Giresun … land of hazelnuts!

Hamsi, the famous fish from the Black Sea, only available during the winter months because of the government’s ban on fishing of these fishes in the summer.
(Turkey … 18.10.04 to 1.12.04)

Birol’s family, our 1st host in Giresun. Birol’s mother, Zennibe had let us in when we approached her in the dark and in drizzling rain. (picture) We had a taste of deep fried hamsi in Birol’s house. Simply eaten with bread, hamsi is liked the local version of our ikan bilis!

True to its climate, the weather turned foul the very next day in Giresun. Heavy downpour and cold wind swept the coastline. We had no choice but to stay for another day in Giresun.

Yasar and Emine, our 2nd host in Giresun. Emine is Birol’s elder sister and lives just above Birol, on the hill.

Fatma, eldest of the 9 children from Zennibe. Her house was located further up the hill, barely a few minutes walk from Emine’s.

In Selime’s (2nd from left) house with her daughter, Tugse and nephew Gaglayan. 4 out of Zennibe’s children lived in this village on the hill. Together with their extended families, the whole hill was spread with all their relatives!

Mistik, son of Fatma, bringing the sheeps out for grazing. We tagged along with him as he brought the sheeps into the hill full of hazelnut trees.

This is hazelnut, which Giresun is famously known for. There are countless hazelnut plantations and factories in Giresun. The whole village of Guneykoy is filled with hazelnut trees. In August every year, the harvest season can bring up to 1500kg of hazelnuts in the village. 1kg of hazelnut can fetch around US$4. That was our 1st time seeing hazelnuts from the trees, besides from chocolates!

With Fatma, Mistik and his son in Fatma’s house. We spent 2 nights in Fatma’s place when the weather deteriorated.

Coastal view of Giresun town. Giresun is historically touted as the birthplace of cherry. During the Bizantine empire, the Greek king was said to have brought back some cherries to Greece. Now Giresun is in abundance of hazelnuts and hamsi, no more cherries!

With Serdar (another grandson of Zennibe) and his friend, Erman in Giresun town during one of the our rest day. Erman even offered his place for the night should we want to stay. It was difficult to reject but seeing the weather getting better, we had to grasp our chance and move on.

Salute to Zennibe, mother, grandmother and great grandmother to all our hosts in Guneykoy, Giresun. She was the one who opened the door to us on the 1st night. Much thanks to her, we got to meet her extensive family members!

With the family members who have each played a significant part in making our stay in Guneykoy, Giresun an enjoyable and definitely unforgettable one! 8-)

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