Hoşap Castle and Çavuştepe
Hosap Travel Blog› entry 472 of 658 › view all entries
People who contributed to and improved my trip: Nice Kurdish guy (Turkey)
A day trip to Hosap Castle and Cavustepe was on the cards for Sunday, two sites located to the South East of Van. I didn't have a bus schedule, so just turned up to the dolmush stop at 10.00, which was literally as the van was pulling away. I thanked my lucky stars and climbed aboard, but was soon wishing that i had missed the bloody thing. For half an hour we drove around side streets picking up cargo and all the passengers took it in turns to speak in Turkish and Kurdish to me, even though they could see that i spoke neither language. The most frustrating thing was that they kept going over the same thing, my country and name, even though they heard me tell the guy sat right next to them! To add to all this they kept touching my leg and i was starting to feel a little uncomfortable to say the least.
The Kurdish built Hosap castle is stunning, rising from its rocky base and almost blending into the terrain. Constructed by Mahmudi Suleyman in 1643, it looks impregnable from the outside, as the walls and towers rise vertically in front of you. A small stream ran at the foot of the castle and defensive walls and turrets snaked off up surrounding hills. I crossed a small foot bridge and set off to climb up to the gates, but a man stopped in his car and insisted that he would take me up, which was very nice of him.
The main gate had carvings around the outside and was located in one of the round towers that appeared at regular intervals around the wall.
I stood out on the main road with the intention of flagging any vehicle down that was heading back towards Van and would thus pass Cavustepe, which is located only 500m from the highway. As it turned out the first vehicle to stop was actually a dolmush, and the ride took about 20 minutes. When i got out of the vehicle, the driver wouldn't except any money from me, which was another incredibly kind gesture.
The day was a belter, so when i reached Cavustepe, which is located atop a small hill, i sat at a picnic table and enjoyed some lunch whilst admiring the lovely views and basking in the sun. I was in complete solitude once again, which was becoming a common theme at all of Turkeys tourist attractions, and is something that i was reveling in.
Cavustepe was built by Uratian King Sardur II between 764BC and 735BC, who was the son of King Argishiti, the bloke who knocked up Van Castle. The site is split into an upper and lower fortress, so i decided to get the upper section out of the way first. Up there was the ruined Temple to Haldi, and i quite liked seeing the remaining stumps of pillars, whilst the views down to the lower fortress were superb.
My plan was once again to flag down any passing vehicle to get back to Van and the first four wheel drive that passed stopped and picked me up. The driver was a very nice Kurdish guy, who spoke a little English, so we did our best to communicate during the journey. It brought to an end a decent day trip that is certainly worth taking if you are in the South East of Turkey, hopefully the castle will be open the next time i visit!