Up early to breakfast – the usual, plus melon and cherry jam. Then off in car (via a new, quick route from the hotel manager – hurrah) to Sumela Monastery, one of the iconic sights from the region. The drive itself was gorgeous as we wound through a verdant yet craggy gorge-like river valley with towering cliffs above us. Much to our delight, the weather was gorgeous too!
Continue reading Black Sea Travels – Day 5, Trabzon
A quick breakfast in the car after a lie-in till 9am, then off along the coast again through Ordu and on to Giresun. Drove through Giresun and stopped (after driving around through some extremely hilly back roads and then back down the coast to a very crowded otopark) to go to the castle. We didn’t get to any castle in the end, but we did find a lovely view (below) and some one-eyed cats…
Continue reading Black Sea Travels – Day 4, Perşembe to Trabzon
Got an early start and were at the car (via bread shop) at 8am prompt to avoid getting a parking ticket (a good job as the ticket inspector was waiting to ‘label’ our car!). Loaded the car and drove up, up, up the hill rising in the centre of town to see the castle on top. Wow! A VERY steep climb to the top but absolutely incredible views from the top.
Continue reading Black Sea Travels – Day 3, Amasya to Perşembe
The day began with the electricity cutting out whilst Mark showered (in the cupboard room…) before we had a lovely köy kahvaltısı (village breakfast) that was soon to characterise our trip: kaşar peynir (cheese a bit like like cheddar), beyaz peynir (feta cheese), black olives, tomatoes, cucumber, local butter and fresh bread with homemade erik (plum) and ayva (quince) jams. Yum yum! Of course, no breakfast is complete without çay (black tea). We ate in a little lean to conservatory style building made of dark wood that thankfully let in enough light to counteract the ongoing powercut!
Continue reading Black Sea Travels – Day 2, Mudurnu to Amasya
Day one nearly wasn’t day one at all… We were supposed to receive our car on Friday night, but upon visiting the car rental place, they told us that it would come on Saturday “before 9am” instead. 10 o’clock came. No car. By 11 we had called the garage several times. “30 minutes” they said each time. Anyway, at 11.30 Mark came home with our white Fiat Albea (white being one of the key criteria according to the salesperson…).
True, it looked a little the worse for wear, but it worked. We hurriedly started to pack the car.
Continue reading Black Sea Travels – Day 1, Istanbul to Mudurnu