“YOU are smell, smell, smell!!!” shouted the fat, sweaty penguin-looking bus trolley-dolly. It was clear he was not happy because Alexei had taken off his trainers (it was boiling) but it seemed a bit over the top to shout like a nuclear bomb had just gone off. The irony was that the only smell on the metro bus was the trolley dolly’s bad body odour, developed over an 11 hour bus ride! We had another five hours until we arrived in Trabzon and were desperate for a few hours sleep, however this was looking unlikely as ‘trolly dolly’ had taken a major disliking to us and was determined to wake us up every five minutes to shout about a new obscure rule he had invented! Besides ‘shoe-gate’, trolly dolly got mad at Alexei for eating on the bus (despite them serving us food) and then informed us that we weren’t allowed to stretch our legs (which he indicated by giving Alexei’s leg a proper kick as he walked past). We were beginning to doubt if breathing oxygen was allowed by this point, so to get in his good books and help improve the situation, we decided the best thing to do would be to eat a nice juicy kebab, stand in the aisles and chat as loudly as possible each time he walked past.
The streets of Trabzon…
Luckily we managed to arrive in Trabzon without any fisticuffs on the bus. Trabzon immediately felt different, everywhere we looked we saw ninjas for a start! It turned out Trabzon was a very popular holiday destination for the Saudi Arabians, hence the major groups of ‘ninjas’ on the streets. Feeling confused we headed off in search of our AirBNB room, which we hoped would be safe given our recent experience with Couchsurfing…. When we first arrived in Turkey, we were amazed by Couchsurfing and the number of seemingly friendly people inviting us to stay at their place for free. Then just before Trabzon we received a really odd request, a message from a guy who had read our profile (which mentioned that ‘we are open minded travellers’) and wanted to know exactly HOW opened minded we were… if you catch my drift. This is a rarity and genuinely couchsurfing.com is an awesome site but that message spooked us a bit and we decided AirBNB would be a safer option.
Amazingly futuristic looking gardens in the city centre – a rare example of a well thought out cityscape
Navigating the back alleys of the city centre we arrived at the front door, ‘Welcome to Victor & Anastasia’s place’ read the sign. We were greeted by Anastasia, a small Ukrainian woman who had been living in Trabzon for a while. It turned out that both her and her husband Victor had travelled around Turkey and Georgia and were now working saving some more money for their next adventure, whilst doing a bit of cheeky subletting. We threw our bags down and headed straight out, we had very important business to take care off – we needed to find carbs/ kebabs!
We took a quick walk around the town looking for local cuisine and settled for a chip butty (yes, no joke, chip butty is an authentic Turkish dish)… oh and two amazing ‘pides’ (Turkish pizza). It had been a long day and we had just committed carbs-icide, so it was time to call it a night!
Pide, Turkey’s answer to pizza… how has this not taken off around the world yet?!
The local speciality Pide – egg, cheese and butter + free hospital stretcher with every purchase
Besides drastically boosting our cholesterol level, we also checked out some of the sights in town. Along with a great view of the Black Sea and cool futuristic garden, one of the best sights in Trabzon itself is the Aya Sofia mosque, a repurposed ancient church (much like the one in Istanbul)