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Published: August 23rd 2009
Amasya was 4 hours away from Sivas by bus. Once again the scenery was impressive. It was a shame we passed through Tokat without stopping, but the only reason we wanted to go was to experience a Tokat Kebab. Aubergine and meat are alternatively threaded on a skewer and it is cooked/smoked vertically resulting in an apparently exquisite taste! Never mind, it's only food!!
We arrived in Amasya at 8pm and were disappointed that the bus driver refused to stop in the town centre, depositing us instead at the otogar
a few kilometres out of town. Luckily they provided us with a servis
transfer to our hotel. We chose the Konfor Palas
on a recommendation from Ibrahim, a Couch Surfer
who we sadly did not get to meet. We were more than happy with his choice of hotel though, and at 60 Lira, within our budget.
Amasya is a beautiful town situated in a valley between two rocky mountainsides. It is absolutely gorgeous and we couldn't help but be blown away by the architecture and views. Arriving in the dark we saw the wonderful sight of the tombs, citadel and old waterfront houses illuminated for all to see.
morning saw the start of Ramadan, the holy month when Muslims around the world fast during daylight hours. We expected breakfast to be served inside and out of sight, so we were surprised to be outside at the front of the hotel, and joined by rather more people than we expected. The only change from normal service was the lack of a buffet and a late start, after 9.30am.
During the day we climbed up to the Royal Tombs, hewn into the rock faces above the town. Some of the climbing was tricky but the views from the top were worth the effort. We didn't manage to get up to the citadel on the very top though, as taxi drivers seemed to want to rip us off and we couldn't get a price we were happy with. It was a bit too hot to walk and climb!
We also walked around the outside of the splendid Sultan Beyazit II Mosque. It is wonderfully adorned with pictures and motifs. It would have been nice to venture in but, being the first day of Ramadan, it was being heavily used so we decided not to. Even so, it was a
good place to people watch.
A mighty cannon fires at dusk, signalling Iftar, and the echo can be heard for miles around. Everyone then scurries around either to go home and eat, or visit a restaurant for an Iftar menu. The streets are absolutely deserted during the first hour as everyone is making up for their 16 hours of fasting. We chose a nice restaurant overlooking the river and ate a selection of Turkish foods from soup through to sweet baklava for dessert.
The next morning we left on a bus to the coastal town of Sinop, having enjoyed a lovely day in Amasya.
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