Friday, November 11, 2011

Kizkalesi and Kanlidivane

We recently took advantage of a sunny Saturday and went exploring.  First, we visited the ruins of Kanlidivane.  Kanlidivane is an ancient city built around a massive sinkhole (about 230 ft deep) near Mersin, Turkey.  Its history dates back to the pre-Roman era.  It evolved into a Byzantine city, with the ruins of basilicas, cicerns, and graves that can still be seen today.  

The photo above shows the massive sinkhole in the center of the ancient city of Kanlidivane.  Kanlidivane means "bloody spoon".  The origin of this name is unknown.  It possibly refers to the red soil that covers this region.  Another legend states that criminals were executed during Roman times by being thrown into the sinkhole (which maybe is the "spoon" referred to in the town's name). 

This is one of the reasons why I love traveling in Turkey.  You never know what you are going to see!  As we were driving on the road near the ruins, we found a manequin leg!

Next, we visted Kizkalesi.  Kizkalesi, Turkish for "the Maiden's Castle", is a coastal town on the Mediterranean Sea.  This town is famous for its twin medieval castles.  The first, built in 13th century using materials from the 5th century BC, is situated on the shore.  Its sister castle is built on an island in the sea. 

Above is a view of the castle in the sea.  This photo was taken from the castle on the shore.  Legend has it that a King sent his daughter to live on this island after it was predicted that she would die from a snake bite.  His efforts to protect her were in vain when a basket of fruit sent to the princess contained a deadly viper. 

After exploring the castle on the shore and splashing in the sea, we hopped on a boat and set sail for the castle in the sea.  Above is a picture of the castle on the shore...taken from the castle in the sea.

The little boat that took us to "The Maiden's Castle"

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