sunset over the fortress in Sinop
It's time to give you some updates about my further way...
I am in Hopa
, a small city on the shore of the black Sea coast (Karadeniz) and ready to leave for Georgia.
After I spent some delightful days in Sinop
with exploring the beaches, eating great fish meals, discussing with old fishermen about the laic republic of Turkey and even seeing dolphins hunting, I decided to continue my journey.
After leaving my host whose family has a small restaurant at the seaside, I hitchhiked to Samsun a quite big city on the coast. It wasn't very appealing, so I stayed only for the night and took a hotel, as I was a little bit ill and really not in the mood to accept the offer of a guy who met me in the street and asked me in German whether I want to stay at his place...next time!
So I packed my stuff in the morning and headed on to Giresun
, the capital of hazelnuts at the Black Sea Coast.
The mountains around this city are treeless and covered over and over by hazelnut bushes...which are very fresh green in the moment. An amazing contrast to the sea
Sinop from the beach
view on the old fortress of Sinop
on the other side of the highway!
I liked the small valleys between the hills a lot and decided to explore one of them. I hitched in the direction which was pointed out by some locals, and had a nice time there with fishing, exploring an old mine shaft and meeting one really strange guy I have to tell you about:
His name was Mustafa and he approached me after some persons had problems accepting my decision to hitchhike and not to take a bus, so they thought someone who speaks German can bring me 'back on the right way'....ignorants!
Anyway, he came up to me and fed me with a lot of information in the 5 minutes we were speaking..some outtakes: "Weisst du, acht halben Jahre ich Deutschland, dann Problema, Drogen, alles...Heroin, Kokain weisst du ich verkauft mit Pistole und so...dann Problema....weisst du ich lieben bumsen kleine Menschen. Also zwei kleine Menschen in Hamburg dann Polizei, Gefaegnis und nix mehr Deutschland...scheisse weisst du!?!"
Well, to give you a short translation, he dealt with drugs in Germany and liked to fuck 'small people' and this preference brought him into prison for some time and then they sent him back to
Dolphins in the Black Sea
two dolhins hunt in the Black Sea, just 50m off the beach
Turkey...no Germany anymore....and believe me, thinking of him, I partly can understand the bad image of Turkey many Germans have. But that's another chapter...
I was happy that he left then and I could go on meeting nice people (well he looked nice as well...) and had a great time following the valley exploring small villages and beautiful rock formations.
After some time in Giresun and environment I proceeded to MaÃ§ka
and the SÃ¼mela Monastery
next to this small mountain village which grew to a Tourist Resort after SÃ¼mela became famous. During my hitchhike towards the monastery I met two wonderful guys, Hasret and Serkan, two teachers in a highschool in MaÃ§ka who invited me to dinner and to stay in the student dorm (where Serkan, a teacher, still lived) which was a great experience! I shared the room with 4 students and Serkan, and we had a great time together, watching Champions League and practising their English and my Turkish. Also they made me meet everyone important and showed me around school next morning. After breakfast I went on to the monastery where I experienced the downsides of a touristic place....I wanted to leave my bag at the restaurant
at the foot of the wall where the monastery is built in and they askewd me for 5YTL (around 3€)!?! The interesting thing is how he asked...with a very peculiar voice...so after I told him that he can't play with me like that (for 3€ you can nicely eat in a small restaurant here) he tried to make me understand that it was, of course, only a joke and that I can lave the bag for free (of course)....bastards...I hate it!
Anyway, the SÃ¼mela Monastery
was amazing, it is build in the rock and really big (though you cannot access all parts due to some restoration process) it was abandonned in 1923, but it's said to be built in 386, complete with a rock church covered with colourful frescos. Not to miss if you're around!
After visiting the monastery I continued my way, back to the coast and was really unlucky with my lift...some teenagers took me into their car and I have to admit that this was the most dangerous time of my hourney so far!!! They liked playing games and thought it's funny to risk their lives (and mine, which made it even worse ;-) by steering the car
80 year old salesman in Giresun
He went to Japan and Korea in order to fight North Korea and China in the 50s
really madly and overtaking in a curve....well I had them leave me at a petrol station on our way after some kilometers...they wer so desperatly to take me further, but I let them die alone....THESE are the people who make the statistics of road accidents become what they are....
I went on to SÃ¼rmene
a middle-size town at the coast where I just wanted to wait the rain to stop, but I met Osman, Cemal, Volkan and HÃ¼seyin in a Kebab restaurant and decided right away to stay for the night.
They are great guys and made me delicious (hand made) dÃ¶ner kebab, showed me around the town, explained me the very popular 'okey'
which is a the origin of the Rummicub game in Europe (I won together with Volkan :-) and last but not least spent a nice evenşng wşth me, watching another Champions League defeat of an English team :-). We all slept at HÃ¼seyin's single appartement nex to the highway and they were so nice that even after a long and delicious breakfast they didn't want me to leave...but I convinced them and promised to come back when I'm around next time (contact me for their email
if you go there :-).
After tis great experience in a, let's say not so beautiful place, I expected a lot from Camlıhemşil
, a beautiful town in the mountains (which are up to 4000m around here) which is quite touristic in summer and winter.
Well, on my way there, I had some downs, for example again people wanted me to pay for being a tourist....I asked for a cheap room because it was already getting dark and this guy had the balls to answer that I don't have to care about money, because 'You're am German'. Well, the rich German decided to give plenty of his money to someone else then ;-)
So I wandered around in the town and was lucky again, finding Nassir, a Turkish guy living in Scotland who offered me right away a place in the mountain house of his friend, where nobody lives anymore.
After driving up the steep road, I was so amazed by the view up there and the charming home they provided me for one night!!! It was a traditional wooden house in a village which was splattered around the mountain side on a high altitude (you could see some glaciers from
Turkish fishing boat
in the harbour of Giresun
there). Really special, so that's where I spent the night and a good part of the next morning having a look around...
Then I went down to the town again and on my way (some 10kms) I met Fatih, the Imam. This was interesting, after all the Imams I have seen hin the streets here and in television (not to forget the Kalif of Cologne) it was a pleasure to discuss with the 23year old Fatih whose motorbike brought him to the community for the Friday prayer :-)
After an experience like that, you will update your opinion on Islam and religious muslims, believe me!
On my way back I passed countless tea plantations, which replace the hazelnuts in the East of the Karadeniz region. The countryside there is really stunnşng, especially in the far North East of Turkey, where you have snow covered mountain ranges with tea bushes on the lower altitude in your back when you watch the sun setting in the Black Sea...magnificant! Now I am off to Georgia which is some 10 km from here and where I will have a short look before I come back to Turkey in order to enter Iran from here.
Update comes soon :-)
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