Kalekoy, the prettiest Turkish Village
Friday 22nd January 2021
In our attempts to dodge the weather and having to stock up petrol and data we hadn’t had a chance to see the beautiful castle in Kalekoy. We had gone past it several times and we really wanted to explore it. With the weather looking nice we left in the morning for a short 4 nm journey and parked ourselves straight in front of the castle and picturesque village. I think it was one of the most stunning anchorages so far and we where the only boat there. In the cruising guide it said that it wasn’t a recommended anchorage in summer, as its too busy with tourist boats coming in an out. Since there was no one else and no danger of tourist boats swarming in we dropped the anchor and prepared ourselves to explore the village and castle.
The owner of one of the closed restaurants waved to us in our dinghy and signaled we could tie up at his jetty. He said we could come and have a cold drink later and showed us the way to the castle. One thing we had been missing in Turkey was the chora type old village like we have seen so many times in Greece. Here buildings seem to be either really ancient ruins or more modern times villages and settlements. This one was the first village we went to that resembled somewhat what we have seen in Italy and Greece. Narrow little passages led through old houses and old stone steps with plenty of weeds and greenery and wildflowers lead us up to the castle with a few scattered locals pottering around here and there. We met a couple of other walkers in the castle and later one other family that had walked from the village nearby. It is so special to see these places without the usual tourist population.
The castle was well preserved and we walked up the steps to the top of the hill. It was a breathtaking view on a stunning sunny and warm day. We peeled several layers of clothing off and I regretted wearing my wooly socks and tracking boots, that where appropriate in the chilly morning but making me break out in a sweat now. I had packed a thermos and the tiny Turkish tea glasses and sugar cubes and cookies for a small pick nick up the hill. After a bit of exploring we settled down on a seat and enjoyed a cup of chai and the peace and quite and serene location counting our blessings and being so grateful for these precious experiences.
Both Tim and I spotted a house on the hill with a pretty terrace that must have the most stunning view and ancient tombs right below, situated above the village and below the castle. I took photos of it, thinking that I would love to live there. Later on Tim declared the exact same thing. So there goes the the future house picture up on our mental vision board.
Here is a bit of info about the castle from the sign at the entrance with the English translation being a bit dodgy, but here it goes:
“Kalekoy was a small Lycian city. Since the 4th century BC it has been inhabited. It was strategically important and the ruin reflects the importance of its well preserved castle. The remains of the ancient harbor, which stretch underwater, are not only of great interest, but make an unusual pleasant transition from the slopes of Simena (Kalekoy) to the sea. The settlement is thought to go back to the 4th century B.C. There are ruins of a roman bath complex. Also a small theatre, with 300 seats. There are cisterns, rock tombs and traces of religious constructions. The view from the castle gives the most striking view of the panorama of Lycia (which I would totally agree with).
To the left of the castle is Necropolis. It has several original sacrophagi and some rock-cut tombs one of which bears inscription in Lycian.”The path to the tombs was lined by beautiful wild flowers and lush green grass and the oldest most beautiful Olive trees I have ever seen with knarly huge trunks. I wonder how old they are. The tree hugger in me in wanted to embrace them all. Nina was tired and lied down in the lush green grass for a rest and I joined her until the boys got impatient and called for us. We followed a path back down to the village, with the whole cat population holding up the kids. Every one of them gets plenty of pets of attention and we are being told every day how nice it would be to have a cat and how cute they are. But a dog on a boat is enough for now, especially since Lucy passionately dislikes cats.
Once we arrived back at the restaurant we wanted to give the owners some business for their kindness of tying our dinghy up and we ordered 2 fresh orange juices for the kids. They where delicious and while the kids enjoyed them, Tim went for another quick walk around the corner to take more photos. Once we were back on the boat a breeze had picked up and our anchor didn’t grip all that solidly, so we decided to tuck in around the corner, although I was sad we where not going to have the view of the pretty village and castle. Its was so beautiful and picturesque.
When we were anchored safely on the other side of the hill we took Lucy for a walk by a little rocky beach and gave her a run around the rocks. There was plenty of wild sage and thyme, but I had a good collection drying in the boat now. I always pick a few leaves and rub them in my hand and inhale deeply. Plant medicine just makes me happy and to see the wild herbs thriving here so abundantly makes me happy. We found an abandoned old turtle shell and Nina and Lucy had a ball climbing over the rocks. Once back on the boat we settled in the for the night and dinner.
The next day was overcast and blowy and we all needed a rest from the explorations of the last few days, so we all just pottered on the boat. I put some of my blogs online and wrote the blogs for January, Nina listened to audiobooks, Luca read his kindle, they both played games, Luca even cooked us lunch and dinner preparing for his flatting days he is dreaming about. In the evening it was raining and the Tim and the kids watched a movie while I finished writing my blogs.
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