Visit to the Ayder Plateau and my first Turkish Bath!
Rize Travel Blog› entry 20 of 51 › view all entries
May 27th, 2009 – by: jenn79
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.
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.
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!)
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