Beautiful weather here for the last couple of days and we've been relaxing around the villa. Today we went down to Kyrenia (Girne) to visit the castle, the Shipwreck Museum and the Harbour.
Kyrenia Castle sits with its mighty golden stone walls over the entrance to the harbour guarding it down the centuries. It is not known when the first fort was built here but remains have been found going back into the 700s BC. The first historical reference to it was in 1191 when Richard the Lionheart captured it on the way back to the Third Crusade. Shortly afterwards he sold it to the Knights Templar and it then passed to his cousin Guy de Lusignan and that began the Lusignan rule of Cyprus which lasted 300 years. Since then it has been in the hands of the Venetians, the Ottomans, the British..... It's well worth a visit both for its own interest and for the sublime views over Kyrenia and the surroundings which can be seen from its battlements. Inside the castle are a number of gory dungeons and torture chambers, a large internal courtyard with fragments of ancient statuary, a tiny chapel, a well and cistern and also the Shipwreck Museum.
The Shipwreck Museum holds a 300 BC shipwreck together with large amounts of its cargo, amphora, even fragments of the rigging. The ship itself is held in a special climate controlled room and there is a large amount of it preserved. All very interesting.
After our scramble around the castle we adjourned to the nearby restaurant Kibris Ev and enjoyed snacks and drinks on their roof terrace overlooking the beautiful harbour. I never tire of the sight of all the painted wooden boats reflected in the water.
We walked around the harbour looking at the boats and chatted to the chap at the paragliding shop. Before we knew it Maureen and I were booked to fly with them on Sunday morning. Very exciting! Will definitely blog on that!
Back to the house for swimming and pool lazing.
Tonight we went to Ambience for dinner. As you may know from earlier blogs, this is one of my favourite restaurants on the island. You eat in just the most glamorous setting on decks over the sea and the food is really excellent. We shared various starters including falafel with tzitziki sauce, an aubergine and mozzarella bake and a pear, walnut and gorgonzola salad. Then I had grilled lamb cutlets (always...) Bob had a pepper steak, Maureen had steak in a pistachio sauce, Mick had steak with gin and coriander sauce, all accompanied by vegetables, chips, saute potatoes, salad, mashed potatoes.... and 2 bottles of excellent shiraz, 2 beers, water, breads and hors d'oevres, coffees and double brandys. Came to about £12 per head. Astonishing in the surroundings and level of service. Still very warm at night even at the water's edge where there is a breeze.