Cide (Karaağaç), Turkey: More pleasant than we expected

Photo: The large, nearly empty harbor of Cide. Credit: Lisa Borre.
The large, nearly empty harbor of Cide. Photo by Lisa Borre.

Black Sea Logbook Entry

Date: 6/9/2010
Distance: 13.7 nm
Sailed from: Kurucasile
Lat: 41° 54.1’N
Long: 32° 59.0’E

We stopped in to Gideros Cove, one of the few natural harbors along the Turkish coast of the Black Sea which has been used since ancient times, but found that there was still too much northerly swell to make it a comfortable overnight stop. We stayed just long enough to get a sense of the place we had read so much about, but then we moved on to the large, constructed and much less intriguing harbor — at least according to our guidebooks — of Cide.

We tied alongside the large cement quay with the help of Jamal, the son of the owners of the small fish restaurant on the end of the quay. It’s really quite amazing that we are finding so many excellent harbors along the Turkish coast because it is not obvious from looking at the charts. Even though there are no traditional marinas, someone always appears and lends a helping hand.

On our walk into town to buy fresh bread that evening, we passed a sports park where men were playing a competitive game of football (soccer) with many other men watching from outside the caged playing field. Just across the bridge, we found a street with a mini market, a kebab restaurant and a cafe. We caught sight of rotisserie chickens at the Mersin Tantuni Kebab Salone and immediately grabbed a table out front. The owners, Aziz and Pinar, served us a perfectly roasted and nicely seasoned chicken with salad, pita bread and Fanta to drink.

After dinner, we stopped in at the mini-market and bought a fresh loaf of bread. What we thought was wheat bread baked in a wood-oven turned out to be cornbread with a grapeleaf baked into the bottom of it. We are huge fans of cornbread, and this was off-the-charts delicious!

On the way back to Gyatso, we strolled along a road one block in from the harbor where we found run-down but interesting older houses with well-tended gardens sprinkled in between more modern apartment buildings. We arrived at the boat just in time to catch a beautiful sunset. After such a pleasant evening, we were beginning to wonder whether “homely” Cide hasn’t been short-changed in the tourist guide reviews.