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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Kizkalesi

Maiden's Castle (Kiz Kalesi)


Gorgeous Coast, Turkey
Gorgeous Coast
The main reasons to stop in Kizkalesi are to see the Maiden's Castle (Kiz Kalesi) that appears to float on top of the water and the exquisite, soft sand beach.  But we can now add the drop dead gorgeous coast on the way there as a big reason.  Our final reason was to have a stopover before the big trek across the Taurus Mountains to Goreme, Cappadocia.

From Kaleiçi (Antalya's former castle) we drove to Alanya, which is wall-to-wall modern hotels. I am not sure why people want to go to a town where every space is filled with modern hotels. It does have an extensive beach but it reminds me of Miami. 

Magnificent Verdant View, Turkey
Magnificent Verdant View
Our hotel hosts thought it was crazy to drive 7 hours in one day to Kizkalesi. But the point is to see the scenery and it's on the way to Goreme.  The distance is short but it is a winding, cliff-hugging road with lots of traffic.
 
Stunning Sand, Terrific Turquoise
Stunning Sand
A new expressway will eventually take most of the traffic away from this coastal road. If your schedule is tight then you can bypass this long drive along the coast and head directly from Antalya to Cappadocia.  But this rugged coastal scenery is gorgeous and probably second only to the turquoise-fringed beaches of Demre.
 
Terrific Turquoise, Turkey
Terrific Turquoise
The only thing missing is pullovers at the view of the turquoise-etched coves from high up on this ledge road. When there was a decent size space to stop, we took photos of the coastal views. Unfortunately, we never found any place for lunch (again).   We are going to have to complain to the tour operator!  It was only 420 km to Kizkalesi but it actually took nine hours to drive there. 


Kizkalesi Castle
Kizkalesi Castle
On the plus side, we arrived just in time to see the Maiden's Castle (Kiz Kalesi) in sunset lighting. It is located on a shallow island located just 150 m off shore so that it appears to be floating on the sea.  It dates from Byzantine era and was used as a fort during the Crusades. There is a second castle at the end of the beach.

Rain Hotel


We were worried when we got to the hotel and the doors were locked.  The hotel manager from across the street came over and reassured us that the manager probably went shopping.  So he kept us company.  He spoke perfect English having worked in Britain for a while.

We are the only guests at the Rain Hotel in Kizkalesi!  It is a very modern place.  We spent a lot of time speaking with the owner, Mehmet Shirin, who speaks perfect English.  My sister 'Umet' thinks he looks like he could be our cousin.

Narlikuyu Nosh
Narlikuyu Nosh
Mehmet drove with us to a nearby town of Narlikuyu (west of Kizkalesi) that has several seafood restaurants at the harbour.  Since he was a regular customer there he made sure they prepared a special meal for us. We had the best sea bass as it was grilled rather than fried. We had so much food we made up for not eating lunch.   We had seaweed of some kind and a delish green salad as well as a version of fried potatoes plus a banana and desert with yummy Turkish coffee.  We ate while admiring the views of the sea.

The rest of the evening we spent talking with Mehmet and finding out all about him. He is Kurdish and his family moved here when the Turkish army burned down their village. The Kurdish language is related to the Farsi (Iranian) branch of the Indo-European language group. He said 39,000 people died over the last 30 years.  The situation appears to have been resolved peacefully last year.  He showed us pictures of his son (he is separated).  Now we are watching Istanbul playing Chelsea in an EU football game.

Busy Beach, Kizkalesi
Busy Beach
The next morning before breakfast we walked from our hotel just half a block to the beach. None of the hotels are actually on the shore. All beaches and shoreline are owned by the government so there are no private beaches. The sand was very soft but the size was small. Otherwise this ranks up there as one of the top five beaches on the Turquoise Coast.
 
Mehmet Shirin, Kizkalesi
Mehmet
 
There were some small bits of garbage dropped on the beach - I assume by the locals since there were no tourists.  Mehmet said during the season they will use a vehicle to clean the beach. They get very few foreigners as most of their guests are Turkish.  We had a nice breakfast outside the hotel on the road-side terrace.  Again the Turkish coffee was to die for.



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