It feels like yesterday when I was waltzing down the quiet beaches of Diu on India’s west coast, and sipping tea at a blacksmith’s workshop in Turkey. 2012 has been the kind of year I dreamed about everyday, before I bade goodbye to my life in the cubicle. I feel as though I’ve come of age as a travel writer this year, having written for publications like Lonely Planet and The Times of India, and having found gratification in press invites from the likes of Spain Tourism Board and Turkish Airlines.
Once ominous and difficult to navigate, the Black Sea derived its name before the Greek colonized its shores, and was often more blatantly referred to as Inhospitable Sea. No, it is not black in color. On the contrary, it flows in an entire spectrum of blue, along the coast of northern Turkey, where I fell in love with it at first sight. Such are its shades, such is the intensity of sunsets over it, and such are the skies that protect it.
In the wee hours of the morning, I manoeuvre my way through the cobbled streets and ancient stonewalls of Safranbolu, a small town in the western Karadeniz region of Turkey. I had been reluctant to leave Istanbul, probably the first big city I’ve fallen so in love with, but as I step back in time into a 300 year old Ottoman house perched on a slope, I’m glad I came! Genghis, my host, greets me with a warm smile and bits of English, and shows me to my quaint room in the part of the house now converted into a pansiyon (pension aka guest house).