A Tour Around the Black Sea

A Piece for Those Who Love Travelling


Can Yucel, Editor/Writer

Cities like Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Melbourne are known by everyone. Because these cities are magnificent, you can find information about those places everywhere, so I want to write something unique about places that are not as well known.

This idea came to my mind recently. To be honest, this idea is originally mine, but I was influenced by Jules Verne (French novelist), and I don’t know if anyone has ever done that tour before. 

The idea was born around 2-3 months ago after the government of Turkey Republic decided to raise the toll taxes on  Bosphorus bridges that connect Europe and Asia in Istanbul by around 300%. On Twitter thousands of Istanbul people were talking about the increase because those 3 bridges are being used almost a million times a day. Therefore, people make jokes about how they will travel to avoid the tolls. Some of them said I will swim, I will buy a jet ski, or I will travel all over the Black Sea to reach the other side of the Bosporus.

I took the last joke seriously, and after reading the Tweet, I remembered that there was a book called Keraban the Inflexible by Jules Verne. I felt kind of sad because he’s one of my favorite French authors, and I read almost all of his pieces. This one was not one of my favorites because 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in 80 Days are my bedside books. They still touch me when I read them.

After, I read Keraban the Inflexible , and it was actually better than I remembered. The book is about a greedy rich person who doesn’t want to pay the toll tax to pass through the Bosphorus after the Ottoman’s Sultan decided to bring in that law. This greedy rich man had to go to the other side of the Bosphorus for his nephew’s wedding which will be in 3 weeks. Then he takes his nephew, his servant and one of his fellows who came to visit him in Istanbul, and they start to travel all around the Black Sea.

After I read the book, I researched this trip, and as I expected, it would be very inexpensive. Just like in the book, I would start from the European side of Istanbul then through Burgas, Varna, Constanta, Odessa, Sevastopol, Sochi, Batumi, Rize, Trabzon, Samsun, Sinop, Zonguldak, and the Asian side of Istanbul. If I only stay two or three days in these cities, it will only take 20-30 days. I’d travel by a caravan, which is a camper.  Since the countries surrounding the Black Sea don’t have high currency even if I splurge a lot, this would cost a maximum of 2,000 dollars. Under normal circumstances, even 1000 dollars would be enough. This is a  great deal for a month-long trip. Also, since I’ve been to some of the places already. I know this could be a perfect trip if I was with my friends or a girlfriend. 

Black Sea could be naturally one of the most beautiful places in the world. If you like fresh air and green views, this is a perfect trip for you. However, The weather could be unstable because in the Black Sea 80% of the days are rainy. If you go there in summer this could be better. In addition, this trip will be really inexpensive as well. The gas prices are low in those places (around 1,7 dollars per liter). Plus, the cities are really cheap too. During some parts of the journey, roads will become very tricky and curvy. And the drivers of the Eastern Europe can be aggressive. Most of the places that you will see are really underrated and forgotten by the West because those cities had been a part of the Warsaw Pact.  I believe that a city takes its soul from its architecture. And the architecture of Istanbul, Odessa, Varna, Batumi, and Zonguldak are magnificent. 


Varna, Bulgaria @random_string


Odessa, Ukraine @nataliya_utasenko


Batumi, Georgia @arch_nadlin


Istanbul, Turkey @hamiyetozsut