We were due to leave Tirebulo at 8 o’clock, we were just contemplating getting up when we could hear, “Cuffysark”. I obviously got up, and there was Dusk with our anchor hooked up on their anchor. This is bound to happen at some time when there are so many boats moored up together in med mooring style. Med Mooring is where you drop your anchor and then reverse up against a quay and tie up on the quay. It can be quite easy for a chain to lay across someone else’s’ as boats are moored up close together. Dusk didn’t take long and we were off the hook!
We attended the Sis Dag (Fog Mountain) Cultural Festival in the Salpazari district of Trabzon, that has been held for 200 years, 2022 was the 201st such festival. Sis Dag is over 2,000 metres high. Villagers from all around flock to the area where there is a market, music, dancing and lots of food stalls. There were cows wandering around too. There is a traditional dance where it starts with people dancing in a line holding hands and it gets bigger and bigger and ends up around the hill side. Many of the villagers are in traditional costumes. On the food stalls there are piles and piles of loaves of bread which we believe is sour dough and they are big and heavy. You could certainly build your muscles up carrying a couple of these. The fog did come in during our time on the mountain.
You do have to smile at times with how the Turkish deal with situations. On our journey to the festival we go through a town and there’s a car blocking the road, the driver had just popped into the shop. The bus driver hops out of his seat, gets into the car, expecting the keys to be in the ignition, absolutely they were, moved the car out the way and off we went on our journey. No drama no road rage, problem solved.
The journey was up some very steep dirt track roads. Unfortunately, the bus we were on wasn’t too happy with this and as a consequence was damaged. So off we all get and also those on the other bus. There was a café just around the corner, so off we went. Ian jokingly asked one of our fellow Turkish sailors, “do you think they’ll have some beer?”. No of course not, we are in a very dry part of Turkey. So of we go, order our tea, when we discover someone had eagle eyes and had found they did sell beer. This small café in the middle of nowhere did a roaring trade that afternoon and it made the time we were waiting for another bus much more pleasant.
We are nearing the end of the Turkish coast on the Black Sea and our next port was Trabzon. We arrived and had a tour of the city first visiting the Hagia Sofia, yes there is also one in Istanbul. It was originally a Greek orthodox church which was converted into a mosque in 1584, then in 1964 into a museum. In 2013 it was back to being a mosque again.
We also visited the Ataturk Pavilion, which was a lovely building. Ataturk thought so too and as a result the city gifted him the house which he only stayed in a few days. The Pavilion was opened up as a museum after his death.
Trabzon is home to the Sumela Monastery which sits on the side of a mountain. It was founded in the 4th century by two monks names Barnabas and Sophronios, who came from Athens and built a small church here. The monastery was expanded during the Byzantine Empire and was used until 1923.
Now we’ve been to a factory where they convert the leaves to tea leaves for your cuppa. This time we visited a tea farm. The tea leaves are on bushes and it is just the tips of the bushes that are cut.
The following day was a bit of a different activity with zip lining and water rafting in Firtina Creek. Ian joined in with this. I sat and looked after a few people’s bags, not my thing.
We went up into the mountains and visited Zil Kale, the views were stunning. The landscape is amazing here.
We had one more Turkish port to visit and then we would be off to Georgia.