – the road to Istanbul

Some of you, at least in the UK, may have watched the previous two programmes of BBC’s Pilgrimage series, and might like to watch the third installment which has just started on BBC2.

Hot on the heels of their predecessors, who journeyed to Santiago and Rome, seven new celebrities are set to embark on their own journey of discovery – this time to Istanbul. I’m not sure this is an actual pilgrimage route as such, but what the hell. It runs through a beautiful part of Europe and it features Dom Jolly who is always fun.

Taking part is journalist Adrian Chiles, a converted Catholic; former politician Edwina Currie, a lapsed Jew; Olympian Fatima Whitbread, a Christian; broadcaster Mim Shaikh and TV presenter Amar Latif, both Muslims; and two confirmed atheists, comedian Dom Joly and actress Pauline McLynn.

Donning backpacks, the group will spend just over two weeks living as simple pilgrims following an ancient 1,000km military route, which has been transformed into a modern-day path of peace.

Starting in Serbia’s capital city Belgrade, the pilgrims will travel through Bulgaria and the mountainous Balkans, before crossing the border into Turkey, with their goal of reaching Istanbul and the Suleymaniye Mosque.

I have yet to watch this and don’t know which old route they may have followed, but some of it will probably cross places visited by Paddy, and they may even use parts of the Via Egnatia that I started to walk ten years ago; I must finish it sometime!

Find out more and watch (if your location permits) here. If you use a VPN package like Nord VPN (which is top grade VPN) you can connect to the UK.


6 thoughts on “Pilgrimage – the road to Istanbul

  1. arjan schuiling

    For those who haven’t watched this fascinating documentary yet the road to Istanbul uses the Sultans Trail. The Sultans Trail (www.sultanstrail.net) is a relatively new long-distance-hiking route, the route was founded in 2010 by a group of Dutchmen and roughly follows the roads that were once used by the Ottoman armies advancing all the way to Vienna where they lost a crucial battle. The 2,300 kilometres which may be navigated with a special Sultans Trail app, pass through eight different countries (Austria, Slowakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and finally Turkey). In recent years the route has also been made available for cyclists.
    Arjan Schuiling Bulgaria coordinator Sultans Trail

    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Hi Elisabeth. Not sure you have to do anything! But outside of the UK and you want to watch iPlayer and other sites restricted by country (basically your IP address), you can spoof it by using a VPN and connecting via a UK based VPN. NOrd VPN is top quality and has VPN locations all over the world including the UK.

  2. 151A Dartmouth Road, London, SE26 4RQ/ENGLAND

    Thank you for making me aware of this journey – ‘The Pilgrimage to Istanbul’ as i have visited Istanbul about 10 years ago, when my son was teaching there. A different world and beautiful. I am German and live in London. Also, i am a great admirer of Paddy’s books, especially ‘A Time of Gifts’, ‘Between the Woods and the Water’, ‘The Broken Road’ and others. I have watched the First Episode and look forward to the next few.


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