The City of the Deepest Blue and Green: “Rize”

The Black Sea immediately feels jealous, as if trying to take back the pure white foaming wave as soon as it hits the shore. Furious and clear. Behind the deep blue depth, a lush sea. If you try to count, the trees that touch to the deep sky enough to turn your head. If you take your step, the blue and green colours absorb you with the sound of a bagpipe coming from behind… An old lady with a burned voice and an old man with his callous hands; the same words felling down from their lips with a deep breath: “Hey gidi Karadeniz …”

Of course, when it comes to bagpipe, Rize comes to mind. Rize, consisting of a total of 12 districts including Çayeli, Ardeşen, Pazar, Çamlıhemşin, Güneysu, Fındıklı, İkizdere, Hemşin, Derepazarı, İyidere, Kalkandere and Rize centres, is a frequent destination for domestic and foreign tourists in spring and summer. With its lush nature, unique air, deep blue sea, warm people, it embraces everyone who comes to visit. Rize, which receives precipitation in every season, is a symbol of abundance and fertility. While looking at the endless greenery, you will be amazed by the shades of green that you have never noticed before. So much so that after a few days, your eyes will get used to this peace and you will not want to return to the grey of the city you live in. Your eyes accompany the sunrise with the first lights of the day. Imagine a unique silence; your ears, accustomed to noise to the crowd, discover the melody of nature in this silence.

In other cities with crowd and chaos, people want to sleep 5 minutes more, but in Rize, you will wake up vigorously as if you were resting for a century. Soak the smell of the soil with a gentle breeze hitting your face. Leave yourself to the green that embraces you. When you smell the bread that peasant women get up early and bake, you will just bring yourself to this wonderful invitation.

Local people use to say at there to others, “Fresh air stuns and you get very hungry.” While having a modest village breakfast prepared by strong peasant women whose eyes are shining and cheeks are avoided; do not forget to drink your tea from the tea plantations that cover almost all of Rize. Tea, the most intimate drink for the lover also for a friendly chat, is indispensable in Turkey.

Let me also briefly talk about the adventure of tea in Rize, the hometown of Turkish tea. During the Ottoman Empire, there were initiatives related to tea agriculture in the 19th century, and mostly during the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II.

In 1924, with the initiative of Rize deputies, the law on tea cultivation was enacted and the journey of tea started in Rize. Tea seeds brought from Russia were distributed to producers from Rize and tea production started to spread rapidly. Since the tea plant is durable and does not require much maintenance, its production has become easier to spread

The majority of the people of Rize make their living from this tea agriculture. Therefore, the economy of the city has relied on tea and tourism due to its natural beauties.

In the cool air of Rize, with the warmth that you feel in your fingers that grasp your thin glass, you probably started to feel the excitement of exploring the city after taking another sip of your tea. So let’s start.

You are very likely to get caught in sudden rain, even on the hottest days. That’s why it is always cautious and you should take an umbrella or raincoat with you. Regardless of how old you are, think with the enthusiasm of a tiny child.

Although the steep paths bring the heart of the people to the mouth, accumulate your road adventures in your saddle as a small detail that adds excitement to our monotonous lives. Open the window of your car to the end, fill your lungs with its purity, cleanness; as if you were born again from all your burdens. Leave everything behind as if you were flying to freedom on the wing of a bird.

Only you exist at that time. And endless peace. While walking along the road, do not forget to say hello to a stream which sometimes flows in itself, sometimes to a waterfall that enters with enthusiasm. Because every beauty that you do not talk about will remain in your mind later …

So where will this road take you? Here are the places you can see and see in Rize:

Kaçkar Mountains Natural Park

Zil Castle

Rize Castle

Ayder Plateau

Anzer Plateau

Gito Plateau

Pokut Plateau

Palovit Waterfall

Fırtına Stream

Şenyuva Bridge

When is Best Time to go to Rize?

Typical Black Sea Climate is experienced in Rize. In other words, there is rainy and cool weather in almost every season. The summer season is warmer than the spring season and of course the winter season. Therefore, if you want to visit Rize as you wish, the best season will be the summer season. However, you should always remember that you should carry your umbrella and raincoat with you.

What to Eat in Rize?

Traditional Black Sea cuisine may not suit everyone’s taste. However, there are dishes that you can be addicted for lovers. Black cabbage soup, muhlama, Anchovy pilaf, hamsikoli (anchovy bread), Stuffed black cabbage, roasted and rice pudding… Among the tastes, you should definitely taste. 

Activities in Rize

Rafting

Whenever you go to Rize, you will find an event to do. Especially rafting tours on Firtina Stream are quite enjoyable. While you are accompanied by the Black Sea folk, you can also experience the excitement that will leave your heart on the slope of the stream bed and the rocky slopes of the stream bed while watching around the stagnant flowing water of the Storm River. I recommend not to come back without trying.

Plateau Tours

Many highland tours are organized to discover the natural beauties and plateaus of Rize. Tours are designed to include walks, usually between 1-4 hours a day, so while exploring the plateaus, you will breathe and feel at every breath. In addition to Ayder Plateau, which is located in Rize and is a popular place for tourists, Anzer Plateau, Gito Plateau and Pokut Plateau will invite you to the deepest green.

Nature Walks

There are streams that you can find in almost every village in Rize. In the summer, these streams that people like to walk on the shore attract you with their ice water. You may want to enjoy the stream at a time when the weather is very calm. But beware! Precipitation that starts at the top of the mountain where this creek was born and which you may not notice can make those still waters raging in a short time. Local people say “The stream is coming.” He says. You may be surprised at what to do when you see the water flowing with great noise and at an incredible speed. Even watching it over a bridge can terrify you. I had such an adventure.

Let’s check the flight tickets from now; Rize waiting for you…

Valeria Wilkerson

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