Along the road to Sveti Ilija - part 2

November 28, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Continuation from previous post

It will not take long until you catch sight of the fortress Carevi Kuli, "The Tsar's tower", on looking up, with 90 degree head angle.  Once upon a time, Strumica was only a small, small town positioned around this high hill of 445 meters, with a protective fortress of walls and towers at the top. Today there are still quite a few ruins of the fortress which name refers to Tsar Samuil, who built it in the 1000's. The same king who lost his most important battle against the Byzantine Empire, and whose 14,000 captured soldiers then had their eyes put out - and who himself, shortly thereafter, died in the aftermath of the incident. But he was not the first "king on the hill", he built atop of the remains of older fortifications. It has also, on the spot, been found artifacts that are thousands of years old. The fort is believed to have been decommissioned in the 1600s, during the Ottoman Empire domination of the Balkans.

I would like to take a closer look at the remains of the Tsar Samuil's creation, and thus turn off the trail into a mini ravine whose bottom, like a staircase takes me up the mountain side. It bears clear traces of water that once flowed here, as well as the thousands of feet that trod it. Sometimes closes the foliage like a roof, forming a tunnel together with ravine. Sun and tree paints a dynamic patterns of light and shadow in "the tunnel". Every now and then bigger spots of strong sunlight find it's way down to the path. It may become the "tunnel to the treasure", but the drama might slow down a little, when halfway up coming to a rest area and a tap with drinking water. But the thirsty one can not complain about the timing, this hot day.

Ravine road ends eventually, and the last bit up to the fortress runs along a small car road. In the adventure film the bad guys always pops up right on time with a gun, triumphant thanking the hero for finding the treasure. Here in front of the Tsar's tower, I can only see some intense stare construction workers stopped their work, when I come walking by the small road. They will have to be the "bad guys" in this film. Though they are the type who simply says: "too late, we were here first!". Back in the reality, their is obviously some sort of restoration work going on up here, and the workers will probably not let me enter. It is said that the whole castle to be restored to original condition. When both I and they has finished the staring, me at the view and they at me, I take myself the same way back, down to the trail towards Sveti Ilia.

To be continued. Don't miss the next episode ;)

Carevi culiCarevi culi The kings tower on distanceThe kings tower on distance

 


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