The colour of the Black Sea

Turns out the Black Sea is pretty well the colour of all other seas: a bluey greeny grey. False advertising. I suspect I would feel similarly resentful to the Red Sea, White Sea and Yellow Sea, should I ever have the chance to visit them.

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But Trabzon, a major Turkish port on the Black Sea coast, has been a much more pleasant surprise.

It is a compact city of 300,000 people and it rises on hills that extend right down to the rocky shoreline. That feeling of being high and by the sea is uncommon, except in New Zealand where it informs the geography for lots of our cities: Wellington, Dunedin, Nelson, Napier. Parts of Trabzon are crumbling a bit, which I guess makes Dunedin maybe the best New Zealand comparator all round.

Also, in a trend we have keenly observed, and expect to continue the further we head West, it really feels European. It is hard to put your finger on why, exactly, but the concentration of people walking the streets around the central square at night, the clothes they wear and the food they eat all contribute to the feel. The patchy grey skies probably help, too.

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