Miss your 6am flight. Not only do you get an hour of extra sleep than everyone else, you also improve your turkish by talking to 4 different Turkish Airlines reps. And if you’re feeling really well rested you can look at a map and:
1) Realise how big Turkey is
2) Realise how far Trabzon is
3) Realise it may have been easier to get on that flight after all…
As is probably clear, I missed my flight to Trabzon. Not only did I sleep through the dorm room phone, cellphone and doorbell ringing, I also managed to do it while sleeping on my table. Anyway, taking the next flight to Trabzon seemed to be the best option out of 1) taking an 18 hour bus, 2) flying to Samsun and taking a 3 hour bus and 3) hitchhiking so I booked my seat on it and made my way to Ataturk airport via the 559C and a (not supposed to be) free havatas ride.
What’s probably not clear is just how excited I was for this trip. Sümela, Ani, Kars and Van were all places I had made up my mind to go to before realising that Duke would take us there. Sümela is a monastery built into a cliff side about 40km from Trabzon and according to my new schedule I could meet up with the rest of the group there. With this plan in mind I talked to everyone I could while waiting for the plane to board trying to get a ride to the town of Maçka from where I could get to Sümela. I actually lucked out and got someone to promise me a ride when Alican called me and told me I should take a cab from the airport to a restaurant nearby. How mundane. But he’d probably had enough of me-gallivanting-around-on-my-own for one day. So a quick cab ride and some köfte later I rejoined the group to many scathingly witty comments like “Be there or be Anshuman” but all in all a great way to start the 7 day excursion.