Silk Road City
Trip Start Jul 25, 2011
12Trip End Aug 14, 2011
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Where I stayed
Zorlu Grand Hotel Trabzon
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Read my review - 5/5 stars
The bell tower outside the church is also of great interest, as the exact understanding of its use is undetermined. During the time of its Christian usage, the call to prayers were sounded by the hammering of a wooden slab, which tradition dates back to Noah calling his animals into the ark for salvation.Also, unlike the tradition grand dome architecture of Byzantium, the church has more Georgian and Armenian influences, with the roof tops cut in more triangular fashion
On the south side exterior of the church, depictions of Adam and Eve lay upon the walls. They include the creation of Adam and Eve, their lives in the Garden of Eden, Adam picking the forbidden fruit, and their exile from the Garden. On the keystone of the arch is a single headed eagle, which was the symbol of the Komnenos Dynasty that ruled Trabzon during the church's Christian years.
After breakfast, the following day, we stopped to admire the stunning mountain monastery complex of Sumela, whose construction began in AD 385. The 1000-year-old Monastery of the Virgin Mary at Sumela is among the most impressive sights of Turkey's Black Sea coast. Clinging perilously to the sheer face of a cliff, overlooking a lush valley, is the 72-room monastery complex dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It's a 1-km (6/10 mile), 35 to 45-minute hike uphill from the parking lot to the monastery entrance. You rise 250 meters (820 feet) in the climb.
Although the day was foggy ( we couldn't see the full monastery from the view point), when we got to it it was clear enough for some spectacular views. If you are familiar with Mesa Verde in Colorado, the images of it are brought to mind. The frescoes here are bright even though they have not as yet been restored
From Sumela we took a drive into the countryside to visit the summer pastures. We stopped at one at about 5000 feet in elevation. Although it was Ramadan, we managed to find a bakery which sold us "cheese pizza", delicious fresh baked bread with cheese which we added sweet peppers, tomatoes and kalamata olives to it. The lunch was delicious and the graciousness of the owners of the bakery made this a very special experience for us. We also visited a nearby tomb and mosque which were beautiful. It was amazing that such a beautiful and large structure was built in a relatively sparcely settled area. As the descent for the bus was quite steep, our ride down the mountain forced us to stop in neighboring villages for the brakes to cool. The people in the area were incredibly friendly and we were able to view some truly stunning visitas. The experience was