This was the second of the two ship's excursions we booked on our Black Sea cruise. It was not as expensive as many of the others and it got us out into the countryside. We're not big-city type folks and enjoy getting away from port cities when we can. This excursion featured a trip to a fjord but first we had to visit two museums. Not high on my list of things to do but we were stuck. Again, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them.
The first museum was the Archaeological Museum. It was in a relatively small building in the middle of town but was extremely well organized and interesting. Outside there were lots of columns and pieces parts from excavations in the area. Inside were examples of statues or parts of them from various periods of time, a large coin collection, household items, etc.
I found the large kiln display interesting. In order to preserve the heat, they buried the kiln partially in the ground. A sign, in English, explained how they stoked the fires and the chambered elements of the kiln.
According to another sign, again in English, the battle of Sinop in 1853 was where the Crimean war began. It spoke of the Russian fleet attacking the city and how many Ottomans died fighting to defend it. The last line impacted me: "After this battle, which caused hate in the world, Britain and France became allies and entered into war on the Ottoman side." Things never change do they? Battles today still cause "hate in the world."
Outside in the courtyard, local folks had prepared a banquet of tasty foods for us to try. I had a little chicken soup that had wonderful soft dumplings in it and tried a fresh fig. While everyone enjoyed an early morning snack, we wandered a bit more and discovered a mosaic from the 4th century that had apparently graced the floor of someone's home then. There was also an archway carved of marble with a translated sign that read, "The Good Fortune. To the Highest God, Aelius Threption Pontianus and Severus Macer, brothers, (dedicated this), having made a vow." It was from the 1st or 2nd century A.D.
Our next museum, The Ethnography Museum, was very interesting as it was an old house that displayed in the rooms the way it would have looked and functioned in the 18th century. Our guide told us that it would have been a wealthy family who lived there--a large wealthy family as there would have been several generations as well. The second floor living area was designed around a central foyer area where there was a large container that looked like copper and was said to be used to heat food and water for tea. Several rooms surrounded the foyer and some were open directly to it. A couple had doors for some privacy.
The knives and swords were again fascinating as they had that distinctive curve to them. The round object that almost resembles a large hat was used as a shield.
Finally we were off on a short drive to the fjord. We enjoyed the countryside a bit and, while it wasn't a Norwegian fjord, it did have its charm and was a beautiful spot to stand and take in the sea, the greenery, and the wandering blue waters.