Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Bodrum and its Crusader castle

The Maltese cross is carved over the doorways, the tops of the walls are crenellated, the windows are square. But the small chapel in the grounds was once converted into a mosque and retains its minaret (now houses a model of a 5th-century ship's hull). The castle was shut (for some mysterious reason) the first day we arrived in Bodrum. So Karen didn't get to see it. (That's for next time.) But the following day (Tuesday 23 April) David and I spent a few enchanted hours inside the spacious castle grounds, viewing the fascinating collections of pots and crocks dredged up from sunk ships 50 fathoms deep (to be poetic... in fact I believe it was about 50 meters deep) and pondering upon the various buildings and wondering what once they were used for. One small room housed a model (reconstruction) of a Lycian princess, her skeleton in a sarcophagus and some of her jewellery, and a life-size figure of what she might have looked like, based on calculations from the skeleton (made by a team at Manchester university). She has the typically square-jawed face that seems to belong to the Lycians. We were told more about this by our knowledgeable guide, Abidin Kurt, who took us up the river Dalyan when we were moored in Ekincik.
There was also -- oh joy -- a MALE sphinx, complete with beard and drooping mustache and a very Persian-looking headpiece. Dated to the mid-fourth century BCE. Must find out more about him. He has wings and lion's haunches. A fine discovery.
I didn't take any photos in Bodrun but it's easy to access views on google. Delightful city. Early on the Tuesday morning David accompanied Karen to the Otopark (coach station) and saw her off on the first leg of her trip back to Izmire, Istanbul and thence to Amsterdam.
The next day, windless morning, we set off after a lazy breakfast and a visit from Jayanthi Jayaraman whom we had met yetserday in Bodrum castle. We had invited her and her friend Alifiya to come out in the boat for a short (??sail) trip, but they felt it might take too much time. So we exchanged emails (that's the way it is nowadays) and who knows we may meet again in Bangalore!

We chugged across the bay to Knidos, where we moored at the jetty and had a walk along a stretch of the coast, littered with the huge tumbled stones of Greek or Roman buildings. Once Knidos had been a thriving harbour. Now nothing remains.
We ate a fish stew made from (?) guppy sitting in the otherwise deserted restaurant, overlooking the harbour, and watched the moon rise.
Almost full moon. Great stillness. Just a few moaning wheezers (mosquitoes!) to spoil the peace.

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