We left Hopa and headed to Rize. There are lots of harbours, mainly fishing along this coast. We went into the harbour at Rize, a short walk from a very large tea cup. We were greeted with a warm welcome by the coastguard. We were only staying the one night but while there the petrol station was close by so it was convenient to get some diesel. It turned out even more convenient when the Coastguard very kindly took us across to the petrol station in their car after they gave us tea.
We hopped along the coast to Akcabaat and then to Gorele which is famous for its ice-cream. Along one side of the town square are stalls selling ice-cream with seating areas. Lots of the town come along and enjoy an ice-cream. Görele ice cream has a different consistency to other ice-cream, when it was held up it stretched as though it was stringy. It was very nice.
There was another petrol station close by so Ian decided to get another can filled while we were here. This time he had to go under his own steam, or scooter should I say.
We were getting a bit of a stomp on over the next couple of days ending up in Fatsa. From here we took a local dolmus (bus) to Boloman. Overlooking the harbour is Boloman castle, the history is a bit vague but it is thought it was built by the Kingdom of Pontus as a watchtower anytime between 280bc and 63 bc. In the 18th century, a wooden mansion, Haznedaroğlu Mansion”, was built on the inner castle.
From Fatsa we headed to Terme. There was a harbour here but it was calm and so we anchored outside. It was lovely to be out on anchor again even if for just one night. Ian cleaned the hulls of Cuffysark here, unfortunately there were lots of jellyfish and they took a few bites out of him.
Our next stop was Samsun, we moored Cuffysark in the sailing club and headed off to Amasya for a couple of days. We’ve been told this was a fabulous place and wow it really was. This is one of those places that you’ll remember when you look back. Going to so many places you do struggle sometimes to recall them, it’s our age. Buses are a big mode of transport here and cheap so we took the bus and arrived in Amasya a couple of hours later. We stayed in an Ottoman hotel, which we were informed was 200 years old and original.
Ottoman houses from the 19th and 20th centuries line one side of the river. Above them carved into Harşena Mountain are the tombs of the Pontus Kings and Amasya Castle, AKA Harşena Castle. The Pontus Kings ruled Amasya from 333BC to 26AD and it is believed they also built the castle.
We decided it was a long way to walk up to the entrance to the castle so we took a taxi. We came out and saw a bright yellow car, thinking good, a taxi. There was no driver inside or anyone around then we realised it was just a yellow car not a taxi so there was nothing for it but to walk. We stopped for a nice cold freshly squeezed orange juice half way down. The views over the town were worth the walk, down at least!
There are tombs carved into the mountain side that belong to the Pontic Kings. We’d just walked down from the castle and so decided not to go up to them. But we managed a picture from one of the museums.
We visited the “Archaeological and Mummy Museum”. Yes, the museum housed the mummified remains of eight people from the 14th Century. The mummies were an Anatolian Minister and a Governor and his family. Examinations were made of the mummies and it is possible to determine how they died and estimate their ages. One of the mummies was “Isbuğa Nuyin”, he was the Emir of Amasya. He died in 1320 and it was determined that he died at the age of 35-40 and that he had arthritis. Apparently Egyptian mummies have no internal organs these mummies differ as these mummies do.
The Sultan Bayezid II Complex is also located here and was built between 1482 and 1486 for the Sultan. The complex includes a mosque, cultivation (workhouse), water-tank with a fountain, hospital and a madrasah (school for Muslim education).
The hospital is now a museum. There were instruments for various medical procedures. This one was for removing the placenta after child birth. Ouch!!
The hotel recommended that we go to one of the restaurants up on the hillside as to see Amasya at night is quite spectacular. So we took his advice and it definitely was. On our way back to the hotel there was quite a crowd sitting alongside the river. There were water fountains dancing to music.
There was even a waterfall here, albeit we believe man made. Someone had a sense of humour as one of the Ottoman’s was taking a selfie, yes he had a mobile phone in his hand.
There’s lots to see here so more museums. The Sehzadeler Museum, AKA Princes Museum, is in fact wax works.
The Hazeranlar Mansion was built in 1865. The house is arranged in haremlik and selamlık . A haremlik was the private section of an upper-class Ottoman home and the selamlik, the public area or reception rooms, used only by men in traditional Islamic society. There is also a model village of Amsaya
Amasya a wonderful town with lots to see and very picturesque.