This year’s summer holidays turned out to be very interesting and filled with events in Mangup Kale, Crimea.
We radically changed an accustomed lying on the crowded beaches of Crimean coast to an almost tourist recreation in the Crimean Mountains.
Actually, holidays’ date and format were determined during winter, and were reasoned by objective circumstances – visiting an intensive week-lasting yoga practice. The seminar was held on the grounds of EcoCamp, a secluded camp in the mountainous area of Bakhchysarai region of Crimea. This place had become our home for the rest of vacation.
But sitting in one place (even, from all points of view, very pleasant one) can be pretty boring. So, our curious photo-family set off on a trip looking for adventures and experiences. The camp was situated in the immediate closeness of a cave city called Mangup Kale (“kale” means “fortress”). That became our first destination.
The starting point was a village called Hodzhi Sala, placed at the foothills of a mount Mangup near the lake of the same name. The beautiful emerald surface of the lake, being changed by covered in dense forest hills of Mangup were already seen from the road.
It’s really easy to get an admission to the national park’s territories. There’s a small booth standing at the start of a route, where you’ll be instructed with its main features, sights to see and also offered a guide’s service. We kindly refused the last, but decided to purchase a brief itinerary, which served well later on.
An ascend to the mountain is rather steep, the most laborious piece lasts for mere 15 minutes. The winding footpath continuously goes up in the midst of a mountain forest. Nothing’s seen around, all you’ve got to do is keep walking. A slope becomes gentler soon and the first ancient culture monuments are shown. The path leads through necropolis. You can see tombstones covered in moss everywhere. A couple of minutes later you’ll be led out to the creek considered sacred. A little upward stretch and you’re able to see the ruins of an ancient city’s defensive fortification.
It’s difficult to list chronologically all of the monuments seen, because the only information source was our itinerary. What did amaze me the most at Mangup? An incredible beauty of the Crimean Mountains. Green plateaus, fragrances of herbs and flowers, an enormous sky with clouds crossing it, breathtaking valleys’ views. Sometimes it felt like we’d been brought to the fairy-tale about hobbits and are capturing the Middle-earth vast. And the ruins of an ancient city. The remains of what was built ages ago with labor and care of lots of people. Feeling warmth on your palm coming from the sunlit stones brings you a peculiar sensation of unity with things long gone…
Having wondered too long across the hills of Mangup, we were surprised to find ourselves lost. That’s where our little itinerary kicked in. We returned to the beginning of our route tired, but happy, bringing the memories of an astonishing place on the Crimean peninsula – cave city Mangup Kale.