We could have done with a Turkish bath on a hot day. Some of our more enterprising fellow travellers managed to arrange it.
Preserving historic villages hasn’t been a high priority for the Turks. Life is a struggle for many and restoring old buildings is expensive. It’s usually easier to knock down the old and replace it with something cheaper.
Which is why Safranbolu is a welcome exception to the rule.
Our cruise company had arranged a final day adventure – a bus trip into the hills to the village of Safranbolu, about 80 kilometres from the coast. It was a quick visit and not one which could give more than a superficial glimpse of Turkish life. But we liked what we saw.
I suspect there’s a roster system, with retirees paid to sit in groups of three in the square outside the mosque and pose for tourists.
I really wanted one of these locks, but we don’t have a door to do it justice. Nor would the key fit in my pocket.
There’s nothing like a rooftop shot to make a village look authentic and exotic.
The name ‘Safranbolu’ comes from the saffron grown in the district. This is what saffron looks like before it turns yellow. Note the signs in English. We’re not the first tourists they’ve had here.
The writer was the guest of Compagnie du Ponant. See traveltheworld.com.au