Our tour through the southern Mediterranean continued to be warmish, even hot in some places. No coats here! The mediterranean climate with its ‘warm wet winter’ was moving through spring to the ‘hot dry summer’ phase at last. (phrases in inverted commas familiar to anyone who has taught secondary Geography!) Irrigation in evidence in the orange groves of Crete as below. The muted colours and shapes of the Holy Trinity monastery near Limassol in Crete very typical of the region as are the olive shades of the trees and shrubbery. The Commonwealth War Grave site at Suda Bay, like many around the world, is impressive for its siting and for the beautiful way it is kept as a memorial to those who lie there. Many New Zealanders and Australians are among those here including one who held special family significance for one member of our party. It was a moving experience being there.
Of course no trip to this part pf the world would be complete without visiting some of the many archeological sites in the region. The photos of the mosaics below were all taken near Pafos in Cyprus. A huge site, with many intricate mosaics, some being very well preserved with buildings and raised viewing walkways, others are open to the weather and some of these are still being walked on. The name of the major site is the ‘House of Dionysus’ because of the many representations of Dionysus, the god of wine. One can only conclude that there must have been some very good parties there!
On to Turkey which is always a great place to visit. This time to three places that we had never visited, Alanya, Kas and Marmaris. The hot apple tea was delicious and refreshing as usual and the people friendly. This part of mediterranean Turkey is a popular holiday destination for Europeans and apparently quite a number of houses are holiday homes owned by Brits and others. The pirate ships sail along the coast and are tourist boats with water slides, facilities for sun baking and off boat swimming. We opted not to take up the offers of the many spruikers to participate!
The images of St Nicholas (statue, plastic Santa and seasonal Santa) below were taken at Myra near Kas. We heard the story of how he gave anonymously to the poor and how chimneys have become part of the Santa story. Don’t tell the kids but the real statue of him below is at the Church where he was buried – they don’t need to know that all those letters to the North Pole are not only going to the wrong place but that he is no longer…………
The two images above on the lower right were taken at another archeological site called Knidos in Turkey. Dating from about the 6th C BC, it has a fascinating history and there are many many layers of buildings. Excavations in the 19th and 20th century seem to have done more harm than good, especially a number of holes were dug fruitlessly looking for a special statue. It is probably the least preserved site I’ve been to with objects like the terracotta handle and the top of a doric column lying around. Guess the extent of all the ‘roons’ in this part of the world is just too great.
More food! This time in Hydra – a beautiful Greek island, complete with luggage carrying donkeys and of course spectacular views.