After five nights moored in Samsun we now had a long trip to Sinop, 70nm. It took us 11.5 hours where we anchored up in front of the city walls in the fishing harbour. We were woken at 1.30am to a boat hooting its horn and what we thought sounded like fireworks. This couldn’t be possible it was 1.30 in the morning. Oh yes it was. A fishing boat was arriving in the harbour and it also had it lights on full blare. There is no fishing allowed until September to allow the fish to lay their eggs so not sure what the occasion was.
Sinop castle and city walls were built around 800BC. Surprisingly at the top was a bar and it actually sold beer. Not quite what we’d expected. There is a Statue of Diogenes, an Ancient Greek philosopher who was born in Sinop in about 412 BC. The monument is 18 ft tall and shows Diognenes standing with his dog on his dwelling barrel
One of Turkey’s oldest prisons is in Sinop. It is undergoing renovations so it was closed when we visited. It was opened in 1887 and closed down in 1997. The prison was high security with no possibility of escape due to the fact it was within the castle walls. The prison guard would walk along the walkway on top of the walls patrolling the prison.
During our walk we came across two mounds which looked of mud like construction. Ian spoke to one of the locals and managed to decipher that the mounds were part of the hamam (Turkish bath).
I mentioned before that anchorages are rare in the Black Sea, however, there is a lovely one just 12 miles north of Sinop. It was so lovely to be in a bay somewhere. So much so we stayed a couple of nights.
We spent the next few days hopping along the coast popping into fishing harbours. We didn’t have much wind, in fact one day it was like a mill pond.
Konakli, was quite picturesque and we anchored in the middle of the harbour. Then onto Doganyurt. A strange place in the fact it’s a small village and yet there was a wide array of shops here, kitchen showroom, bathrooms, car motor accessories, gas, petrol station, taxi rank and three supermarket chains. Friday was market day with half a dozen stalls. Although one greengrocer had his stall set out the night before, no worry that it wouldn’t be there the next day. There were a lot of stray dogs here, not unfriendly but sad to see. A common sight in Turkey and Europe. Strays is not something we have in the UK. It is automatically assumed in the UK if a dog is wandering about on its own it must have escaped from its owner, which is normally the case.
Cide our next hop, is a tourist hot spot with a long beach lined with restaurants and hotels. It is the birth place of acclaimed Turkish writer Rifat Ilgaz who was a teacher, writer and poet who produced 60 works. He was born in Cide in 1911and returned there to live in about 1975 however after being arrested in 1981, he eventually returned to Istanbul where he passed away in 1993. The house we visited was where he was born and raised. He was prosecuted for some of his work and as a result was sentenced to five and half years in prison, of which due to ill health amnesty did not complete the whole sentence in prison.
We were walking back down to the seafront to get some dinner and we saw a sight you wouldn’t expect to see. Casually walking along the pavement, not the road, was a donkey.
On the way back to the boat we noticed there was a wedding taking place on the beach and on closer inspection (being nosy) it appeared that anyone could go and sit and watch not just official guests. We’ve seen a lot of brides and grooms on our travels. They are often having photos taken in some unusual places.
We were next calling into Amasra. We moored up here going East on the Black Sea, but unfortunately the quay side was so high we didn’t get off the boat. This time we were able to moor up right at the end, alongside and so we had no issue getting off. Amasra wasn’t what we expected. This is a big tourist town, with lots of tourists’ shops, pide restaurants and lots and lots of tourists. The beach was just a mass of people, a very popular holiday resort. There is an island here which is reached via Kemere bridge. The one arch bridge was built in the 9th century AD.