Northern Cyprus – Kyrenia Castle and Shipwreck Museum

The castle was built to protect the town against Arab raids. In this shot you can see the annoying couple who kept getting in my shots (he shouldn’t wear tiny denim shorts at his age!).

Inside the castle – no idea who this chap is, but he turned up at just the right time.

Inside St George’s chapel.

Outside the chapel – look at that sky!

I thought that the shape of this palm was fantastic.

Here is the obligatory flower photo!

I wonder who this lady was? I love the drapery across her chest.

This is the remains of a what they think was a Syrian (or possibly Phoenician) ship that went down in a storm ~300 BC. All the literature claims that this is the oldest shipwreck recovered in the world, but Selin the guide says that there is an older on in Turkey (but as my driver said “why is she guide? She from bloody Turkey”.

I felt quite moved looking at the detail of the boat. Thinking of the hands that had made it. I’d better stop or I’ll come over all whimsical.

The cargo was in pretty good shape. As well as fig pips and other bits and pieces they recovered 9,000 almonds.

I’m really pleased that they didn’t totally clean this one up.

Here is the view from the lower Lusignan tower. I wanted to capture the contrast between the light outside and the dark within.

PS Many thanks to my eagle eyed reader who realised that this photo was the WRONG WAY UP. Now corrected 8-).

Northern Cyrus – Kyrenia (Girne) Harbour

On our first day while The Boy was playing golf/working – I took a little jaunt out on my own to the nearest town Kyrenia. As part of the trip, our hosts had arranged a historical and cultural briefing from a lovely lady called Selin (it turns out that she did her O levels and A levels in Oxford, and spent a lot of time in a nightclub called Scamps!). So I am able to tell you that the town was founded the 10th C BC by Achaens.

The Byzantines built the castle in the 7th C and it was expanded by the Lusignans and Venetians.

As you can see it was very sunny – ~34 degrees C. The brightness and heat haze made it quite difficult to take a decent pic.

This is part of the horseshoe shaped harbour built by the British. I rather like this couple – she was one of the few women I saw with a headscarf. I’ve seen more on a Saturday trip to Oxford.

You could go on day and evening trips on these lovely boats. Such a shame we didn’t have time.

Apart from New Zealand, this trip was the furthest east I’ve ever been, and the first Muslim country (albeit a secular one). The call to prayer was very beautiful, but I was diasppointed to see loud speakers on the minarets. I was worried that the call to prayer was a recording, but it seems that the muezzin is usually using a mic in the prayer hall.