Trip Start May 24, 2008
Trip End Jul 26, 2008

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Flag of Turkey  , Karabuk,
Monday, July 21, 2008

We are only about a week or so away from heading back home and relaxation is definitely in order to end the trip.  We spent 3 nights in Safranbolu.

From the 13th century to the arrival of the railway in the early 20th century, Safranbolu was an important caravan station on the main East-West trade route.  The town is practically a living, outdoor museum.  Many old shops, homes, and mosques (several dating back to the 1300's) blanket a large area that sits in a deep ravine.  Turkish tourists are plentiful here - many of them making weekend trips from Ankara.  The tourism supports a plethora of nice little restaurants, tea shops, and sweet shops.  It's a relaxed place and even with all the tourist activity, it doesn't have a feeling of being overrun with people.

The name of the town derives from saffron, since the city was a trading place and a center for growing the spice.  Many argue that the local area still produces some of the best quality saffron at the world.  Safranbolu was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1994 due to its well-preserved Ottoman-era houses and architecture.

Enjoy the pictures!

Jon and Liz
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