Kastamonu is a small city in northern Turkey about an hour away from the Black Sea. It is approximately 8 hours from Istanbul and 4 hours from Ankara by bus. There is no airport in this region, so busing is the only way to get there from the major hubs. This place is so far off the beaten track that even Turks wrinkle their nose at me when I say that I lived here for 9 months. This town doesn’t see very many American tourists (or many other nationalities for that matter) and almost no one speaks English.
The area is known for skiing(Ilgaz Mountain) and apparently bears…..Luckly, I didn’t run into any. 🙂 The food is wonderful, my favorites being Güveç and Döner. Etli Ekmek (lavash bread with a Turkish pastrami inside) is the famous dish of the region. If you are passing through, stop by the Nasrullah Mosque to see an example of centuries old Ottoman architecture and the restaurant next door has the city’s best Etili Ekmek. The city is also filled with beautiful old Ottoman style homes, some that have been turned into bed and breakfasts and restaurants.