Artvin is Turkey’s most beautiful province (il). For Ferda’s parents first time in eastern Turkey we decided to take them to some places we had been before, places we knew we liked and were excited to visit again. Previously we’d traveled here by bicycle. This time we rented a car which of course made the trip very different.
The drive through Kars and Ardahan is rather flat, perhaps rolling hills. We had barely crossed the provincial border when we were treated to a view like this:
Those valleys behind Ferda and her parents in that photo is where you find Tamara Kilisesi, Pona Alabalık, Arsiyan, and other places I described in this post.
About an hour later we took a nice break at Laşet above the village of Kocabey.
Our goal this day was to get to Bazgiret where Ferda and I had spent five nights two years earlier.
Bazgiret is wonderful. We hope to visit again.
On the way to Danzot in Aydınköy (Ardanuç) we had time for a quick stop in Cehennem Deresi Kanyonu, a small canyon where they’ve blasted a trail for tourists.
Just like in Bazgiret we spent our days in Danzot (which by the way is the old Armenian name for the village; there are no Armenians left) walking around.
Having the car made it easy to visit a number of ruined Georgian churches (as opposed to the mostly Armenian ones we saw in Kars) that always seemed just a little too far out of the way when I’ve been bicycling in Artvin.
Tibet Kiliseisi in Cevizli:
Dolishane Kilisesi in Hamalı:
And my favorite, Rabat Kilisesi, in a kind of remote area NW of the village of Bulanık.
Thanks to Satı anne and Cemal baba for enjoying (I hope!) our non-standard Artvin itinerary and taking the time to smell the flowers with us.