Giresun, clinging to the slopes
of mountains spilling down into the Black
Sea 200 km (124 miles) east of Samsun and 134 km (83 miles) west of Trabzon (map), is famous as the birthplace
of the cherry.
Jason and his Argonauts sailed
past on their way east to fabled Colchis (Georgia)
in search of the Golden Fleece,
but it was local traders who shipped
the first cherries out in Roman times. Cherries are still an
important local crop, along with hazelnuts (filberts)
What to do here? Eat cherries,
and hazelnuts, and chocolate bars
containing hazelnuts, and admire
the few old Ottoman houses and
the City Museum, housed in
a former Orthodox church.
Virtually all of the rest of this city spread out for kilometers along the Black Sea shore here is a chaos of characterless modern concrete buildings.
Otherwise, Giresun is just a convenient
place to stop for the night on
your trajectory to or from Trabzon. Bus service
is good and frequent. The nearest airport is
at Trabzon, the nearest train station
Giresun has its own collection of hotels.
The Romans called the town Cerasus,
from which we get cherry (English), cerise (French), cereza (Spanish), kiraz and Giresun (Turkish)
and I suppose even (somehow) kirsch (German).
Distances & Travel Times
km (211 miles) W, 6 hours
km (389 miles) SW, 10 hours
Ordu: 46 km (29 miles) W, 50
km (130 miles) E, 3.5 hours
km (234 miles) W, 7 hours
km (93 miles) E, 3 hours
Ünye: 124 km (77 miles)
W, 2 hours
—by Tom Brosnahan