any one been to the northeast turkey?

Apr 3rd, 2011, 02:04 PM
  #1  
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any one been to the northeast turkey?

planning to spend 4 days in trabzon on the black sea. looks a lot like switzerland rather than turkey. anyone have any ideas for the area? need a car?

thanks
toledodd is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 11:58 PM
  #2  
 
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To answer your questions:

1. yes, i have ideas abut the area, having visited it twice. Check the following and the three other attached blogs, although the blogs start after our visit to the area between Trabzon and Hopa, they will give you an idea.

Initially, you would be doing Sumela Monastery. Then, Uzun Gol, Camlihemsin and Ayder are the usual locations. However, Borcka Karagol is more important than Uzun Gol.

Write if you need info on road conditions, handicrafts, locally manufactured kitchen knives, honey. Give month of travel. (i know that you do not like to acknowledge answers to your posts from your previous posts)

2. yes, it will be quite useful to have a car.
otherchelebi is online now  
Apr 4th, 2011, 04:05 AM
  #4  
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thank you very much for your response. we plan to be there from may 6-10. staying at kuleli hotel in downtown. may seems to be a rainy month for the region with temps in the mid 60s - correct? i see that there are minibuses that travel in the area, are they good for going to sites and nearby villages? how are the roads to major sites? have driven all over the world and it has been no problem in the past. car for entire time or just a day or two?
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Apr 4th, 2011, 04:09 AM
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otherchelebi; i see that you are located in istanbul. we are spending a week there at the end of our trip - may 10-17.
toledodd is offline  
Apr 4th, 2011, 06:46 AM
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My advice will be to spend either the first or the last night in Trabzon, depending on your flight schedule. Trabzon, the city has one old church and just a few other minor sites. Everything else is closer to Rize and up the mountains from Hopa once you have visited Sumela monastery. If your flight is in the morning, take a rental car (possibly only Avis?) and go to Sumela through Macka. If it is not wet, you will be back on the highway to Rize in about two hours or slightly longer.

You should be checking the weather conditions for at least a week before you get to the region to find out about possible flooding and land slides in the area. Getting to Sumela will not be a problem because of too much precipitation but going to Uzungol or up to Ikizdere or Camlihemsin and Ayder may.

Stay the first night at possibly Dedeman hotel, just outside Rize. There is a regional women's arts center on the highway on your right, as you are passing Rize, near a Caykur building if i remember correctly. some tatting and so forth.

A small town on the highway towards Hopa is famous for its handmade knives called Surmene. However, i find them too flexible to be good cheff's knives. but they make excellent filet knives, requiring frequent honing.

Your second day, you can drive up from Hopa to Borcka, and the Borcka Black lake which has a dirt road of a few kilometers after the turn off from the Macahel (Camili) highway. Check at a gas station if the road is passable with the car you have rented (i find that renault clios are good on that kind of terrain. Do not get a fiat or kia or hyundai) If you have time and the weather is good, you may want to continue to Artvin and maybe even Savsat which has its own black lake (which we unfortunately missed) and a castle, with a number of ruined georgian churches on the way, another castle and an interesting canyon (Hell stream Canyon). Unfortunately all these require some detours and except for the canyon, dirt roads.

Coming back you can stay at Rize Dedeman again and then visit Camlihemsin-Ayder on your way back to Trabzon for your flight.

There will be no guarantees on the honeys that you get in the valleys, you have to go by gut feeling. At lower elevations, you will have darker colored chestnut honeys which are a bit bitter but are said to have some medicinal qualities. As you get higher up and especially at the high pastures of Ayder, the honey should be very light in both color and taste. Even a hint of a stronger taste may mean that the bees may have been fed glucose syrup to augment and to speed up honey production. If you can find labeled jars, go for the TEMA brand, as this is a foundation dedicated to the environment and assisting villagers in honey production while checking their output.

The Black Sea is usually always rainy and mild. Hoody rain-proof jackets are definitely needed as well as water-proof foot wear. Yet, you may be lucky and hit some beautiful Spring days.

I envy you. You will see hundreds of waterfalls, small streams with quaint bridges over them, interesting wooden houses amidst forests on the mountains, many different kinds of dense forests and wild flowers, hazelnut trees, tea plantations and of'course mountains that belong in a fairy tale. Ask for sauteed thistle (aesaergun cuvoorma ) or other wild greens at restaurants.
otherchelebi is online now  
May 7th, 2011, 07:58 AM
  #7  
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currently in rize staying downtown, mistake too much traffic; hard to find parking. spent day at sumela and villages along the way. wandered rize for a while, getting ready to play backgammon for a while.

tomorrow to explore region near rize. ideas????

thanks
toledodd is offline  
May 7th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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Drive up to Camlihermsin and Ayder or Ikizdere. Both valleys are lovely and very different from each other.

Ayder is a more friendly pasture and fair ground like are and also has some nice wooden bungalow accommodation. If you climb above Ikizdere through the other valley, you will come to Ovit mountain and the pastures of Ispir, which are not as friendly but are interesting sites with the scree or shale left from former glaciers.

At Ikizdere, eat some Great Northern White beans (kourou fasoulya) at Turist Omer's Restaurant next to the bridge on the river. You may actually buy some honey there also. (chew your beans a great deal and do not eat sweets or fruit for at least two hours afterwards to prevent insulting behavior from mate and neighbors)

Let me know when you arrive in istanbul, if you have practiced your backgammon sufficiently.
otherchelebi is online now  
May 9th, 2011, 08:00 AM
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today we drove from rize to camlihensin and wandered the village. saw a very handsome older man and i complimented his beard and he invited us to join him for cay. he lived in brooklyn, as does our daughter, for 3 years driving taxi. before that he was a chemical engineer but didn't like the work. he is now a devout muslim and lives pretty much alone in the mountains, at least that is the story that we got.

drove to ayder first until we got to the narrow stone road. wandered the meadows and climbed down to the stream below the waterfalls. we had lunch at KOPRUBASI which is on the road from ayder to camlihemsin - excellent fresh trout. i helped capture them with my hands from the tank. we were served on the 2nd level up the hill at a sheltered table - beautiful view. excellent food and only 40 tl for salads, drinks and 2 trout each. the restaurant has a stone bridge leading to it.

as we were entering camlihemsin we turned left and drove for about 15 km. our journey was slowed by a herd of horses wandering the roadway, 10-15 cows doing the same and finally a herd of about 50 sheep with 3 very interesting looking older shepards.

it was a beautiful sunny day with plenty of blue sky and just enough clouds to give the green and blue contrast.

the people in this region are the most hospitable that we have ever encountered. thank you for all the information that you have provided. your help really made our trip special.

we get into istanbul on tuesday, tomorrow for a week, but i'm afraid that my backgammon is at the beginner level even though my wife and i play about an hour every day.

thanks once again,
toledodd is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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I am glad you enjoyed yor trip and that you had a sunny day.

Please send me a PM on Trip Advisor with your Istanbul stay details and i will try to arrange a meeting, if i can, depending on my dentist's good will regarding the implants he will start tomorrow.
otherchelebi is online now  
May 10th, 2011, 06:36 AM
  #11  
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not sure how to send PM (personal message)? we are settled in istanbul and staying in an apartment near the tophane tram stop. very nice location, just ok place.

would love to get together if it works into your schedule. my email is [email protected]

hope that your dentist is good to you. my brother-in-law had implants done and it was more inconvenient than painful.

good luck
toledodd is offline  
May 12th, 2011, 09:02 AM
  #12  
 
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toledodd, i sent a message to above address two days ago ?

i found someone who can do my implants under full anesthesia later, so i am not as worried as before.
Thanks for your well wishes.
the ones i had on the lower jaw were very painful because of the proximity to a major nerve. They say, the upper jaw is a cinch unless the dentist breaks into a sinus cavity.
otherchelebi is online now  
May 29th, 2011, 05:18 AM
  #13  
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home in toledo from our turkish adventure. unbelievable! you were a great help. i never saw your email. would loved to have met and thanked you personally. in istanbul our least favorite things were the big 3 at sultanahmet and the grand bazar - way too many people and aggressive salesmen. our favorite activity was wander back streets and getting lost - always kind of knew where we were. loved the day we spent in uskudar - went to the hamam at cinili, wandered the antique and book shops (got asked for cay twice), lunch at kanaat lokantasi - sure that you must know this great place (never got beyond 2 tables full of mezes and the fabulous deserts). i guess what we like most about the area was that once we got off the town square, there were no people like us - tourists. you must recommend this area to visitors. thanks once again for all of your help.
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