EuropeTurkeyRize

Visit to the Ayder Plateau and my first Turkish Bath!

Rize Travel Blog

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So we found out the hard way today that Rize is the rainest city in all of Turkey!! um.. YAY! not. But because of the rain, there is an incredibly lush, green landscape that is really gorgeous. Cascading rivulets and tiny waterfalls can be found everywhere. Mists hover above the deciduous trees and it is freaking FREEZING, even close to June! I'm sure summers here are gorgeous and non-bone-chilling! Stuff here is also really cheap, particularly cigarettes.

We were supposed to walk around in the beauty of nature but luckily it RAINED, which means we didn't have to freeze our asses off and we went straight to a Turkish Bath. WHOO my first Turkish bath! I was a bit wary at first about hygiene, etc, but this turkish bath was clean and beautiful and well kept.
cascade through the mountains
It was also like 110 degrees, but wow it felt good after such a cold afternoon! I hear Turkish baths in Portugal are a bit nicer, with some mint steam and all, but hey, this experience cost 7 Lira which comes out to like 3.5 Euros and it was a great deal for the quality and unique experience!

Afterwards we went to the Botannical Gardens - IN THE RAIN and had.. you guessed it.. MORE CHAI. I think the normal turkish person drinks something like 12 cups of Chai a day. It was wonderful at first until my stomach started growling and some expected indigestion appeared. What I did not expect however was the vomiting!! I didn't even vomit in Africa and here I am in Turkey eating some delightful (nyuck nyuck) items that they are known for: tea, honey, cheese, yogurt - wow! They're all gorgeous! and I am vomiting it all up.
how to make Turkish tea!


Anyway, back to Rize - it's such a gorgeous green place and I can't quite put my finger on the temperature/climate needed to grow tea, but there are these tea steppes EVERYWHERE here. (Pictures to follow!) Women cut tea with the large funny scissor looking things that are attached to combs and burlap sacks. Men work in factories, and I think all the tea collected goes to some of the major tea-producers, kind of like a cooperative maybe? And the next time you think "dang I pay so much for this little bag of tea!?" let me tell you that it takes a large shopping bag stuffed with tea leaves to make 2 cups. YEAH. I will never underestimate the work that goes into something like cutting and drying tea leaves in the dead cold hunched over because the bushels are the height of your ankle. The community here was so excited to have visitors from the EU that they gave us bags and bags of tea, so to the LA peeps and anyone visiting, you are welcome to come and try some Turkish tea at my place (or Joy's - wherever the occassion presents itself!)

TRE69 says:
Wow...its much greener than I imagined it to be! Almost looks like the Pacific Northwest!
Posted on: Jun 01, 2009
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cascade through the mountains
cascade through the mountains
how to make Turkish tea!
how to make Turkish tea!
Ayder Plateau
Ayder Plateau
Tea fields!
Tea fields!
Ayder Plateau
Ayder Plateau
packed lunch
packed lunch
more foggy than the Turkish bath!
more foggy than the Turkish bath!
outside of Turkish bath
outside of Turkish bath
Irene!
Irene!
Me!
Me!
lamp
lamp
view from Botannical gardens
view from Botannical gardens
View from the Botannical Gardens
View from the Botannical Gardens
Cafe in the Botannical gardens
Cafe in the Botannical gardens
hiding from the rain!
hiding from the rain!
Rize
photo by: Bluetraveler