Unsere Reise rückt immer näher 🤗
After dinner yesterday, I wandered into town, where there was a street carnival atmosphere with everyone celebrating Ramadan. The main road had been blocked off to traffic, buskers and stages were set up on the promenade on the south bank of the river, with the old town, tombs and citadel lit up in the most glorious garish colours imaginable. It was great, and I was out till after midnight watching the passing parade, taking photos, eating Turkish ice cream and enjoying being a bit part of the celebrations.
Kids playing on the playground across from my hotel kept me awake until well past any reasonable child's, or my, bedtime and so I was a bit groggy and sleep deprived this morning. After another fantastic breakfast spread I headed to the Pontic tombs, trying to get there before it got too hot. Monumental and hard to miss from anywhere in town, these massive tombs are carved deep into the cliff face and were built for the kings of the short lived Pontic civilisation before they were wiped out by the Romans after, ill advisedly, executing 1000 Roman citizens in a single day. I kept making my way up until I reached the castle at the top, which has been built and rebuilt by successive empires and civilisations since at least 3000BC. There's not a lot to see and what is there is mostly modern reconstructions, but it does provide mind boggling views over Amasya and the surrounding countryside.
Next I visited the excellent Amasya museum, who's prized collection of six mummies from the 13th century provide a suitably gruesome centrepiece and its major draw card. After a lunch of local dumplings (like small ravioli and yogurt) the weather started closing in for the predicted afternoon storms, so I headed back to the hotel for some well needed travel planning and admin. Maybe I had too much time to think during the storm, but my simple plan to map out the next leg along the black coast ended with booked flights to continental Europe.
I have been getting more and more unsettled about the prospect of being alone with no one to talk to for another month. I have yet to meet another western traveller and that prospect is only getting more remote the further I go on my planned route, much of which is through the remote and vast areas in the south. Combined with my lack of Turkish and the locals lack of English, this was presenting a daunting prospect. After looking at options and weighing up the benefits and costs, I have booked flights in around 10 days, which will give mean I can still see the Black Sea highlights, for a detour to Romania and Hungary for a couple of weeks before heading back east to Iran to meet Hannah on 6 July. Solo travelling in isolated areas is, without doubt, a great experience, but I can't deny that I am already excited at the prospect of hostel's and being able to share stories, meals and a drink with fellow travellers.
Tonight I had dinner in my hotel again, not only because the rain was still belting down, but also because it was seriously good the night before and the hotel owner/cook was a seriously engaging man who appeared to be taking quite a liking too me. Tonight he gave me the full service, a true Ramadan feast consisting of salad, chickpea soup (seriously good), roasted vegetables, slow cooked lamb, rice, bread, baklava, fruit and yogurt. It was excellent, topped off by, I think, being announced as the guest of honour (well he stood up, pointed at me and said something that included Australia to general applause).Read more