Samsun to Trabzon

Saturday, July 30, 2022 - 19:30

After the mammoth driving day yesterday we took a well deserved slow start to the day today, not leaving out hotel until about 11.30am. Our main task for the day was then the roughly five hour drive to the next major city along the Black Sea coast: Trabzon. This drive took us down the dual carriageway along the coast, which was an easy enough road, and while there were a good number of cars, it was never busy enough to be congested. This was a pleasant surprise, since we really hadn't been expecting dual carriageway in this part of the country, but something more like Bosnia and Albania with stop-start single carriageway. For some reason the perception of East Turkey (i.e. the Asian part) is that it is under developed and poor, but we haven't found this to be the case at all. Not least the decent road infrastructure (with quite a few impressive tunnels straight through mountains), but the entire coastline from Samsun to Trabzon is developed or developing, with apartment blocks and town after town every stretch of the way. It certainly isn't a sparsely populated area of small villages as we had imagined.

Our main stop was approximately halfway along the route in the port city of Ordu. We stopped with the primary purpose of charging the car, but we got lucky with this charger since it was at a hotel right on the coast at the start of a lovely promenade of walkways, parks and a few restaurants. We stopped for lunch right on the edge of the water, where I tried Pide for the first time and Melisa had fresh grilled salmon, and all for £11 including service. Pide is something I hear people at home lazily call 'Turkish pizza', and while that is a reasonable description to quickly describe it, I found it quite different due to no tomato base, lots of garlic oil, and a shape a bit like a long boat (photo below). I went for one with Turkish feta cheese and ground meat and it was absolutely delicious. We then walked the lunch off along the promenade which took us past an exhibition of historical photos of the city, and to a small beach. Here we both dipped our feet in the Black Sea for the first time and found it pleasantly warm and much calmer than a more open sea. Unfortunately the beach itself was very dirty, covered in small pieces of litter and cigarette butts a bit like the one in Kumbağ - seems the Turks need to clean up their beaches a bit! Regardless, it made us excited for our upcoming few days on the Black Sea beach in Batumi.

Once back in the car we drove past huge numbers of police on the way out of Ordu. Turns out that President Erdoğan was visiting the city today and was due to arrive very soon at the nearby airport! Quite the coincidence, and we did consider hanging around but thought it best not to join any crowds with a dog and a baby. In preparation for the occasion they had lined the entire dual carriageway from the city centre to the airport in red bunting, Turkish flags, and flags with pictures of Erdoğan on them. This went on for several kilometres, with police also stationed every 100m of so. All lorries had also been pulled over, creating a very long queue and some frustrated looking drivers who probably, like us, also didn't know this was happening today.

The remainder of the drive to Trabzon wasn't particularly noteworthy. However, when we arrived in Trabzon at our hotel we found it was in a horrible part of town that was very run down. Melisa popped into the hotel to take a look around and found it was in similar condition to the streets outside. As a result we decided it wasn't suitable for the family and we moved on a bit up the coast and quickly found a very nice apartment in a new block just on the outskirts of the city. Luckily the original hotel wasn't very expensive (it was non refundable) and this was the first slip up of its kind on the trip so far, which isn't bad going really. Trabzon itself is another sprawling city along the Black Sea coast, similar to what we saw yesterday in Samsun. Trabzon might sound familiar to football fans since the local team Trabzonspor recently won the 21-22 season in the Turkish league for the first time in 38 years, meaning there were flags and banners hanging all over the city.

Electric Vehicle EV Notes: 

A fairly straightforward day today with the car, and the wind was with us on the road so we got great economy on the drive.
- ZES charger at the Ademon Otel in Ordu, right outside in the car park and perfectly positioned for a walk on the promenade while topping up.
- ZES charger at the Movenpick Hotel Trabzon, also right outside.

Miles Driven: 
Sulduz Hotel Apart


It gets more incredible by the day

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