We rolled into the mountain town of Amasya after the political capital of Ankara, and what a change of scenery and mood. This is a happy little town on a river, with quaint wooden houses hugging the shoreline. In some ways it reminds me of Venice and in other ways it seems like Bavaria, but after all, it’s Turkey.
Like every other place we’ve visited, this town feels completely safe and the people are friendly without being pushy. Their friendliness is not conditional upon purchasing something from their shop, rather it is a friendliness based on wanting us to feel welcome and comfortable in their country. This is quite refreshing.
Due to the warm, dry weather, most of our meals are taken in restaurants that are designed with open-air courtyards. The food consists of fresh ingredients, and depending on the region, it includes either fresh meat or fish. Cucumbers and tomatoes are part of every meal, including breakfast, and the tomatoes have an intense flavor that’s missing in America. Many of our meals have 2 appetizer courses, a main course and 2 dessert courses.
After lunch, we went to the former mental hospital where we heard a moving concert by 2 young men playing guitar and a traditional Turkish instrument similar to the oud, but with 7 strings.
By the way, it may not be evident, but I’m writing this blog as much in real time as possible. That becomes challenging when the internet is not available in the hotel and is tiring when after a long day I start downloading images after 10pm and begin writing after 11:30 or so. Today I am composing and uploading while on a very bumpy bus ride, all the while keeping an eye on my battery level and hoping to finish before it runs out. The challenges of travel!