Trabzon Travel Guide

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Trabzon is not one of my favourite cities in Turkey, yet it serves as a good base for sightseeing in the area. Although few western tourists go in that direction, people from the Middle East are a frequent sight. During the 1990’s, it also enjoyed great financial success as a central hub of the suitcase tourism trade. Socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe had fallen. Travel restrictions were lifted, prompting Russians and other Eastern European citizens to travel … Read More

Memories of the Ayder Plateau

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Out of all my travel memories from around Turkey, the Ayder plateau stands out for a quirky and possibly absurd reason. I remember that it was the end of June, and while my friends on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts were enjoying alfresco dining on warm summer evenings, I was huddled in my hotel room. Despite wearing two pairs of socks, a jumper, my coat, and covering myself with a thick blanket, I felt an unwelcome shriving cold in my … Read More

Exploring Hattusa and Yazilikaya

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Hattusa, on the edge of the central Anatolian and Black Sea regions of Turkey is one of the country’s less visited attractions that was added to the World UNESCO Heritage site list in 1986. Don’t underestimate it’s historical importance, though. While the guidebooks overshadow it with the likes of Istanbul, Ephesus, and Cappadocia, it is equally significant when discussing past civilizations of Turkey, because Hattusa was the capital city of the ancient Hittite Kingdom. Since I was in Cappadocia that … Read More

Are the Laz and Hemsin Communities of Turkey Losing their Plateau Culture?

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My visit to the Northeast region of Turkey has always stuck firmly in my mind. Further inland and outside of the main cities of Trabzon and Rize, it is hard to believe the green hills, tea plantations and cool climate are part of this country. Life in the small villages is basic and old fashioned. I witnessed people building their own wood-houses and milking their cows by hand. In the hotel I stayed in, the cheese, and butter served at … Read More

The Yayla Houses of Demirkapi Plateau

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Demirkapi plateau is probably the most surreal place I have visited in Turkey. Located in the Kackar Mountains, we had spent the previous night in Uzungol and the next day, made our way up the mountain using the Haldizen road that was lined with forests, twisted at every opportunity and ran directly next to a fast flowing stream. The aim was to see Yayla houses, which are summer homes that people migrate to when the temperatures of coastal areas become … Read More

The Ottoman Stone Bridges of Firtina River

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In the Rize province of Turkey, sits the Firtina valley. The whole landscape is filled with greenery and when compared to city life like Istanbul or beach resorts of the Aegean; it is easy to image the region as existing in a different country. Hotels in the area are traditional Black sea and locals still adhere to rural life and customs. The focal point of the region is the river that runs through it. Formed by a number of streams … Read More

The Black Sea Region Of Turkey – My Travel Plans

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I sat down today and planned a tour in the Black Sea region of Turkey. It is on the north coast  and comprises of  many resorts and places to visit.It is my dream to travel this area. The problem is finding travel information is harder than it looks. Thousands of blog posts have been written about Istanbul or Cappadocia but it seems the Black Sea region of Turkey is not popular. Even Wiki travel has blank spaces for where it … Read More

Sumela Monastery and the Black Madonna

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Clinging to the side of a mountain in the green and lush area of Maçka  is Sumela monastery, which was built in the fourth century.  I had joined a tour and traveled from the nearby city of Trabzon to visit the iconic building. We drove as far as possible and walked the last two hundred metres uphill. Most of it was uneven ground, sometimes narrow and large tree roots protruding out of the ground were an accident waiting to happen. … Read More

The Grand Hagia Sophia of Trabzon

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The Hagia Sophia of Trabzon is nothing like its equivalent in Istanbul. Smaller and without any majestic pieces of art, it stands discreetly with the sea in the distance and no presence on the horizon. For many years, I assumed there was one Hagia Sophia in Turkey, which is the architectural masterpiece standing across from the Blue mosque in Istanbul. However, there are four of them, two in Istanbul, one in Iznik and this one in Trabzon. On first sight, … Read More

The Colourful Wooden Mosque of Maral

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From the outside, the wooden mosque of Maral looked plain and boring. Situated on a slope, next to a winding mountain road, it would be easy to dismiss it as an abandoned building with no life. The wood was old and tired. It looked out of place with the metal minaret. I was not expecting to be wowed. Once you have seen the size and décor of the Blue mosque in Istanbul, it is difficult to view any other mosque … Read More

Trabzon City in Turkey : It’s Full of Love!

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I spent three days in Trabzon city in Turkey and as a solo female traveller, I felt safe. It was easy to navigate and the locals were very friendly. Mention the city in other parts of Turkey, and most people will associate it with its football club, Trabzon Spor. The city has a lot more to offer though, then just being a football hub. About Trabzon City in Turkey Due to it’s location on the old silk road, Trabzon has … Read More

A Panoramic View of Rize from Çaykur Tea Garden

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I placed the back of my hand over my nose and mouth in attempt to cover up the overwhelming smell. I did not want to cup my palm over my mouth, fearful of the germs that I had picked up.While holding my breath, I quickly washed my hands and then made a run for the door. It was too late. My throat started to dry heave as I gasped for some fresh air to replace the smell, resembling a sewage … Read More

The Striking Beauty of Efeler Valley

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I have never been a fan of walking, instead considering it to be a waste of time when I could go from A to B much quicker using transport. If people listed walking or trekking as their hobbies, I used to scoff, insisting my time would be better spent doing other things. My opinions were to change after I spent an afternoon walking through Efeler Valley Efeler Vadisi It is called Efeler Vadisi in Turkish and is located high in … Read More

Karagöl : The Black Lake of Borçka

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The drive to Karagöl was not easy or pleasant. Translating into Black Lake, Karagöl is located high in the mountains of Borçka. It does not appear on printed maps, considered too small to be of any significance. It is highly recommended to visit though, if you can face the treacherous ride up the mountain. Driving to the Black Lake of Borçka Many of the roads in this area are poorly constructed and have no safety barriers in place. They are … Read More

Walking Hell’s Gorge

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I know exactly how Hell’s Gorge earned its name. It is nothing to do with the deep canyon or the narrow and stifling walking path between two massive mountains. No, I believe Hell’s gorge refers to how I felt after I had climbed it. I had been to hell and back again! I struggled over large boulders with sweat trickling down my forehead. I felt a tremendous strain in my upper leg muscles as I battled up tall stone steps … Read More

Beekeeping in Turkey : How To Make Sweet, Golden Honey

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Turkey ranks third of largest honey producing countries in the world and after I unexpectedly met a local beekeeper in Maral; I am surprised they are not number one. Personally, I think the bloke is mad to do the beekeeping job using his unorthodox methods but hey, this is Turkey and they do produce some of the sweetest honey on the market There is nothing fancy about beekeeping in Turkey. That is until you learn the specifics of how they … Read More

Black & White Photos of Trabzon, Turkey

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In the eastern Black sea region of Turkey, the city of Trabzon stands on the coastline. It is proud of its heritage and historical importance  as a major trading port on the old silk road. The region also captured the attention of many famous travel writers through history including Marco Polo and Evliya Celebi. They were not the only ones who were in awe of Trabzon because  in 1461, the Ottoman ruler Fatih Sultan Mehmet stormed in and conquered the … Read More

Göksu Waterfall & the Long Walk

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The guide said it was a gentle stroll to Göksu waterfall. “It will only take an hour,” he said Sounded good, I thought. Göksu waterfall is described as a beautiful and natural landmark of the Black sea region so I was desperate to see it. However, I soon learned that when it came to defining the words “gentle stroll” The guides definition and mine was completely different. Getting to Goksu Waterfall “You are not serious,” I said, staring down at … Read More

Photos of the Black Sea Region in Turkey

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By now, everyone knows that my dream is to travel around the Black Sea region of Turkey.  I have heard stories about lush, green mountains and wood houses that resemble the Swiss Alps. I am eager to meet the locals that apparently have a smile on their faces every day of the week. Each month with fierce determination, I save money for my traveling fund. I am also in the process of gathering information to plan  my month-long itinerary for … Read More

I Think I am 100 Years Old

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During my time in Turkey, I have often witnessed social situations when a person earns respect dependent on their status in society or their wealth. It is a part of Turkish life that I loath as more often than not, the same people have no moral ethics or mutual respect for other people. I instead prefer the term that “respect should be earned and not given”. However, last week, I met an old woman who earned my respect in an … Read More

Ataturk Pavilion in Trabzon

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While in Trabzon, I was desperate to see the the Ataturk pavilion, also known as Ataturk’s House (For those of you not familiar with Turkey, Ataturk was the man who led the Turkish war of independence, eventually leading to the formation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923). About Ataturk’s Pavilion in Trabzon Anyway, it transpired that Ataturk spent hardly any time in this house. A disappointing fact as this was also the case with the house of Ataturk in … Read More