We arrived at Kusadasi to find three other cruise ships docked – it was going to very busy in town and even busier at Ephesus. And it was – a sea of people:
When all the Crimean ports on our cruise were cancelled an additional Turkish port was added – Trabzon. I had heard of the city (aka Trabizond) as one of the great cities of the Silk Road and the centre of an empire, for a time. The guide books are fairly dismissive of the modern city, and the cruise ship warned us that there were not a lot of services. In fact our day long tour returned to the ship for lunch – I guess there was no restaurant in town that could handle that many people to the standard required. Not only were there no suitable restaurants but there was a shortage of English speaking guides so some were brought in from Istanbul.
We figured we’d go to Russia, fine. But we wouldn’t spend any money, take that Mr. Putin. Well, he gets the last laugh. We did a short tour of the city, but our movements were so tightly controlled that there wasn’t even a opportunity to buy a bottle of water, let alone shop! And there we as a lot of pent up shopping demand on that cruise ship.
I must admit that when it comes to Bulgaria – well, that’s all kind of a grey area. Wrestlers, right? Or maybe weight lifters? I don’t know much about the country, so when we were scheduled to put into port at Nessebur I didn’t really have any expectations. And a half a day visit isn’t enough to learn about an entire country. Considering the hardships of the Soviet years it seems like the country is trying hard to make their way.