|Celebrating 42 years of married life|
We hired a rental car for 3 days, not just to celebrate our anniversary but also to see a tiny bit of this island and to find where we will be shopping for the next 8 or 9 months. The first day it was just the 2 of us exploring; the second day another yachtie couple joined us.
Today is the 3rd day of having the car and we haven't decided exactly where or what today's adventure might be. As yet the only thing we have planned for today is to take a couple of jerry jugs to replenish diesel used to run the generator for charging batteries, making water and operating the washing machine. The main tank should be left as full as possible in order to prevent condensation causing moisture inside the fuel tank. We had bought 2 jerry jugs in Girne to re-fill the main tank for diesel used to get from Girne to Karpaz. We were not prepared to run the generator 2 - 3 hours daily because of the electrical problem in the marina, so we now need a few more jerry jugs so that we can continue to top-up the main fuel tank and prevent that dreaded condensation inside the tank.
|St.Peter & St. Paul Cathedral; Old Venetian Walled Town|
|Rear side St.Peter & St. Paul's|
The nearest village west of the marina is called Erenkoy. It is also called Yenierenkoy. All the villages and towns in Northern Cyprus have at least 2 names -- their old Greek names and their newer Turkish names. This really makes reading maps and road signs challenging when driving as the 2 often use the different names interchangeably. By the time one figures out what a sign means, you have made the wrong turn or passed the turn you should have made. Getting around is easy though; there aren't a lot of roads and it is an island after all. Hard to really get lost on an island.
According to the tourist brochure, civilization in Cyprus dates back 9,000 years. The island has been occupied by a succession of peoples from Europe and Asia. In the 8th century B.C. it was part of the Assyrian empire, then the Babylonian, Egyptian and Persian empires. In 58 B.C. the island was seized by the Romans. Richard the Lionheart settled on the island in 1191 A.D. during the third Crusade.
|typical street in Old Venetian Walled Town|
|Remains of St. Nikolas Cathedral in Old Town|
|A building in Old Venetian Walled Town at Famagusta -- note holes from artillery in 1974 civil war|
|St. Nickolas down the street|
The town of Famigusta was built on the ruins of the ancient city of Arsenoe, which itself was built to replace the ancient city of Salamis after being sacked by Arab raiders in 648 A.D. Arsenoe eventually grew into a small fishing port. In 1291 A.D., after the fall of Acre, Crusaders began to settle in the town; bringing with them the vast wealth they had accumulated during their conquests of the Holy Lands.
|Remains of Old Venetian Royal Palace|
|St. Nickolas Cathedral|
In 1571 the Ottomans took the city and Famagusta, no longer having any strategic or economic importance, reverted to the insignificant port town that it had been in the past. During the British rule from 1878 to 1960 much of the architectural heritage of Famagusta was lost when stone was taken from many historical sites to build the Suez Canal.
|Claire, Peter & Bill in Old Town Famagusta|
We walked around only a short distance; then settled at a sidewalk cafe for lunch. I had a fabulous halloumi cheese salad. Previously I have only eaten haloumi cheese brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with oregano and black pepper and fried. It does not melt and this traditional Cypriot cheese is very distinctive. The salad was simply shredded lettuce with chopped tomatoes and onion, topped with finely shredded halloumi cheese with a few olives sprinkled around the edge. It had no dressing and none was needed. It was delicious. Now I know a new use for halloumi cheese.
We then walked a short distance around the interior of the walled city. The hot afternoon temperature was not conducive for a longer exploration. Soon we were back in the car and back to the marina.
I opted for "crispy calamari and fish stew" -- mainly because I love calamari and had no idea what this dish might be. I usually try the unfamiliar in restaurants. When the waiter delivered my meal, Bill and I looked quizzically at one another. Bill said, "The menu said fish stew." The waiter smiled and pointed to the 2 fried prawns nestled in the center of the fried calamari rings. He nodded and said, "Yes -- fish stew." I think something is lost in the translation of the word stew between English and Turkish. It was served with a lemony olive oil filled with herbs for dipping which was very delicious.
Some of the other yachties had complained to us that the marina restaurant is expensive. I beg to differ. By rolling the 2 for 1 happy hour into an early dinner, we enjoyed 3 large glasses of excellent red wine, 2 large beers, an appetizer of mixed olives and various breads, a salad for 2, Bill's steak and grilled vegetables and my calamari and "fish stew" -- all for a grand total of 101TL or $56.90 USD. All beautifully presented and delicious. A bargain in my opinion. Sure, there are less expensive meals to be found locally; but not as nice as this. Chalk off another cruiser rumor. This marina restaurant is not at all over-priced for what they serve.