Exploring Turkey, a mini holiday in Uzungöl

Exploring Turkey, a mini holiday in Uzungöl

Today I bring my second visit to the Iranian Consulate in Trabzon. Yesterday I received my Visa Registration Code from a tour operator in Iran. This is the first step in the application procedure. With this code, I may give it a second try.

I walk through the main shopping area in Trabzon where the Monday morning is reserved for a big cleanup. Windows are cleaned, bags of chips dusted and the floors mopped. What strikes me in Turkey is that many things are happening by everyone at once. The rituals in the Turkish culture, everyone does it. Drinking tea for example. What I also noticed is how the shopping area is divided. Dutch people would find it not so practical to start a household shop next to another household store. In Turkey this is different. Here you have a whole street full of exactly the same stores with exactly the same products. You find a street with pots and pans next to a street fruit and vegetables next to a street with cheese and olives. Ten shops next to each other with sometimes even the same furnishings.

After 25 minutes waiting at the Iranian Consulate I received the message that my code does not appear yet in the system. I have to come back in two days.

I already calculated that I did not immediately walked out with a visa, and therefore I planned a mini holiday to Uzungöl. Uzungöl is one of the most unique places in Turkey and means freely translated long lake. It is 100 kilometers away from Trabzon. I walk back to the shopping area where I buy some Turkish sandwiches with unknown contents and then starts cycling towards Uzungöl. Today the sun is shining, which is quite unique here around this time I know after being a week in Trabzon.

I start a beautiful bike ride along the Black Sea towards Rize the city which is known for the Turkish tea.

I do not cross Rize today because 25 kilometers before Rize, at the city Of I turn right into the mountains. I make a stop at one of the local bakeries who directly offers me a cup of tea and starts talking about his truck rides with flowers from Amsterdam to Antalya. In the Netherlands, they always sell those little sandwiches he explains, your belly is never satisfied with it.

In Turkey it is different.

Turkish bakers making the original Trabzon ekmegi

Trabzon ekmegi

This is great, this landscapes are so beautiful. This is Turkey, this is local, this is how people live here in the mountains.

Mountainous Turkey

In every village you see a minaret of a mosque. Sometimes two, sometimes three.

Minaret of a mosque in Turkey

And unfortunately, also today the sun disappears in the afternoon and it starts to rain. After a 30km steady climb, I start to be tired. I decide in the village Uzungöl just before the long lake that I needed to take a rest. I set up my tent in the rain and just before the dark. Tomorrow I hope for better weather to shoot some amazing photos of the beautiful lake which is two kilometers away.

I wake up to my phone alarm, today there is no time to lose! I shoot some photos of this nice campsite.

Camping at a river in Turkish mountains

I remember myself that it’s pretty nice to camp in Turkey, no one here seems to care that I set up my tent everywhere. After some photos I grab my stuff and cycle toward the lake. When I finally am up on the mountain, I realize that I forgot my GoPro. Back to the campsite and I start the climb again.

When, after a vigorous climb I finally go a little bit down I can’t believe my eyes, this is definitely one of the most unique places I’ve encountered in Turkey.

Arrival in Uzungöl

After a tour around the lake I decided to treat myself to a Turkish breakfast in one of the many restaurants here. To come back to the shopping area in Trabzon, even here in Uzungöl you see it. Everything is crammed with hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops. I think it’s a waste of an ever untouched village but understand on the other side that I otherwise would never knew this place.

Mountains, rocks and a cyclist

After breakfast I start the retreat of 100 kilometers. I want to be back tonight in Trabzon because tomorrow morning I do my third attempt to the Embassy of Iran for a visa to visit this beautiful country.

I am eager to continue traveling to Georgia to experience new adventures. But I must have a little bit patient.