"Lazy days in Amasya" Amasya by swissrain
Amasya Travel Guide: 122 reviews and 411 photos
Googling for "nicest" and "best" I came across Amasya: a far-travelled guy mentioned it among the most beautiful places of the world. Other people travelling from Europe to the Far-East on motorbike meant to have had the nicest accomodation there. That makes curious.
Travelling from Ankara to Göreme is a far way, the detour through Amasya makes it seven hours longer. Now, for sitting seven hours in a bus, a place must really be special. Is Amasya that special?
During the long hours approaching the ancient town, I see a landscape with little changes, I see villages and towns without knowing to what they are attached, neither to a river, nor to a rock, nor to anything. I understand why these people historically were willing to find new land, to evade there place, to become conquerors.
But then, Amasya is tucked away between two rocky mountains which are carved by a river. Not surprising that in this protected place people were able to concentrate. Strabon, the first historian of our human kind, was born here. The place obliged him to wonder what was beyond those rocky walls surrounding the town, and beyond the time in which he lived.
The Pontic kings made it their resting place, not only for life-time, but for eternity, such as the many tombs show which are cut into the rock above the gardens and the courts of their castle. Since thousands of years, Amasya was chosen by the best to live and to die, to love and to mourn.
Moreover, the Pashas had their most cherished treasures, their beautiful daughters, the Sherazade, be educated here. The school of princesses was here for centuries, and walking through modern Amasya lets me see a lot of young students, with proud posture and strong open faces. I don't know what to admire more here, the outstanding situation and charisma of the place, or the faces of the many students, cheerful and serious at the same time.
The two opposites are the two sides of the same coin, Amasya embodies that truth.
I am lucky to find the nicest accomodation of the town, the Grand Pasha Otel. Eray, the owner, has kept the ability to be a child again when he meets my six-year-old daughter. He doesn't stop playing with her, and every-now-and-then she shows me a new present which she got from him.
But me, as an old guy, I am also in the focus of attention here. At the hairdresser's, a place full of great looking attendants, I notice a small silver tree with many evil eyes as the fruit, and I express the only Turkish word I know: guezel! When I leave the shop, I get a small bag in which the tree is packed. I refuse, but no way. A present without any further intention of the giver, a present from the heart. This happens in Amasya.
A bit later, in a Jeans-shop, buying some nice pullover, young student-girls try the clothes on, to show them to me as they are worn by young bodies. Not only that, they blush, flirt and flatter, love seems to grow easily here.
Then, in another shop, a young veiled woman gives me a radiant smiled and offers me her help. She is so happy to meet a foreigner, to speak English, that she plays truant the following day and comes to see us off at the hotel. It's rare that I have seen such a bright face, so direct and truthful, as this woman, whom I miss since weeks. Alas! the e-mail-address I gave to her had a mistake. Love unfulfilled...
At the times of the Sultans, an artist worked inside the palace and noticed such a smile and immediately fell in love. Asking the Sultan for the hand of the princess, the Sultan wanted to win time by telling his subordinate that if he would drill a tunnel through the mountain and carve the canals in the rocks to bring the water to his town, he would get his love. In the cool mornings I have walked along this immense irrigation system, seeing the immeasurable work of the ardent lover. But then, when he had finished after years of work, he was turned down again by the Sultan. The digger took his hammer and thrust it into his forehead and died with a despaired moan. When the princess heard of the death of her beloved, she thrust herself from the castle down the rocks.
They were buried on February 14, and each year their soul still try to meet each other between the two tombs. But the Sultan's ghost appears and keeps them apart. A rose then grows between their bodies, as a sign of their eternal love and longing.
And we still give a rose to our beloved ones on that day. Was love born in Amasya, and tragedy?
In the bus out towards Cappadochia, a young strong man, who looks like a German, sits close to me. Beside him, a beautiful young lady, his wife. He is the captain of the Turkish weight-lifters, recently married to the veiled flower at his side. My question: how does it come that she is veiled. You look so modern...
She put on the veil as a sign of her unconditional faithfulness. The Imam told that this is the way God wanted.
I can't avoid admiring this beautiful lady, who takes care of my daughter, as the bus is full and no place left for the child, who never pays in Turkey.
Unconditional submission, unconditional love. Is this reason for the high erotic attraction between husband and wife here?
After a first tour d'horizon of Turkey I now know the "shanty" places of the country, so my recommended trip for a connaisseur is such as follows:
Fly to Istanbul, hang around in the Bazaars and gate a taste of ancient tribal art. Chat with the traders, drink tea with them and discover Turkish enthousiasm. Enthousiasm of other people...
Then go to Amasya and have an overnight stop in Ankara, at the lovely Angora House Hotel. It's a place to while away your time. And to discover the dignity and simplicity of the owner, a gentleman who has kept the frankness of a child, to be used as an example of Turkish hospitality. Discover his outstanding taste, enjoy the freshly pressed juice of Turkish oranges for breakfast. Turn up the music and dance in the lobby.
In Amasya, go to stay at Eray's Grand Pasha Otel. Hang loose here, walk along the railway tracks, when there is no moaning train creeping by, along the irrigation canals, sit in the Garden of old Ottoman coffeeshops and get in touch with enthused people. Stay long, climb up the rocks, invite nice people for dinner...
Then down to Goereme. Visit Hassan here, the fidel man who is finishing the most recent marvel, the Canyon View Hotel, high above the village, you live in the rock, read spiritual verses of Rumi, and wonder day after day why you were not born here.
Meet modern sufis, which have settled here in numbers, Westerners and Japanese, who are preparing the Age of Aquarius and Indigo here...
And find out how you could settle here, too!
- Pros:dreaming of the past and understanding...
- Cons:sweetness all around
- In a nutshell:great for hanging loose
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