Trabzon has a spectacular location, perched on a hill overlooking the sea, with lush green mountains behind it. Once the capital of the empire founded in 1204 by Alexius Comnenus, grandson of a Byzantine emperor, the city was famed for its golden towers and glittering mosaics. Today's Trabzon seems far removed from that imperial past: the city is bustling and modern, with a busy port, crowded streets, and seemingly little to distinguish it from many other provincial Turkish towns. It only takes a little digging though, to get under the modern surface. Byzantine-era churches, such as the lovely Aya Sofya, a smaller version of the similarly named church in Istanbul, can be found not far from modern apartment buildings. Meanwhile, the city's old town with its Ottoman-era houses, pedestrian-only streets, and lively bazaar are a nice break from the concrete and crowds.
When there was every reason in the world to stay away and see the ruins, one woman traveled to Greece to get to work.More