I’m on yet another travel hiatus – twoish weeks until I move to London for graduate school. I spent this past summer working in Turkey, which I’ll definitely post about soon, but for now I’m feeling nostalgic for a trip I took in 2015.
The whole experience of Trabzon, Turkey cannot be contained in one post: if I summed up the kidnapping of hapless Turkish men, driving the rental car through highly dubious places, bottomless cheese fondue, and countless other misadventures, we’d be here all day. For now, a quick primer on why two friends and I traveled 16 hours by bus for a 45 hour trip down the Black Sea. Trabzon (and its neighbor, Rize) are the primary producers of tea (cay) for Turkey. Seeing as Turkish people drink more cay than English folk (look it up!), that makes Trabzon a BFG. Throw in one badass monastery and that’s all the motivation we needed to book our tickets!
The tea was amazing, but the monastery took the cake. Theoretically, there’s one heck of an awesome view from the top, but as you can see, such was not the case in early May.
No matter: I love fog more than is probably healthy. We trekked the same paths the monks took (albeit now with 100% more guardrails) a ways up the mountain, wherein we were greeted with a city carved straight from the cliffside. The structure is still fairly intact, right down to the graffiti adding character to the Christian mosaics.
I’ve seen some pretty sweet monasteries in my day (hello, Cyprus), but this one takes the cake. Foreboding? Check. Near impossible to get to? Check. Sore legs in the morning because you’re not even a little in shape? You bet. The day only got better, as that evening, my friends and I had ourselves a homemade dinner: it may have been carbs with a side of carbs, but there’s nothing like spatula karaoke, awkward dancing, questionable Turkish ingredients, and a whole lotta friendship to top off a perfect day of adventuring.