30/01 au 05/02/19 – Mer Noire en demi-teinte

Amasya, Amasya… What to say? Well, not much, since after a quick reading of the guide, we will not stop there, passing by its ancient tombs, its castle and its old Ottoman houses.

All this to end up on a campsite in Samsun, a city of 600 000 inhabitants without much interest. A bit of a mess…

Well, the 2 days on site will be spent with DIY activities and planning the rest of the trip, knowing that we will soon fork towards the mountains and Erzurum, where the steps we’ll have to go through to get our Iranian visas await us.

But first of all, heading further east to discover the Sumela Monastery, perched 1200 meters above sea level, Ayder and its Ottoman bridges, Rize and its terraced tea plantations.

Two days later, after several steps on the coastal road wedged between the sea and a terrain very quickly steep, we will visit the monastery, lit by a beautiful sun. The site has been in restoration for 3 years, but a priori, we can still access it. The climb up the main road (partially under construction and closed to vehicles), between the huge firs, the few patches of snow and the stream below, leads us to a beautiful and well closed door. This will not prevent us from enjoying the panorama at the foot of this beautiful building dug and built in the rock itself.

New encounter for this outing: Matthieu and Sarah, a young Belgian couple and his van Westfalia, en route also for Southeast Asia…and also in the middle of the process of acquiring their Iranian visas in…Trabzon (that we left in a hurry the day before after a very disappointing visit of the ruins of the castle). Apparently very fast and simple via the website of the Ministry of Immigration and then to the consulate. Nice tips! If it can avoid us to go through an agency and take a detour through Erzurum and its -15 ° C…

So back to Trabzon, where we will stay 2 days to handle these document issues. And to take a closer look at Arty who is not better and is slow, even on a flat terrain and even downhill now.

It was not a myth, and we get our visas in 24 hours! Valid for 3 months. So we would be tempted to extend our stay in Turkey, a lot of which remains to be discovered: all the south above the border with Syria, Mount Nemrut and its Giant Heads.

But that will be another story: it’s time to finish our journey in this part of the country, before getting closer to the mountains and the Iranian border, 650 km to the east.

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