EuropeTurkeyRize

not off to such a good start in the Black Sea.. and then finding myself at a Junior High party!

Rize Travel Blog

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traditional turkish instrument - looks like the chinese violin, no?
We arrived at the airport before 8am, and couldn't get in touch with whoever it was that was supposed to pick us up. We were tired, hungry and ok we were just super tired. And finally when the people found us, they just kept lying and lying. Oh we're going to the car! There was no car. Oh we're taking you to Riza! We ended up on a bus. Oh it's an intercultural experience! We were the only group there not from Turkey! (luckily this ended up being a bit of a misunderstanding later). I was so mad. Not to mention they made us walk about a mile away from the airport to a further bus stop and then demanded our passports. I don't know how that worked or why they wanted them, but I was pretty annoyed. The bus ride was unbelievable - it was like the Greyhound but people stood and there was someone at the back door jumping on and off when the bus was moving to allow passengers to exit and carry baggage.
beautiful girls
What coordination!

The way to Riza from the airport was interesting. There are a lot of buildings half finished. Brick but no paint, scaffolding but no windows. Like there was a huge expansion of construction and then they ran oiut of money or all their machines got taken away! The funny thing is that the area around the Black Sea reminds me a lot of Bangui. These huge rolling hills covered in forests. It's just 30 degrees cooler here than bangui and no hollywood sign!!

We got into what would most appropriately be called a hostel. There's a funny smell, but it's livable. But the blankets are made of wool and don't seem washed so luckily I stole a couple of bedsheets that will do. We slept for a bit and then walked around the town to grab something to eat and buy a couple of things locally.
kids crowded around staring at me! Notice I'm logged into Travbuddy, HAHAHA!
Unfortunately there don't seem to be traditional stores here, but we bought some snacks and that's about all the energy we have for today.

The Hungarians and Bulgarians should be arriving tonight. At least we won't be the only non-Turkish group here like we thought! Tomorrow we're going to visit some plateau that should be scenic. More blisters ahead! =)

*********

Nighttime and a long, long nap later, things are looking up. Am appreciating just being in this lovely country even though we're kind of in bumpkin-ville. Can't say I just do the tourist traps now! While at dinner, which is in the restaurant of the hotel/hostel, we happened upon a end-of-year party for some local junior high school it would look like from the ages of the attendees.
what a cool junior high party!
About a hundred and fifty kids were there dancing their little hearts out and it was SO MUCH FUN! I didn't have cool junior high dances like that!! They were all so warm and sweet and they generally didn't speak English but they were welcoming and I had to give them hugs!!

They invited us to dance a bit after dinner and um.. well I don't have the coordination it takes to do one of the Turkish circle-dances let's leave it at that! But they were such good sports and they asked things like "Do you like Turkish people?!" And then about 2 dozen girls came to take a picture with me because they thought I was Japanese. Yes, all in a day's work. Too bad I was unshowered and feeling fat! =) But it was interesting feeling a bit like a celebrity. "Thank you!" "No, thank you!" So.. I probably have 2 dozen pictures of myself unwashed floating around the internet, as I heard Turkey is very facebook-active. Ah well.
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traditional turkish instrument - l…
traditional turkish instrument - …
beautiful girls
beautiful girls
kids crowded around staring at me!…
kids crowded around staring at me…
what a cool junior high party!
what a cool junior high party!
oh dear, oh dear..
oh dear, oh dear..
Vera getting down!
Vera getting down!
check out the boys!
check out the boys!
ok, now our arms go up!
ok, now our arms go up!
ok, now we clap!
ok, now we clap!
I need to sit down soon!
I need to sit down soon!
Rize
photo by: Bluetraveler