After a cozy night by the wood burning stove, we left our cabin, said goodbye to Ayder, and stopped by three more bridges on the way back to Trabzon. Our flight was supposed to leave that afternoon.
Because we were in the mountains, we drove through a lot of tunnels. The Ordu Nefise Akçelik Tunnel is the longest tunnel in Turkey at just over 2.3 miles:
This bridge wasn’t as old as the Ottoman stone bridges, but the wisteria was so pretty:
This was the Taskemer Köprü. People road zip-lines under its arch!
Back in Trabzon, we made one last stop at Hagia Sophia. One of our friends visited the 13th century church a couple of years ago. We were disappointed to find that it had been converted into a working mosque. Large panels covered the majority of the frescoes.
Women were not allowed to enter the prayer area:
A few of the frescoes were still visible. I would have loved to have seen the church without all of the panels.
To add to our adventure, we received a text that our flight had been canceled. After walking around Hagia Sophia, we headed to the airport to drop off the car and figure out a new flight. Three other flights had been canceled and there was a mob of people by the Turkish Airlines desk. We finally made it to the front and found out the next flight didn’t leave until the next day, Monday. We didn’t think our boss would appreciate five teachers being out.
We decided to rent another car and drive the 10.5 back to Ankara. Fortunately, our original flight was early enough that we left Trabzon at a decent time of day and made it to Ankara by midnight. (And even though it added extra time, we ended up saving money from the flight refunds!)
I will never forget our mountain adventure with our wonderful friends!