I was in Turkey for a week and a half, and went to three areas: Trabzon, on the Black Sea coast near Georgia; Istanbul; and Goreme, Cappadocia. I’m mostly splitting up the posts because I have too many pictures.
On Sunday I met a friend and fellow volunteer, A, on the road, and took a marshutka to Kobeleti, which is on the coast near Batumi. We stayed at a homestay there, walked along the beach, and pretty much just hung out. In the morning we took a marshutka to Trabzon, where we met our hosts, found through Couchsurfing, a kind of recommendation system for travelers, and another traveler, who had been studying in Istanbul and was taking busses up to Russia. We swam in the sea, visited the town center, nd hung out with out hosts.
The next day A and I visited Sumela monastery, dramatically located mid-way up a mountain cliff. It’s very beautiful, but was abandoned and is now a museum. In the church, rather than carving out a dome, as is usual, they left the rock irregular and painted frescoes as though they had grown outward organically. The frescoes are lovely and well preserved, and the monastery is very beautiful. Back in Trabzon, we visited a little Byzantine Hagia Sophia church with lovely frescoes. Afterwards we took a night bus to Istanbul.