|On leaving Cappadocia we headed north towards the Black Sea Coast. One thing we really noticed about Turkey is that it is a pretty western country - even in the far east. We had assumed that it would become more and more 'third worldish' but were very surprised. Also, every single piece of land is taken up with some type of crop - it is basically just a giant fruit bowl here - apricot and cherry trees galore. In fact the cherry juice here is to die for and also provides a very good mixer for vodka!!! (İt is called visne in turkish).
Our first stop was at the Hittite ruins at Hattusa (1200 BC). The Hittites used to rule over most of Turkey and parts of the middle east and the empire goes back as far as 3000 BC. Hattusa was once a huge city surrounded by stone walls over 6 km in length. It is amazing to think that these extensive ruins (which we had to drive between) are older than Machu Pichu but nobody has even heard about them. We visited the remains of a great stone fort which had tunnel through it as well as The Great Temple which had a large smooth green rock in the centre of it - a present from Ramses the second. The buildıng remaing on site are basically just the stone foundations as the upper parts of the building were built in mud and wood and have long since washed away.
After a quick lunch which the army guards watched over us in close scrutiny (there is national service over here so there appears to be too many people doing too few jobs - they therefore always want to talk to you), we headed further north towards the coast and towards Amasya (see next entry).