Tales from Amasra No:3

The Final Installment: Gorgeous!
Amasra was just really amazing. It was this tiny town nestled between the Black Sea ans the hills. Our hotel was on the crest of the closest hill and almost had a panoramic view of the sea. Not only was there natural beauty, but the town itself was adorable and quaint. It is a working fishing village.
Much of it built around and within the remnants of Mehmet the Conqueror’s castle.

The view from one side of the hotel.

The view from the other. This is also the view from the dining room of the hotel.

This was taken off the balcony of the hotel room, I was out there to avoid the Turkish bunnies!

Tales from Amasra No:2

The Food

Amasra is a small village on the edge of the Black Sea, and to get there you must drive up the mountains, and once you reach the crest you can see the Black Sea below you and the town of Amasra nestled at the base of the mountains. The story is that when Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Mehmet the Conqueror) conquered Amasra, when he arrived on the top of that hill he asked his second in command“Lala, could this be the Çeşm-i Cihan (eye of the world)?”

And that is where the first meal was, a a restaurant called Çeşm-i Cihan. In Amasra it is redundant to call a restaurant a “Fish Restaurant.” Because that is what they served. Seafood, and drinks. No menus. You are given a choice between two different fish as a entree. Salad comes with the meal. What I love about Turkish salads is that they often come with herbs in them, which make they a little zingy. This salad was particularly good and included, pickled beets, green onions, green garlic, lettuce, carrots, radishes, onions (soaked to get the bite out) dill, mint, tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbage.

An appetizer, shrimp casserole. Super delicious, word to the wise, if you mispronounce shrimp in Turkish it easily sounds like drunk. Just an FYI, not that I did that repeatedly.

This was our fish, very tasty, though I forget the name of it, so I have posted it in its natural state below.

After we went to a Farmers Market (Pazar) where the locals were selling all sorts of great stuff. I carry a small Turkish/English dictionary with me which clears up all sorts of things. Like why the blackberry jam tastes like plums (Mulberries) or Why that cheese is decidedly tangy (water buffalo). And let me tell you, these women work hard.

Tons of different types of preserves from jams to different types of pickles, dried fruit, fruit leather, home made cheese and fresh vegetables. One look at their hands took all the fun out of haggling. They were clearly hard working hands.

The Second Day
Tasty Salad


Red Mullet: Super Delicate. While you are able to eat the WHOLE thing I just could not bring myself to eat the heads(still had eyes) or the tails.

Dessert was particularly tasty. We did not have sesame halva, but yogurt with honey. Specifically water buffalo yogurt, which is so rich and creamy it is cut into squares to be served, and the honey on top was local, with a very pungent flavor. Well suited to the creamy yogurt, normally it has crushed walnuts on top, but due to my allergy we asked them to hold the nuts. Just in case you think I am a complete and total pig, all these meals were served family style, so orders were shared among several people.

Tales from Amasra No:1

Turkish Bunnies

Amasra was amazing! Beautiful scenery, wonderful food, great atmosphere. I will blog on the natural beauty and food later. This is the first of three posts, and I spologize for its length. It concerns midnight visitors (not the fun type) and woodland creatures, unfortunately in combination. The trip started out well, the five hour bus ride was scenic. We stopped at a fish restaurant where we drank and ate until the bus rode a little lower.
After lunch there was some left over dessert, sesame halva, super delicious. We had it wrapped to go and took it with us. After we got to our hotel, took in the view, stashed our stuff in the room, halva included, we took a walk. I mean, how could we not?

When we got back ,I noticed the halva, which had been on the dresser seemed as if it had been nibbled on. Like a good country girl I took notice, absently, and put the rest of the halva in the covered trashcan. But by then it was too late.

After dinner and live music we came back to the room at about 12 am. My fiance’s mother was staying in my room because they were concerned about security (I’ve seen bathroom stall doors with better locks). She is a notoriously light sleeper, and also has trouble falling asleep, I gave her the full bed and I was sleeping on the twin. Well, about 4:30 in the morning I wake up because something is scratching my head, groggily I reach up to scratch it, and I realize something is there, I sit straight up and fling whatever it is towards the bathroom.
It was a mouse, I saw the Mofo scamper to a corner. So it is the ass crack of dawn, and I am totally skeeved, and freaked out. IWhen I got up to use the bathroom, I can hear it scuttling around. But I don’t want to wake Susan because I know she will never get back to sleep and we had a full day of sightseeing ahead of us. So I get on my bed and my eyes are practically bugging out of my head. Then I hear a sound, I see another mouse climb up the heating pipe from under the floor boards. Shit. Then I see another do the same thing. God Damn, how many can there be?
By this point I am thinking, well, I don’t want to wake Susan, how weird would it be to ask my fiance’s dad, Ali, if I could sleep on the second bed in his room. Too weird I decided. So there I am, watching these grey blurs steak across the floor of my room, listening to their claws on the floor, and then…a vibration. That fucker was trying to climb my bed again. So I spent a good time of the next hour slapping my shoe on the floor next to my bed. Finally I conked out again, but not without fear, when I awoke the next morning I was stiff from being curled in the fetal position.

The next morning I told Susan, and she was appalled, though at first she thought it was good, until I pantomimed a mouse (I don’t know the Turkish word for mouse, and she didn’t know the English). They were both infuriated, and complained to the manager, asked me why I didn’t wake them up (I didn’t think it would have been constructive.) We were traveling with a large group of people, and at breakfast Ali told them about the incident. One woman asked, did you already tell her it was a mouse? He said, “Of course” (as if I didn’t know). That is too bad, she says, you could have told her they were Turkish bunnies, different than American bunnies.

So as we were leaving the owners gave me a gift. It is a wooden bowl, hand crafted, the Amasra area is know for this type of decorative item.

Susan said I could use it for a sugar bowl, but I thought maybe it would fit a Turkish bunny.