As soon as we crossed into Turkey, we got into a cab bound for the Hopa otogar. The driver raced along the Black Sea coast, blasting the frantic Middle Eastern flavored exuberance that is Turkish pop music. At the otogar, a bus company employee took our money and stood in the blazing sun in between the four-lane highway to flag down our otobüs. Four hours later, we arrived in Trabzon.
I think we were in mourning for a while when we left Georgia behind. It’s not that we didn’t like Turkey. In fact, there was a lot to like about Trabzon. Our hotel room was nicer, the streets were cleaner, the waiters were actually attentive, and although it was a bit jarring and otherworldly at first, we grew to love the muezzin’s calls to prayer from the minaret across the square. We bought a new camera and tried not to think about how much more it was costing us to buy here, compared to what the sticker price is in the States.
Like many cities, Trabzon is gritty and rough and shiny and cosmopolitan all at once. After a while we decided we felt like we had oriented ourselves to the new culture and new language enough to hit the road again. Next stop, Cappadocia. We had been looking forward to this for a long time.