Amasya

 

To reach Amasya, we had to drive past mile after mile of sugar beet. I did not think it was possible to grow that much sugar beet, but on reflection the Turks do eat a lot of sweet puddings like Baklava and Turkish Delight.

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Amasya

The city of Amasya stands in the mountains and is set apart from the rest of Anatolia in a narrow valley along the banks of the Yeşilırmak River. Although near the Black Sea, this area is high above the coast and has an inland climate, well-suited to growing apples, for which Amasya province is famed. During the early Ottoman rule, it was customary for young Ottoman princes to be sent to Amasya to govern and gain experience. Amasya was also the birthplace of the Ottoman sultans Murad I and Selim I. It is thus of great importance in terms of Ottoman history.

Traditional Ottoman houses near the Yeşilırmak and the other main historical buildings have been restored; these traditional Yalıboyu houses are now used as cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels. Behind the Ottoman wooden houses one can see the Rock Tombs of the Pontic kings. The ruins of the citadel are visible high above the city.

The Bimarhane, built during the Mongol period, was the first mental health research facility that used music to treat its patients. For the past 75 years or so, it had been the home of Amasya's music conservatory in honour of its past, but has recently re-opened as a museum in tribute to the ground-breaking man who did research here.

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Lalehan Hotel

The hotel is about 10 minutes walk from the main tourist part of the town: a pleasant walk along the river bank. The hotel occupies a plot on the river bank, but a new extension has been built between the original hotel building and the river. The result is that none of the rooms in the original building have any view, many looking onto the walls of the new extension. Our allocated room in the original building was dark and pokey and looked onto a bare wall a few feet away.

We asked for a move, and I said I was prepared to pay extra. Communication was a problem, and in the end they moved us without charge to a much larger room in the new building with an oblique side view of the river. There are no lifts, so be prepared to lug baggage up steep stairs. The restaurant, where breakfast is served is right on the river. The setting is great, the breakfast passable

With a river front room , I would recommend this hotel for its position. In any other sort of room, choose another hotel- as this one has too many "bad" rooms that they need to palm off every day

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Ali Kaya Restaurant

You do want to go here, preferably Ali Kaya after dark, to enjoy the view - and what a view it is, opposite the castle, and looking down over the town. You will need a taxi or your own transport to get here, you will not be able to walk. Having enjoyed the view, the food, ambiance and service are a let down. The place is poorly lit and cold. The service is less than welcoming The food is standard tourist food and nothing special.

Having said all that I am glad I went to enjoy the view, and would go again in spite of the restaurant's obvious shortcomings

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Hatunca Hotel & Restaurant

Where we had a very pleasant lunch (and which Wild Frontiers should have used as our hotel).

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Inevitably heading west again to yet another UNESO World Heritage site

On to next town - Bogazkle

Back to Overall Itinerary for Silk Road Trip 2016