So welcome to my new blogging site! If blogspot is opened again by Turkey, I’ll probably go back to that, but I’ll keep you updated. For those who are new here, my old website was sallyinistanbul.blogspot.com but blogspot was blocked by the Turkish government. I tried to find some tricks to get around it but starting at a new site just ended up being the easier way. Thanks for following me here, faithful readers!
I’ll finally get around to the last day in Trabzon. It started with a delicious and fun breakfast with a great view over the Black Sea.
This is a special dish to Trabzon/the Black Sea. It’s flour, cheese, and butter. It’s good but as you can see, quite stringy and I was a little scared I was going to choke on it.
After breakfast, we visited the Hagia Sofia (not THE Hagia Sofia…just same name for a different building. But similar story, first used as a church, later turned into a mosque, also used for non religious things [Russians used it as a hospital and depot] and later it was turned into a museum and the frescoes were uncovered.).
It was located right next to the sea, it was a beautiful location.
Sorry kind of cutesy but I like it.
Next we visited Ataturk’s house, which was a gift to him from the people in Trabzon in the 1930s, but I think he only stayed there for a few days total. It was very sweet inside, I especially like the floors with the great design.
I wish we had taken more pictures but we soon learned we weren’t supposed to take pictures there – oops!
The next part was the highlight of the trip for me. We drove into the mountains to visit the Sumela Monastery, but it was snowing too much so we couldn’t get there! Hopefully in the spring we can go back. Here are some pictures, I thought it was just gorgeous.
There can’t be snow without a snowball fight/wrestle.
All in all, it was a good trip. It was difficult at first, sleeping in a cold room with a random old woman (she had 4 teeth, but a heart of gold), meeting a lot of new people, no one fluent to speak English with, new wedding customs and dances, but all of it was a good experience and why I am living here, to learn how to get past these challenges and learn new things. Trabzon is in a beautiful location, but one has to look past the tired and old buildings to see it, but it’s there.
On a different note, my grandmother (dad’s mom) passed away two weeks ago. It wasn’t really a surprise, it was time, and she couldn’t have gone in a more peaceful way, but it’s tough to be far away when these things happen. I wish I could have been with my family when she started to go downhill, and also be there for the large family reunion for her memorial service. My brother found this great picture of her and me:
Unfortunately it’s kind of small but you can see she was a beautiful woman. Sadly, dementia kicked in when I was very young, but we were so lucky because she stayed so sweet, and luckily I can remember some things before she was too far gone. I remember collecting pecans in her back yard, and staying over at her house when Mom and Dad had their big Christmas party and the interesting blue toilet water. I remember her bracelet with all of the grandchildren’s names engraved on hearts on it, and the jingle of them when we shared a room at our beach house. I remember decorating her Christmas tree with her (she loved tinsel), and her giving me the Anne of Green Gables set. I loved visiting her at her retirement home because of the soft white carpet which was so fun to play on, and looking at all the door decorations on the other people’s doors on her hallway. We would also go on walks together. My favorite memory of her is when dementia had progressed pretty far, and Mom and I were bringing her back from Thanksgiving at our beach house, about 1.5 hours away from our homes. She kept saying to us, “I don’t know who you are, but thank you for taking care of me!” That epitomizes who she was – a sweet, thoughtful woman who I was lucky to get to know, even if for just a short while.