The Black Sea - May 2007

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View over Safranbolu with our hotel, the Cinci Han, a restored 17th century caravanserai, in the foreground Another view of the Cinci Han with its many chimneys - each room had a fireplace to warm the travellers The walls of the caravanserai were strongly fortified against attack The entrance to Cinci Han with its small portal door, characteristic of such buildings The group gathers at the start of the day in the typical open courtyard of the caravanserai.  Travellers' rooms were
off this courtyard, as indeed are today's hotel rooms
Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu
The courtyard is atmospheric at the Saturday night local entertainment It is a good place to gather for a drink... ...or for breakfast The sail awnings are lowered during a heavy shower of rain Gill is adopted by a local cat
Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu
Looking over the roof of the Cinci Han to the old half-timbered houses beyond A typical view of old Safranbolu and one of the several mosques of the town Looking across the valley towards what remains of the old citadel Another direction and another mosque Many of the houses are now being restored and are well maintained;  others are in a sorry state
Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu
The old houses seen from the Citadel.  They lie within a sheltered steep-sided valley The restored 17th century Ottoman baths of the Cinci Hamami.   Possibly one of the best experiences of our
trip, we enjoyed a long hot steam and a vigorous rub down amidst much laughter A local bakery One of the many small shops in the bazaar.  I bought a pair of trousers from this couple Passing the time of day outside the Kazdagli Camii
Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu
Lunch at a lovely restaurant in a traditional Ottoman style building on the upper slopes of the valley We had coffee in the garden Demir signs copies of his book on Ephesus.  We all received a copy, written in Turkish - unfortunately! Local flora The 12th century Citadel of Kastamonu
Safranbolu Safranbolu Safranbolu On route to Kastamonu Kastamonu
Monument commemorating the struggle for the formation of the Republic in 1923 Only half of Kastamonu's  river bridge remains - a victim of modern development The fountain and ablution area of the 16th century Nasrullah Camii of Kastamonu Lunch was in a traditional Ottoman style building in the town The Nasrullah Bridge
Kastamonu Kastamonu Kastamonu Kastamonu Nasrullah Bridge
Our hotel in Sinop was beautifully situated on the shores of the Black Sea The view from my bedroom window.  The sound of the sea lulled me to sleep Early morning view across the bay to Sinop and its peninsula Looking in the other direction Diogenes the Cynic was born in Sinop around 412 BC
Sinop Sinop Sinop Sinop Sinop - Diogenes
Alexander the Great is said to have asked Diogenes if he wanted anything.  Diogenes reputedly replied that
Alexander should get out of his light! A tailor in his shop, with his workshop area above his counter.  A dying trade, his
sons are too well educated to want to follow him into the business He now works alone, though in the past had several apprentices The courtyard and fountain of Alaaddin Camii, a 13th century Selcuk mosque, the oldest in Sinop The minaret of the Alaaddin Camii
Sinop - Diogenes Sinop - Tailor's shop Sinop - Tailor's shop Sinop - Alaaddin Camii Sinop - Alaaddin Camii
Demir tells us about the mihrab of the Alaaddin Camii with its Selcuk calligraphy The mimber of the Alaaddin Camii The mihrab and mimber - fluorescent lighting is often used around the mihrab The clock board showing the times for prayer The impressive marble entrance of the 13th century Alaiye Medrese in Sinop
Sinop - Alaaddin Camii Sinop - Alaaddin Camii Sinop - Alaaddin Camii Sinop - Alaaddin Camii Sinop - Alaiye Medrese
Alaiye Medrese - this is now a quiet courtyard area with small shops selling local crafts The ancient city walls of Sinop.  The city has been fortified from its earliest days and the walls were built up
by Mithridates Eupator, by the Romans and by subsequent dynasties Enough of the old walls remain to give an impression of the strength and importance of Sinop over the centuries Refreshment in one of the towers A welcome rest
Sinop - Alaiye Medrese Sinop Sinop Sinop Sinop
Steps down from the city walls Lunch back at our hotel - note Diogenes in his barrel on the back wall.  Is he chatting with Alexander? This creation was the pride and joy of the owner of this roadside restaurant! He turned on the water for us....and the lights! A late dinner in the open air at our hotel in Amasya.  It started to rain...
Sinop Sinop Sinop to Amasya Sinop to Amasya Amasya
...and was rather cold.  Wendy and I were given colourful shawls to keep us warm Phil gets a bit wet! Early morning view of Amasya and the River Yesilirmak Half-timbered Ottoman houses line the river Our hotel is the one with the name board, though my room looked onto the rockface!
Amasya Amasya Amasya Amasya Amasya
The cliffs feature the rock tombs of the Pontic kings Rock tombs and the fortification walls of the Citadel.  Some of the houses are newly built in the old style Outside our hotel Looking up at one of the rock tombs The Citadel of Amasya
Amasya Amasya Amasya Amasya Amasya
Demir tells us the history of the area and its great leader, Mithridates Eupator The 15th century Sultan Beyezid II Camii in Amasya The ablution fountain of the Sultan Beyazid II Camii The inside of the dome of the fountain was beautifully decorated The imposing entrance to the mosque
Amasya Amasya Amasya Amasya Amasya
The inside was spacious and airy and the dome was also beautifully decorated One of the ornately carved window shutters The back of the Sultan Beyazid II Camii View of the minaret with the medrese in the foreground
Amasya Amasya Amasya Amasya Amasya
The medrese and library of the Sultan Beyazid II Camii The Statuette of Amasya is a representation of the Hittite storm god, Tesup.  The
statuette is dated between 1450 - 1200 BC An unusual double ring Edna helps two local lads untangle their bicycles! Hilary buys some perfume from a street trader
Amasya Amasya Museum Amasya museum Amasya Amasya
We investigate a shop dealing in herbs and spices and considerably boost their day's takings! Do you need your shoes cleaned or repaired?  Here's your man! How about a copper bowl?  He can make it to your specifications! One of the old Ottoman buildings in sad need of a helping hand The monumental porch of the Birmahane Medrese, built by the Mongols as a lunatic asylum
Amasya Amasya Amasya Amasya Amasya
It dates from 1308-09 and has the earliest recorded use of music therapy as a treatment for mental illness Today it is still used as a music school and conservatory Are these some of the lunatics? We are treated to a wonderful performance on the kanun or zither Demir joins in as they sing traditional songs
Amasya Amasya Amasya Amasya Amasya
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