Kyrenia Castle and Harbour

John and Sue had a bit of medical tourism this morning because they were taking advantage of the very excellent complete health checks available at the private hospitals here in Cyprus.  Bob had to stay behind for the pool men, so I drove them down to Kyren


ia for 9am (probably raised their blood pressure for the tests!!!!).  Then, parked up and walked down to the harbour to while away a couple of hours.

It was already very, very hot.  The harbour is lovely at all times of the day, a real, jewel, but particularly so, early on, when it is quiet.  I went looking for a particular gulet (traditional Turkish wooden yacht) that I’d heard really good reviews for, The Vela.  We are planning a big day out for a group of friends on June 14th, so I wanted to get booked up.

I found her moored up directly below the castle and what a lovely yacht she is.  Much larger than the normal private hire gulet, and beautifully maintained.  I met the captain and he invited me on board to have a look around and to meet his mum who is the chef!.  She was preparing the buffet lunch for the group going out today and I have to say it looked amazing.  There was a lot of space on board and nice big floppy cushions to relax in etc.  I paid a deposit gladly and headed back to the harbour, found a shady spot with good wifi in a café and read my Kindle.  Had some nice coffee and toast.

Went back at 11am to pick John and Susan up, suitably drained of blood, x rayed, scanned and ultrasounded to within an inch of life and starving as they’d been on water since midnight the night before.  We parked up and walked down to a café above the harbour next to the castle, Kibris Ev.  They have a lovely roof terrace with sublime views of the harbour and the food is ok.  In my opinion, no food down in the harbour is more than ok, they are just too lazy and spoilt by the location… but this one is ok.

After refreshments we bought tickets for the castle and went in.  Kyrenia Castle is very well worth a visit.  Excavations suggest that the Byzantines built the original castle sometime in the 7th century but it was massively rebuilt and extended by the Venetians and everyone else whose held the city ever since, including the British.  Richard the Lionheart was there for a while, the Lusignan Knights for 300 years, …. its choc a bloc with history and beautiful, in crumbling honeycomb sandstone.  The central courtyard is massive with trees, a café and a beautiful old water cistern.

Favourite areas within the castle are the little chapel of St George, with a fabulous dome supported by columns of ancient origin placed here to hold it up.  The dungeons are gory and have extraordinary, anatomically explicit figures placed on the rack and in the oubliettes.  Most exciting of all is the shipwreck museum which features the wooden hull of a 4C BC shipwreck plus lots of the artifacts found with it.  Really worth a visit if you are in Kyrenia.

By the time we’d finished with the castle, it was around 2 and just HOT HOT.  We headed back to the car and home.  Stopped on the way to pick up a leg of lamb and some veg and also some ice cream!!!!

Much swimming and wallowing around the pool for the rest of the afternoon.  Ah, yes, new pool pump fitted and working, all back to normal.  John and Bob went up to the vineyard and picked up a couple of bottles of the lovely Gilham Red to have with the lamb.

Bob fired up the wood oven at about 330 and the lamb went in at 5.  I did green beans and Hasselback potatoes to go with.  I did the potatoes in the conventional oven as they were cooking too quickly in the wood oven.  The lamb came out at 7 and we rested it for a little while.  Gosh,….. it was so good. Garlic and rosemary but not overpowering!  So juicy and succulent, with a crisp skin.  YUM!  Washed down with a lovely bottle of Gilham Red from up the road.

After dinner we watched 100 Foot Journey and ate some Mardo’s ice cream.  A very good day!