"Keci Kales," just a stone’s throw away from Izmir, on the road to Ephesus...
This is what we recently tackled!
Our family, parents, 3 and 6 year old boys, grandma (moi!) and an adopted American auntie all hiked up to Goat Castle. Legend has it, and I quote:
“Just outside of Selcuk (a small city) there sits high on a mountain ridge, the fortress of Keçi Kales, translated Goat Castle. The story goes that the attacking army was brutally outnumbered and waited until nightfall to attack. They took thousands of goats, mounted candles to their heads and led them up the mountain. The castle guards, seeing the "massive army" storming up the mountain, decided to surrender without bloodshed to the massive offensive of goats.”
Having now climbed up and down aforementioned mountain, one might note the big (make that ‘immeasurably HUGE’) lapses in logistics in this scenario. As quickly as goats might scurry, the terrain is rough, rough, rough- it took us about three hours of steading climbing to reach the peak of the mountain- and how could anyone, even remarkably clever soldiers, possibly #1 attach candles to goats’ heads #2 light thousands of candles simultaneously, #3 get the goats to all head ‘up’ the mountain instead of spreading out side-to-side #3 keep the goats from either rubbing out the flames of their candles on some unsuspecting rocks or starting a fire in an even more unsuspecting dried up old tree. Sounds like a Turkish version of a Paul Bunyon tall-tale, without Babe the Blue Ox, and with scores of light-headed goats. We never really found a path, but struck out on our own. It was not really rock climbing, but rock scrambling. On the way we encountered two turtles, harmless and interesting, but nary a goat. The path(s) or some sort of meandering trek snaking its way between brambles above steep inclines and below sheer rock faces, showed signs of small patches of fresh earth having been turned. The view from below the castle looking up was impressive. Three hours later, the view from atop the ruins of the castle was even more spectacularly impressive. The walls and arch-ways are crumbling, but the castle remains a majestic edifice and one can only speculate how many slaves/soldiers/serfs took how many days/weeks/months to find/haul/stack rock upon rock or how they even managed to feed and water themselves and any miscellaneous livestock. From this height you could scan the farmland/olive orchards/freeways below and just imagine what a beehive the castle must have been in its heyday. As we navigated the way down across the shale-slathered meadow, we needed to duck under some brush and brambles. it was incredibly steep up and down, but via
several 5-point maneuvers, 2 hands, 2 feet, 1 seat of the pants, I (and we) managed to slip, slide, and scurry our way down w/ out twisting any major body parts.
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