TURKEY PART 4 – GOING UP NORTH

There are two ways of wild camping, maybe more, but let’s keep it simple. You can find a picturesque spot with a beautiful view, a perfect place to relax. Like our spot in Greece at the beach or you just need a spot, because there is no established campground nearby and therefore it’s pure functional. The last one we like to avoid, unfortunately this is not always possible, like in Amasya. We drove from Hattusha via Alacahöyuk to Amasya. We slept somewhere just outside the city center, between some trees on a side road in the middle of a lot of trash. Life can’t be always perfect.

Lion gate Hattusha

Our drive from Göreme to Hattusha was a bit delayed due to Dani her visit at the cave house of her new friend. When we finally reached Hattusha, which was later than we had planned, it surprised us to see two hotels in the village which offered campsites. Good one, but first we wanted to see if there would be enough time to visit Hattusha today. Hattusha was the former capital of the Hittites. The Hittites entered the region of Anatolia around 2000 BC. They play a big part in the history of Turkey, but also the world. The first written peace treaty passed down to the world was the Kadesh Peace Treaty, signed in 1269 BC by Hattushili III, the Hittite king and the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II. Hattusha was discovered in the town of Bogaskale in 1834. Archaeological scientific excavations started in 1906 and have been continuing systematically until today. When we arrived it appeared that we were too late today. Abdullah, a friendly man who is apparently the mayor of the village, gave us a turkish tea and explained us a lot about all the discoveries of Hattusha. When we asked which would be the best place to camp for the night, he immediately started making some calls. Turning into a sleeping spot at a campground next to one of the hotels. The next day we would come back to see the remainings of this very old town and drink more tea with Abdullah.

Dani’s new friend, showing her cave house (but not her teeth)

That night we slept very well next to the hotel. It’s incredible how we only paid €5,- for the night with a perfect hot shower, wifi access and there was even a swimming pool which we could use if we wanted. Anyway the next day we walked around in Hattusha. Tom, a bit more interested in this part of history than Dani, guided us around. After two and a half hour we saw everything and went to see Abdullah before we would move on to Alacahöyuk. Next to being the mayor of this small village, Abdullah also organizes the ins and outs of his “corporation” called Arinna. This corporation sells the carpets made by 280 Kurdish women. A lot of space for souvenirs we don’t have in our car, but we do like these kind of initiative and we also believe it’s a good thing to support some locals. So, we explained our problem and they showed us some pillow covers. This would actually fit and we bought two. Abdullah told us that the people in this village and the project really suffered, from the several terrorist attacks and the coup last year, due to a significant drop in tourism. After some more tea and having discussed a bit of the political situation we said goodbye to Abdullah.


Sights of Hattusha

We drove to Alacahöyuk, where we walked around in a open air museum with more excavations from the Hattits. We met a lovely Dutch-Turkish couple who gave us a lot of information about the area. They were driving around in the Northern part of Turkey for a few weeks and told us about things we didn’t knew. After we said goodbye to them we laughed about how grateful it is that you actually have to schedule an hour of socializing into your day plan here in in Turkey. Everybody is so kind. So finally we went to Amasya, we heard such good things about this city that we were excited to see all of it for ourselves.

View over Amasya from the castle

Around noon we drove into Amasya, a small city (about 110.000 inhabitants) that is located in a valley. We decided to first find a place to sleep, if we had some time left we could still go and explore some of the city. There were no official campsites so we were searching for a place hidden between some trees on a kind of flat area. This was way harder to find than we thought it should be. After we drove up on two mountains where the only flat part was a place where houses were build, we decided to have a more thorough look at iOverlander. This is an application we use to find camp spots uploaded by other users. And jeuhj there was a spot on iOverlander. So we headed there, but maybe we were a bit too enthusiastic in the beginning. It was a hidden spot between some trees, yes, but it was full of trash. We didn’t really had another option as it was already started to get darker outside and also we already drove around searching for a long time. At the end we slept quite good and we really enjoyed the old town of Amasya the next day, so it was a good decision to stay. Life can’t be always as perfect as you wanted it to be.

Old town of Amasya

That same day we drove from Amasya to Boraboy lake, a place that’s used by a lot of locals to find some distraction of the city and enjoy family time. The lake is not very big, but there’s a big picnic area where people build their campfire and enjoy their day. Normally you pay a small entrance fee for your car or whatever you’re driving into it, but for some reason the boy didn’t wanted our money. Anyway we stay here for the night and tomorrow we will go further up north, to the Black Sea.

 

For more picture click here.