Blogs from Safranbolu, Black Sea, Turkey, Middle East


Middle East » Turkey » Black Sea » Safranbolu October 1st 2016

AMASYA to OSMANCIK 28 September, 2016 110 Kms SubT. Kms 3302.47 kms . Road Condition: Highway- goodWeather: showers at start, wet roads, after lunch- MILD 15c Time in Saddle: 5:00.15 hrs. Av Speed: av. 23 kph. Av Cadence. 66 rpmElevation: 950 m up; 800m downCalories burned : > 5000 This morning the rear wheel rim was sitting on the ground, tyre completely flat!! Pumped it up and prayed it would last to lunch. After three beautiful mornings, it was showering so didn't want to hang around. Arrived at lunch with tyre mostly deflated. Last 20 kms very squishy feeling and sound. Again pumped it up and road to tonight's hostel. Thankfully got me here. Changed tube whilst waiting for room to become available. Could find no evidence of cause in the tyre, either on the outside ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Black Sea » Safranbolu May 12th 2014

Safranbolu We took the ferry across the Bosporous in Istanbul and headed east to Safranbolu. It is a small old town with steep cobblestone streets and some interesting architecture. We are staying in the caravansari, which has been converted to a hotel. It seems to be a tourist attraction for the town.... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Black Sea » Safranbolu October 19th 2011

It’s for days like today, that I do what I do. My only goal was to walk to the İncekaya Aqueduct, an old Byzantine structure that spans the Tokatlı Gorge. With the sun on my face, a cool breeze at my back and good tunes in my ears, I charged uphill for seven kilometers, passing only a handful of people on the way (all of whom smiled and waved at the crazy woman). I was on my own the entire day, free to enjoy the peacefulness of the river, the aqueduct, the bells of the sheep grazing on the hills around me. I had no place to be, and nothing to do – just be. It’s also days like today when I wonder if I’m crazy, or maybe the only one who’s got the right idea. ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Black Sea » Safranbolu October 18th 2011

In Istanbul, finding an English speaker is like finding Waldo – not the easiest thing to do at times, but definitely doable. Outside of the city limits, finding an English speaker is like finding a needle in a haystack – as close to impossible as it gets. Knowing this fact, I shoulda/coulda/woulda prepared myself more, but as I have the tendency to float around in a cloud of optimism, I never got much farther than, “Merhaba. Nasılsın? Hi. How are you?” From the moment I got off the bus in Safranbolu – or what I thought was Safranbolu but, to devastating effect, was really the nearby city of Kıranköy – I felt hopelessly lost. I didn’t even know where to begin to ask for directions, so I just started walking, keeping my eyes peeled for the ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Black Sea » Safranbolu October 18th 2011

Built during the 17th century as a stopping point along the trade route to the Black Sea coast, Safranbolu lies within a deep ravine of the Tokatlı mountains. Although the town now boasts running water and electricity, there is nothing modern about it. The buildings are made from sun-dried mud bricks and wood, varying in condition from crumbling to perfectly restored. Toilets are hidden in cupboards, and houses come equipped with revolving cupboards (allowing women to prepare meals unseen). The town is known for its handmade textiles and sweet shops – and the people who live here are even sweeter than the lokum they sell. After only half a day, it felt like I already knew the entire village. The taxi drivers who had helped me the previous night, waved in warm recognition. An old man ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Black Sea » Safranbolu August 26th 2009

Safranbolu was just a short 6 hours bus ride from Sinop! Actually our bus dropped us off in nearby Karabuk and we had to get a local bus to Safranbolu. That took 45 minutes as it went all the way around the local towns before depositing us near the impressive old hammam. Ali from the Bastoncu Pension came to meet us and then we followed him along cobbled lanes to the old Ottoman house which was to be our home for 2 nights. Inside it is beautifully decorated and Trish couldn't have asked for a nicer place to spend her birthday! It's not a big place but it's a nice place to relax for a day or two. There's nothing much more to do than amble around the streets, visit the museum, browse the souvenir shops ... read more
Resting at the museum
Ottoman House
Before and after restoration

Middle East » Turkey » Black Sea » Safranbolu August 16th 2008

Hanging out at a bus station in Istanbul on a Friday night in the height of Summer is not something I want to do again! Everyone tells me how great the Turkish bus system is and I'm sure it is. My first experience just happened to be chaos! Cumhur decided to come to Safranbolu with me as he hasn't seen much of Turkey so I was happy to have company. Not to mention someone who could speak Turkish with me as it's taking me a little while to forget the Uzbek and Russian I've learned over the last month and pick up some Turkish vocab. Our bus was meant to leave at 1am and when we arrived at the bus station there were hundreds of people waiting for their buses that were supposed to have left ... read more
ottoman, ottoman, ottoman
inside a restored Ottoman house
views of Amasra

Middle East » Turkey » Black Sea » Safranbolu April 15th 2008

So thaaaaaaaaaat's what all the hype is about. Just 3 hours north of Ankara is the lovely town of Safranbolu, filled with cobblestone alleyways, well-preserved Ottoman-era houses, and more charm than, well, than you could ever find in Ankara. Jen came in from İstanbul, showing up late in the afternoon Friday to check out the town before my arrival later that evening. After I showed up and dropped of my bags, it was time for a walk. I asked her if she would know how to get us back in the dark and she said "you pretty much just keep walking around and eventually you end up back here." It didn't take long for me to feel completely disoriented in the town's chaotic, curvy, windy alleys, but it turned out that she was right, and somehow ... read more
things are looking up...
werkin' hard or hardly werkin'...?

Middle East » Turkey » Black Sea » Safranbolu August 17th 2007

It had been a bit of an adventure to find the cushy, blue seat I was sitting in. I had managed to find my way to the gate that the bus company representative told me to go to. I discovered there that the ‘gate’ was only a very general description of where I may find the bus that I had purchased a ticket on. I stepped out into the group of people crowding around a few buses, none of which were marked with a destination, and, like a parrot, I began reciting my rehearsed sentence, “Otobus Safranbolu ne zaman kalkar?” After a few blank stares, a laugh or two and a smile that is universal the world over for, “I don’t have any idea what you are saying” I abandoned my attempt at speaking Turkish and ... read more
Ottoman Homes
Morning in Safranbolu
Sunset over the Black Sea

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