Couchsurfing for sure contributes to a smaller world. If you are not sure what I´m talking about you should check it out! It is very short summarized: stay at the couch with locals when you travel, or just meet locals when you travel if you prefer other accommodation. It is the very best way of meeting people when you travel, and a good way of getting insight into the “real” everyday life in the places you visit.
We got a warm welcome by Murat and his family, and after a great lunch of vegetarian specialties of Turkey he crammed the three of us, his wife and his two lovely daughters into his small car – and we raced off to get a glimpse of the area around Gölcük and the wonderful mountains with beautiful views. We enjoyed traditional Turkish tea on a small café in the mountains with a view over the large dam Kirazdere Barajim which artificially was built up in the 90s as the drinking water source of Kocaeli and surrounding areas. Around the lake there are also several recreational areas, and we visited one of the camping sites along the rivers which run into the dam – these sites are very popular by city dwellers during the weekends. In the evening we had a stroll along the seaside, and I love the vibrant nightlife in Turkey, where you find young, old and children in a good mix enjoying life even late in the evening.
After a delicious Turkish breakfast the next morning we continued our travel to Amasra and the Black Sea. In the sunset we had a lovely evening swim, before we headed for a restaurant – and we ended in a seafood restaurant which was widely known for its pretty salad. It was pretty! The taste was not overwhelming though, but with some nice red wine by the salad, the meal turned out great. We stayed in a cozy hostel with lovely people who called an English speaking friend every time we didn´t understand each other, and I enjoyed some hours of cat cuddling in the garden swing.
The next day we continued to Safranbulo, which was known to be a trading place and the center for growing saffron – which is among the most costly spices in the world. The town was charming, and I would really love to see more of the old town than the few hours we spent here. The old town preserves many old buildings, among them museums, mosques, tombs, historical fountains, Turkish baths and a clock tower. I walked through the markets and noticed saffron in all possible ways – in soaps, in perfume, in creams and off course in several food stuff and as the spice itself. I also pass by an old metal smith who made the most wonderful things – and I found my perfect Turkish teapot!
You want more about Turkey? Check out my adventures in Istanbul and fascinating stone formations and hot balloon ride in Cappadocia.
I´m an Oslo based web publisher with passion for communication, travel and a green lifestyle. When I travel, I prefer to go slow, sustainable, and “live like a local”. Why slow? It is about challenging the cult of speed, and to enjoy the small things in life and to live in the present.