The little square where the hotel was situated was very quiet in the morning. There were only a few clients at breakfast. When we finished eating, we decided to visit the Tombs of the era of the kingdom of Pontus. The archeological site was open from 9.15am to 7pm. By following the stone stairs, we reached the main entrance but we had to wait since it had not opened yet. The attendant came soon to let us in…
The Tombs (ticket price: 3YTL/person) were impressive. It’s very possible that if somebody had paid a visit to Kappadokia, he would not be very enthusiastic about the place. Bars had been placed at the entrance of the Tombs preventing us to go in. In the interior, there weren’t any mural or something else. However, their particular feature was the fact that there buildings were not caves found in the rocks. They were stone edifices made by the sculpturing of the rocks. The panoramic view was also magnificent and because of this, the best time to visit the place is in the afternoon. While leaving the place, the polite attendant treated us to some tea.
At about 10.00am we departed Samsun, a town 130km away, was our next destination. Our journey was not very interesting. The traffic was heavy, trucks made it hard for us to ride and the quality of the road surface was poor. In addition, the construction works which took place there worsened our journey.
Samsun was a place, though, we weren’t eager to visit since it was mentioned neither as a popular tourist destination nor as something worth visiting. For these reason, we decided not to spend much of our time exploring it.
When we first saw Samsun, we discovered that it was a modern coastal town, a commercial part. The market was pedestrianized and –in general- it had a lot of western elements. Our wandering there was limited to a ride and then, we headed to the west part of the town towards Sinop (150km). If somebody decides to stay in Samsun for a few days, he could visit the Archeological Museum and a hill – accessible by cable railway –where the view most probably is amazing. On our way towards Sinop we found accommodation next to the sea or along the way.
Having covered a distance of about 150km since the morning, we started feeling exhausted which was completely normal after 36 days of traveling and around 9.500km! At this point we were more vulnerable to fatigue. Moreover, the road, the traffic jam and the relatively indifferent landscape worsened our ride. We decided to stop to Bafra for a coffee. However, it was not a town to be amazed by. There wasn’t even a proper place to have a coffee. In any case, we had some rest so as to cover the last 115km to Sinop.
Even though I thought that the journey would be costal in reality only a small part was just like that. The rest took place through some lush vegetation, in particular though pine trees and plan-tree. The scenery was wonderful! The only drawback was the poor quality of the road since this was narrow and the groovings made by trucks made it very dangerous for us to ride!!!
At around 5.00pm we reached Sinop. At first, we thought to choose a camping to spend our night there, but we had to change our mind because this was found outside the town. We ended up to “Yilmaz Pansion”, which –as proven later- was not a good choice! The room was tiny –like a cell-, it was on the 4th floor without an elevator, the toilets were dirty and during the night the hot weather could not be dealt (it didn’t even have a fan)!!! Even if the money we paid (35YTL/double room without breakfast) was little, it wasn’t worth it. I realized that tourist guides can sometimes be helpful and others a misguidance!
Except for this fact which upset and frustrated us, Sinop was –in general- a very pleasant coastal town. It attracts a number of tourists mostly from Istanbul and Ankara. It has a lot of remarkable sights (i.e. the castle, museums, mosques, etc) as well as some beautiful beaches.
We started our wandering from the small marina found very close to our accommodation. We walked towards the walls (eastern) and we ended up in the main square which was overcrowded something which happened every afternoon. But it was already time to eat. We chose to eat in the area close to our hotel which was popular for the restaurants found there so, we had lunch there. I tasted “Iskender Kebap” (Great Alexander’s kebap). It was beef “gyros”, with thin-sliced pie, yogurt and some red sauce. I cannot describe its heaven taste!
The best time of the day though was in the evening. At walls, there was a pub called “Burg” which had a great view and an exceptional band. During the summer, a company of young Turks played live music creating a magical atmosphere! The music sometimes reminded us of equivalent greek sounds and the result was great!
Except that, Sinop was famous for its nightlife and for this reason, there were a number of night clubs. People were liberal and had nothing to do with the “eastern” mentality…