Monday, 8 April 2013

Hilltop Fort, Sunken City

1. Simena

In the morning we set off to walk part of "The Lycian Way" to Simena, a Byzantine fortess on a cliff above the tiny village of Kalekoy ("Castle Village"!).
The path took us along the coast, down into a small bay, and then uphill again to the fort.

Once outside Ucagiz we were immediately joined by a dog. Since Efe I fear for any dog that accompanies me.

Dog leads the way

Littered around the crown of the hill were dozens of sarcophagi.

"So, what do English people think about The Falklands?" asked Serena, really disliking having to use the F-word.
I rambled vaguely for a bit about the Thatcher regime. All her fault.
"Not then, now!"
I told her it was an old topic that didn't come up much any more
"No, no, no, not this old war! What about all the trouble now?". Things were getting lively.
I admitted I had no idea there was any trouble now.
This wound her up some more and she proceeded to tell me of the many recent iniquities perpetrated by the British Government against Argentina.
To her, my ignorance of these crimes bordered on complicity.
"But, you must know about the referendum!"
"Oh, was there? How did that go?"
"Ha! Only two people voted for us!"

After an hour we reached the fort.

Simena fortress

From the castle walls there was a great view down into Kalekoy and out to sea.

Population 250 - and no roads!

We descended into Kalekoy and Serena lit into negotiations with the village boatsmen.
After a thorough and vigourous exchange of views we returned to Ucagiz by boat cheaply.

2. Kevova

The main reason tourists come to Ucagiz is to take a boat trip round the island of Kekova and see the sunken ruins that ring it. The city of Simena was hit by an earthquake in the 2nd Century AD. It partially sank and continues to do so at a rate of 15cm per century.

So, with no time to lose, we went looking for the cheapest boat...

We ended up sharing a "glass-bottomed" boat with a family of four. The wife was friendly enough and told me they were from England but lived in South Africa.

Later, on deck I perched next to her husband.
"What do you do in South Africa?"
"Nothing. I work in India."
Odd that. "Do you like India?", I asked brightly.
"No." He spoke the word quietly and for a full three seconds.
"What're you doing there?", battling on.
"Trying to build a hotel," he whispered, then slowly closed his eyes.
I wasn't sure if he was blocking out memories of India or signalling the end of our little chat.
I shut up and looked at some islands sliding past us.

Kekova's coastline was dotted with ruins and through the water I could just make out more on the seabed.

When we were close to Kekova's rocky shore our captain lifted a flap in the carpet to reveal the eponymous glass-bottom.

It was a severe disappointment measuring about two square feet. I saw nothing through it.


Finally I just took hundreds of shots over the side of the boat hoping to catch something. I didn't, but here's one anyway because the colours are nice...


  1. Thatcher died a few hours after I posted this. Reminds me of Japanese manga/anime "Deathnote". Maybe I have a "DeathBlog"!!!

  2. Wow! what a stupendous location Kekova.
    Never do you mention though the temperature of the water, you water fiend!

  3. It was a bit chilly according to those who chose to go swimming...