I have been in the U.S for the last three months, so when I flew back to Turkey for a few weeks, Bülent and I decided to plan some romantic weekends away. So far we have been having a great time. We decided to head to Safranbolu. It is an easy three hour drive from Ankara. After getting there we grabbed some lunch at Hanim Sofrasi. I am a sucker for women-run establishments in Turkey. This was pretty typical. An older woman was supervising while her daughters, and maybe sisters or sisters-in-law (not sure which) cooked the food. What was unusual was that while the matriarch sat outside smoking and chatting with tourists, her husband was the waiter, taking orders and running food out. He only joined his wife for a cigarette after all his work had been finished!
We had “Safranbolu Manti” or “Peruhi.” Instead of your typical meat filled bites, they were more like triangular ravioli, very thin pasta filled with a white cheese or maybe yogurt. However, while eating them I detected a floral note, I am not sure, it could have been a hint of saffron or maybe a spice. Either way, it was a little different and delicious.
After our lunch we walked around and stopped at Cinci Han, it is a old Caravanserai stop on the Silk Road. Built in the 17th century it is now a hotel and a café. You can still see the old iron rings where they used to tie the camels.
There is a tower, which they allow you to climb with refreshingly few safety precautions.
Safranbolu is a fairly small town, with quite a few pazars, however the really lovely part is just outside of the main square. There are many old Ottoman houses, many of which are charming private residences rather than just hotels. Safranbolu also has many streams and rivers which run through it and have carved canyons and ravines. This particular camii (mosque) was built over a small river. As a place of worship, one that spans running water and you can listen to the gurgle of it over stones while you pray—seems like a great idea—not that I would know much about prayer or worship.
Along the same stream were many little gardens squeezed between the retaining walls and the water.
During our walk we saw some local children climbing a beautiful grassy hill. So like any well adjusted adults, we were jealous and climbed it too. We had a blast, and the kids thought we were pretty funny too.