We chose to stop in Amasya partly because it was mid distance between Safranbolu and Trabzon, our easterly base for leaving Turkey. I vaguely recalled it having some history to it from my research pre-trip, but it wasn’t until we woke in the morning and saw the view from our hotel that we could see just how much history…
That was the view from the hotel front, looking up at the 2,500 year old tombs.
And this was the river view from our room on the other side of the hotel.
We walked up to the tombs (from the Pontic era no less – no, I’d never heard of it either till this week) to get a closer look.
Though the Amasya idea of health and safety made us hesitate about going all the way up. And there wasn’t much stopping us from falling over the sheer drop…
Anita decided to take precautionary measures to get down
In more recent times – mediaeval – Turkey’s Sultans apparently sent their kids to Amasya to finish their education, so the riverbank is lined with rather wonderful sculptures of various Sultans’ heads.
We heard that apples are Amasya’s big speciality, and as the bus got nearer to town from Safranbolu, we saw thousands of apples on sale from roadside stalls. But in town, we searched in vain for any cafés or restaurants doing a seasonal apple special. Nothing!
We decided to go up to the top hotel on the other hill, called the Apple Palace. But even there, the only apple we saw was a plastic decoration on the entrance wall. And the waiters there had mystified looks when we asked if they had any apple dishes on the menu.
What the Apple Palace does have is a fabulous outdoor pool in a setting fit for a Bond movie or, more likely, some local gangster party in the 1950s. It’s peaceful and beautiful now, but we wondered if the Brat Pack had been anywhere near once upon a time.