Welcome to Martin Knight's Website!
             In the Table of Contents listed on the left you will see that the first web pages are devoted to pictures and news of the family; these are followed by observations and reflections on this geographer's travels, then samples of ongoing research interests of mine in South London, North Kent, and South Wales. 
             As well as having been a keen geographer and teacher all my working life, I am a committed Christian (Anglican by tradition and inclination but ecumenical in outlook), and a family man who enjoys travelling, hill walking, and attempting to keep pace with a burgeoning collection of family photographs, colour slides from teaching days, and more recent digital images.  In my retirement I continue to have a keen practical interest in landscape and photography, local history and archaeology, and geology and ecology. I research and lead local Guided Walks (and am increasingly consulted as Dulwich's 'Effra man'!) while my wife manages our family properties and her shares and investment portfolio, and researches our holidays on the Web. All of the above interests are reflected in the content of this website.

2016-17 - Greetings from leafy Dulwich! 

Our family is still growing - in every sense of the word! We have a widening  extended family, the grandchildren are growing fast (five now, ranging from 13 years to 18 months), horizons (and waistlines?) are expanding, and Margaret and I are growing ... er, beginning to feel our age!

     Margaret & I still enjoy South Wales - especially with the newer & younger family members
           Bel is doing well in Y9 at Sydenham High School, Katie and Abi are happy at Eliot Bank Primary School, and both adore their little sister, Holly, who was baptised at St Stephens last January.  Ben's electrical business has taken off, and he plays his full part in helping Lizzy juggle her Home Office career with being home-maker and mum.  Andy is successful in his work with OfQual in Coventry, while retaining close contact with family and friends in London; he and his girlfriend, Sarah Rollason, are looking to buy a house near Andy's work and Sarah's family. Mary (-Ann) is very busy running her Catholic (!) nursery school in Lewisham, while Sarah continues to combine a successful career in accountancy with being a mum to Eddy, and supporting Margaret and the rest of the family. It is rewarding to us that all our grandchildren so enjoy playing together, and that Eddy's Dad Gerald and half sister Grace have become an integral part of the family too: Gerald and Grace were introduced to the Talybont experience last summer, and are looking forward to going again in 2017.

Margaret and I are still very actively involved with
St Stephen's Church, and continue to sing week by week with our much appreciated Church ChoirWe are always particularly busy during Passion and Holy Weeks and in the Advent and Christmas seasons, as the choir's repertoire and commitment continues to expand.
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              In 2016 Margaret and I looked back on many memorable Trips: to the Holy Land in February*, Crete in June, Talybont-on Usk with the family in July, and Crete again in September with long-standing friends Enid and David. In October half term we accompanied Sarah, Eddy, Bel, and Mary to north Cyprus. 
We also celebrated Lizzy's birthday with the family at Hever Castle in Kent in June, and in December spent a murky but interesting day at Leeds Castle (near Maidstone) supporting a disabled friend from Church, and joined all the family again at the Christmas Lights display in Kew Gardens:
                                                                                                                                                                    Lizzy with Holly,Bel &Katie at Hever; Escorting Catriona in Qn Eleanors bedchamber; Kew Xmas lights

*My reflections on the Holy Land are on the Pilgrimages page of this website; the other main trips appear below.
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         Just after we came home from the Holy Land last February Margaret had a nasty fall at home and broke both her wrists, which was very painful and inhibited her considerably, as you can imagine. By Easter she was recovering well, and we were looking forward to a relaxing early June holiday in Crete. However, the holiday, though memorable and stimulating, did not go quite according to plan, and was certainly not as relaxing as we had anticipated!
            We have enjoyed holidays in central and eastern Crete on several occasions in the past, and had already arranged to join our friends Enid and David for their Golden Wedding Celebration in Elounda later in the year (more of that anon); however, we had never explored the western half of the island, which was accessed via the port and resort of Charnia. The guidebooks and Margaret's web researches made much of recent Minoan archeological excavations in the town, the quiet ambience of the coastal resorts and countryside nearby, and a tough 15 kilometre walk down a deep gorge in the Samaria National Park to the almost empty south coast (the longest gorge in Europe they claimed), all of which attracted us. When Margaret found a 7 night half board tourist deal in the quiet north coast village of Kolymbari (30 kms west of Charnia) we decided to indulge, and enjoy some early summer sunshine into the bargain.

Hotel Chryssana was newly refurbished, right by Kolymbari Beach, & only 500m from the village; the view from our balcony
        We arrived at the hotel after a night flight at 7.30 am on Sunday June 6th, and were  immediately impressed by the beautiful setting of the small, low-rise, beach-side hotel, and the warmth of the welcome we received. We had to wait until midday for our room to be ready, but we took the opportunity to have a leisurely breakfast, to look around the hotel and the beach, and relax by the pool. In the afternoon, having admired the views from both front and back of our 1st floor room, we walked 1/2 a mile along the shingly Kolymbari Beach to the village, past the harbour, and on to the Gonas Monastery overlooking the Bay of Charnia, whose beautiful Greek Orthodox Church and interesting little Museum were just opening.  After a short continuation along the almost empty coast road to view the goats on the rocky cliffs to the north we returned to the hotel to enjoy some local cuisine, admire the view by candlelight from our balcony, and reflect on an idyllic start to our holiday.

Geese by Kolymbari harbour          Gonas 17thC  Orthodox Monastery;         its lavish Church interior, and 13th - 15th C icons in the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Museum

            On Day 2 we decided to go for a walk inland to see one of the oldest living olive trees in the world growing near the village of Vouves.  This involved an uphill walk of about 7 or 8 kms along country roads through well-maintained farmland and orange groves, which we thought would provide us with none too demanding practice for the Samaria Gorge Walk later in the week.

Me inside the ancient tree;  Greek Attic ware showing Dionysian olive celebrations;   a group of wayside shrines near Vouves

            The big old Olive Tree, dated by dendrochronology to between 1000 and 1200 BC (1000 yrs older than those in the Garden of Gethsemene we saw earlier this year) would have been venerated during Minoan times, and celebrated later by the Myceneans, Greeks, Romans and Cretans right up to the present day, and was certainly worth seeing. There was a taverna and small museum there, and we were very grateful for the refreshment after the hot 3 hour walk.  We thought the downhill walk back to Kolymbari in the afternoon would be quicker and easier, but we took a different road down and ended up walking an extra couple of kilometres, so that we were pretty tired by the time we got back to the hotel at about 5pm.  Margaret had been slowed up by an arthritic knee during the day, and our feet were decidedly sore by the end; with my heart problems of last year in mind, I began to wonder if the Samaria Gorge Walk planned for later that week was such a good idea.

            However, Samaria was intended to be the high point of our holiday, something we both wanted to do, and we felt that with a local day or two to relax both before and after, and the cooler weather forecast for midweek, we could go ahead and book the long day's excursion for Wednesday June 8th.

           The day started with a 4.30 am (!) wake up call so that we could meet the excursion bus which was to take us to the start of the Walk
40 kms to the south on the Ourmalous Plateau. It went via several other pickup points to Charnia, where our Guide, Marco, joined us and explained how the long day would work.
           We would be dropped off (in rain and mist that morning) at the northern entrance to the Samaria National Park (1230 metres above sea level) at about 8.15 am, and would walk initially down the well-marked but very steep zig-zag path to the bottom of the forested valley. From there we would roughly follow the bouldery bed of the river (mainly dry to start with), through deep gorges all the way down to the sea at Agia Roumelis. This was more or less as we anticipated, and did not sound too different from valley walks we had done before, including those in the Brecon Beacons. However, the scale was breathtaking, far in excess of anything we had attempted before, and there were constant warning signs about falling rocks and landslips: some boulders were ten metres or so across. There were three long stretches lower down where the 3 metre wide river occupied the whole valley bottom, with vertical valley sides rising up to several hundred metres, including a notorious ‘Iron Gorge’ section. The whole walk was 17 kms long, and would take a reasonably fit person 5½ hours on average. It was stony underfoot and all downhill, with three Rest Stations on the way manned by radio-equipped and mounted Park Rangers (there was an emergency helipad, but no vehicle access at all), and Marco would be shepherding us all the way. It was challenging, but we were reassured that visitor safety was at the top of the agenda.

The misty start at 8.15: we'd been up for 4 hrs already!  The steep zigzag path down;      warning signs:  Walk quickly here!
Maragaret at Rest Station 1  with a Park Ranger's Mule;  10am: the bouldery river bed at last; by midday we were on our own.

           But the end of the Walk would not be the end of the whole excursion. Agia Roumelis was a tiny village accessible only by boat; it had limited amenities, including emergency overnight accommodation, but no proper road: Gorge Walkers would need to catch the 4.30 pm ferry for a 30 minute trip to Soughia along the coast, where buses would be waiting to take everyone back to Charnia and Kolymbari, just in time for a late evening meal.  That was the plan; but our experience that day was rather different!

The cloud beginning to lift downvalley;    Rock propped to warn of earth movement;    Margaret resting in a bouldery section

          We quickly discovered that constant steep downhill walking, particularly on the rough uneven ground, was going to be a problem for Margaret’s dodgy knees. Although she insisted they were not actually painful, they were obviously weak, and within a kilometre or so they could hardly support her. This affected her balance, which made the problem worse, and we were having to go slowly and stop more and more frequently. Marco our guide was obviously concerned, but said that as there would be no transport back to our hotel from the top of the gorge where we had started, there was no option but to carry on the 15 kms or so to the bottom at our own pace. Six to seven hours should still be plenty of time to get down to Roumelis to catch the ferry; he would still be shadowing us, and was in constant radio touch with other guides and the Park Rangers.
            We soldiered on and made the best of a difficult situation. Our bus group had been one of the earliest of about five to start the Walk, but by mid-morning all of our former companions were obviously way ahead of us, and we had not even reached the more spectacular parts of the Gorge. People from other groups offered help, including walking poles and other means of support, but Margaret’s wrists were stillweak from her fall earlier this year, and she couldn’t put pressure on them either. Small steps in the path that most people barely noticed Margaret was increasingly having to negotiate backwards. Marco encouraged us to keep going, and I tried my best to keep Margaret from stopping too frequently and for too long, but it was obvious that we would not make the ferry in time. Our first objective - the main Samaria Rest Station, which was about one third of the whole distance, should have been reached by late morning: we did not reach it until 2pm, and Margaret did not even want to have a break and look around. She wanted me to go on without her, but there was no way I was going to do that. I increasingly went short distances ahead to suss out the easiest path (which was getting less obvious now), and there were fewer and fewer other people we could follow.

             Signs of earlier settlement, including abandoned houses at the Samaria Rest Station, and a tiny medieval Church

            Meanwhile, by mid-afternoon Marco had reluctantly told us that, as his responsibility was for the whole of our Group, not just us, he had to leave us and go on more quickly to make sure everyone else got on to the ferry and back to the buses. He confirmed we were not going to make the ferry by 4.30, but he had already warned the Rangers and the Ruissos Taverna at Agia Roumelis that we would require accommodation for an overnight stay; and promised he would meet us again in 24 hours with tickets for Thursday’s Ferry and the buses home!

Approaching the 'Iron Gorge';                  A recent landslide almost blocks the way;                The path is in the river here

          By late afternoon the spectacularly narrow sections of the ‘Iron Gorge’ loomed ahead. The path crossed and recrossed the river several times, and we were warned to pass quickly through several sections of dangerous landslips and falling rocks, which compounded Margaret’s problems. Thankfully, I was still feeling relatively fit, but I suddenly realised that I had none of my medication with me and would have to do without it for at least another 24 hours; and I was now beginning to worry about the light. The Gorge was so deep and narrow lower down that the sun rarely reached the bottom anyway, but it was obviously now getting towards evening, and we still had another 2 hours to get to the Park Exit, and probably another hour to reach Agia Roumelis itself.
Margaret was almost out on her feet, and I was just beginning to feel I had had enough, when the Gorge finally opened out a little, we could see evening sunlight high above us, and we were met by a friendly local guide who had been sent up to help us. At 7pm, exhausted, we finally reached the Park Exit, where we were given much needed refreshment, and the offer of a lift in a battered old Toyota truck to the Roussios Taverna, which we gratefully accepted. Our scheduled 5½ hour walk had taken nearly 12 hours, but against all the odds we had done it: as the local tee-shirts proudly announced: ‘WE SURVIVED THE SAMARIA GORGE’!  All we could do now was hope that Marco had been able to organise our return to Kolymbari the next day.

Flower-decked Roussios Taverna in Ag Roumelis; The harbour and beach are empty by day; Tarra Castle from our Roumelis balcony

         It was getting dark when we arrived at the Taverna, but after a delicious Cretan meal and relaxing drink we were driven a short way to a bright, clean apartment overlooking the village and the sea, which was to cost us a mere 30 euros for the night.

View up-valley to the Gorge mouth;  Roumelis from the Thursday Ferry;        6pm:docking at Sougia to catch the waiting buses

Thursday in Agia Roumelis was very much a recovery day: Margaret was still having problems with support and balance and spent much of the morning on the terrace of the Taverna and the balcony of our apartment.  Agia Roumelis proved to be a delight. Yes, it was small, isolated and limited in amenities, but it was welcoming, relaxing, and had an idyllic setting; it was a throwback back to Crete as it would have been 60 years ago or more, and was just what we needed for a day to reflect, and recharge our batteries. We did manage a morning walk around the village (which we had largely to ourselves), and I ventured a bit further to take photographs. During the afternoon Thursday's Gorge Walking Groups began to appear, and then we were relieved to be greeted by Marco, who assured us that our journey back to Kolymbari by ferry and bus was all arranged. We finally got back safely to Hotel Chrissana, 24 hours late, had a meal and collapsed thankfully into bed!
           Samaria, with its unscheduled Agia Roumelis extension, was certainly the high point of our Cretan trip, but the holiday wasn't quite all over yet. On the Friday we felt sufficiently restored and enthused to take a bus into the old port of Charnia, and we enjoyed its ancient Minoan and Mycenean excavations, its Byzantine and Orthodox churches, and the Venetian and Moorish architecture overlooking its extensive harbour, not forgetting an interesting Regional Museum.

Charnia's Venetian front and Mosque;             The Harbour Mole & Lighthouse;                 1200BC Minoan excavations

On Saturday (our last day), Margaret relaxed by the pool, while I walked into Kolymbari for the last time. I continued past the Monastery and 4 kms on up the quiet zigzag coast road to the hilltop village of Afrata, where there were fine views of Charnia Bay, the mountain spine of the empty peninsula stretching away to the north, and the tiny 'Afrata Paradise' Cove far below (somewhat ironically, the latter was accessed down a deep narrow gorge, which I decided not to attempt!).

Kolymbari Beach from the Afrata road;     Gorge leading down to Paradise Beach;     The mountainous north-western peninsula     
Thus ended our western Crete venture: at times idyllic, sometimes challenging, and occasionally worrying, but always stimulating.  Somehow, the Brecon Beacons, which we were visiting next, wouldn't seem quite the same ...!
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            In the last week of July, the whole family, including Andy's girlfriend Sarah, and Gerald and Grace, drove to the Gilestone farmhouse at Talybont-on-Usk, following the family tradition of many years. We did the usual local walks in the Caerfanell valley, including  Blaen y glyn, the Penyfan hill walk via Cwm Llwch, and visited the caves and waterfalls at Cwm porth and Pontneddfechan. Some of us also walked in Taf fechan Forest, waving to the children (and Gerald) who took the Beacons Mountain Railway, while Andy and Ben went mountain biking on the Taff Trail. Margaret and I also climbed to the top of Toryfoel, to admire the views from Talybont's local summit:

The kids sitting quietly (well nearly); the  family group in Cwm Llwch,    & entering Porth yr Ogof Cave

Beacons Railway from Taf  fechan Forest; Talybont Reservoir from Tor y foel;   Clun gwyn Waterfall

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           Our second trip to Crete in September was two holidays in one: six days as part of a party of 25 celebrating Enid and David's Golden Wedding in their favourite village of Elounda , and seven nights self-catering in the town of Rethymnon, seventy miles further west. 
What a contrast! : gorgeously and riotously over-indulgent in Elounda, and quietly understated and unexpectedly spartan in Rethymnon, where we rather drew the short straw as far as accommodation was concerned!

David's Greek dancing(?) in Elounda;  toasting the Happy Couple;  the Anniversary Meal at Kanali

Although it might have seemed in hindsight as though we spent the whole time in Elounda eating and drinking (mainly local red wine), we did in fact manage to do some walking and sight-seeing too.  We walked over the island at the end of the Olous Causeway, via a small Basilica with a beautiful mosaic floor, to a small sandy beach backed by the pillared remains of an original Greek temple, where we bathed and paddled contentedly. We also spent a day doing a circular valley walk inland from the village through shady orange groves and gnarled fig and olive trees, accompanied only by scuttling lizards, wheeling birds of prey, and colourful butterflies. We joined the rest of the party on a boat trip around the rocky island of Spinalonga, the abandoned and preserved leper colony, where we reached the same beach we had walked to two days before, and here fishing, swimming and sun bathing were the order of the day. On another day we took the bus into the town of Agia Nicolaos to replenish our wallets and our daytime supplies of snacks and drinks.

The beachside temple we visited twice; the fine Dolphin mosaic floor; sailing round Spinalonga island

Elounda & Spinalonga from inland;   Elounda harbour & town ;      Ag Nic's Venetian harbour front

       We certainly had mixed feelings about leaving the Elounda party early for the second half of our holiday: now just 'Darby and Joan', self-catering, in the much larger resort of Rethymnon, 70 miles to the west.
To get there we had to take a bus west along the coast to Agia Nicolaos, then on to Heraklion, the modern capital, and then another bus from there, with some splendid coastal and mountain scenery all along the way. We  knew roughly where our Hotel Eltina was from Rethymnon's bus station, decided to walk it (with our cases), and after about a mile in hot sunshine we finally arrived about 5pm.  As we knew there was no bar or restaurant, we had booked a self-catering apartment (or so we thought), but were dismayed to discover that we had in fact booked a small 'room only' with limited furnishings and fittings (and no kitchen). It had a tiny balcony which looked straight into other occupied rooms only 20 feet away, with a high creeper-clad wall on one side, and windows onto the main stairs on the other. So much for the relaxing starlit balcony views we had hoped for!  We were glad we had at least brought a small travel kettle with us (although we had to put up with occasional power cuts!), and there was plenty of cheap food and wine to purchase locally. The Hotel did have a small quiet pool, and was well located, with easy access to shops, local buses, the beach, and open countryside, and so we decided to make the best of it.

Rethymnon's Venetian port; cool harbour restaurants; Roman fountain; the pleasant resort ambience

        We enjoyed our week here: there was a long sandy beach well-known for its breeding leatherback turtles; there were dozens of good value restaurants and shops along the front; the town itself was charming, quiet, and well-appointed, and it was dominated by an extensive harbour, overlooked by the medieval walls of the 'Fortezza', the largest Venetian citadel in the Mediterranean. From the Citadel there were excellent views of the coast, the town, and some spectacular sunsets.

Rethymnon from the Citadel. Waiting for sunset: a tasty bayside meal, & last evening on the beach

       There was plenty to do and see around the town, but we also made two local excursions. We knew there were 2 or 3 Gorge Walks in the area which were shorter, more varied and more visitor friendly than the infamous Samaria Gorge, one of which (the Mili Gorge) was only a couple of miles from the town.  When we learnt there was a Hop-on Hop-off Tourist Bus that served Mili on its way to a small military museum, a former 15C monastery, and a Carmelite Convent, we jumped at the opportunity that presented. The Mili Gorge takes its name from the 20 or so old water mills still visible along its path, and was delightful (and mercifully cool); there were fine views over the coast from the Convent  which had been lovingly rebuilt by the nuns themselves after dereliction and destruction in the 1980s.

Margaret surveys 18C mills in the Mili Gorge & ancient tombs at Armina.      Our sad balcony view!

       Our second excursion was by local bus a few miles south to the village of Armina, where a Neolithic and Bronze Age necropolis (burial ground) had been discovered by local schoolchildren 30 years ago, later was extensively excavated, and finally fully opened to the public only recently. With our well-known predilection for ancient sites, we decided this we had to see. It was well worth it, in spite of it being little known and not easy to access without a car. There was an information board and leaflet with some tantalising pictures of the excavations, but few artifacts. But the graves themselves were the stars of the site: there were over a hundred of them packed into a small area, of many different styles, ages and scales, some of them comparable with the more famous 'Tombs of the Kings' in Cyprus we had visited a few years ago, most of them more modest, and similar to the Enkomi and Salamis necropoli we were to visit at October Half Term (see below). 
        Before the flight home we were able to spend a few hours in Heraklion, the capital whose  important Venetian port was being excavated, and to visit its fine Archaeological Museum. Here many of Crete's most important Minoan, Mycenean and Classical Graeco-Roman finds are displayed, including the wonderful frescoes, mosaics and jewellery from King Minos' Palace of Knossos, and finely wrought artefacts from the wealthy Roman city near Malia. We hoped also to find out more about the recent excavations in Charnia and Armina we had seen this year, but there was surprisingly little. We shall just have to go back some day ... !
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       In late October Margaret and I flew with Sarah and Eddy, Mary and Bel to North Cyprus, for the half term week in Famagusta, where we could enjoy some sunshine on the shores of the Mediterranean, and explore the ancient settlement and burial sites at nearby Salamis and Enkomi.  We had read a lot beforehand about North Cyprus' chequered relationship over the years with Britain, Greece, Turkey, and its Greek Cypriot neighbours to the south (the backdrop to Victoria Hislop's novel The Sunrise), and we had briefly visited parts of the predominantly Turkish-oriented territory before, but now we were able to witness at close hand the destruction of lives and property along the so-called 'Green Line' dividing the Turkish and Greek communities.  Our hotel literally adjoined the former glitzy resort of Varusha which has lain abandoned as a ghost town since the Turkish invasion of the 197os, and within which access and photography are strictly forbidden.
I was reminded in some ways of our earlier experiences in the Holy Land* : why is it that so many of the most interesting tourist areas we have visited recently have such problematic political histories?]

Famagusta port from the City Wall; Varosha's gaunt ruins from Palm Beach; Eddy & family in Salamis

       The Palm Beach Resort
and Casino is a new hotel complex about a mile south of the once opulent city and port of Famagusta. The city is the focus of a wide, level plain which has nurtured three ancient civilisations: the Bronze Age city state of Enkomi (Alasia), famous from the 14th century BC for its copper industries; the Mycenaean settlement and 'Royal' tombs of the Salamanians described as a flourishing culture by Homer in the 9th century BC; and the illustrious Greek and Roman kingdom of Salamis which prospered for well over a thousand years from the 6th century BC. Christianity gained an important foothold in the country very early on, and many Christian saints  lived and died here (including Barnabas, St Paul's close friend and companion, and St Catherine, notoriously martyred on the wheel, both of whose tombs are preserved near Salamis). Substantial remains of these ancient settlements have been excavated over the years, and some of the finds are in the British Museum.
       Famagusta itself was founded in the 3rd century BC, but did not really develop until Salamis was abandoned in AD 648 as a result of major earthquake activity and coastal change. It boomed again after the Fall of Acre to the Ottomans in 1291, when hundreds of Christians fled the Holy Land and settled in Cyprus, bringing wealth and holy treasures, building opulent and beautiful basilicas and churches, and developing trade and industry. The Crusaders and Venetians were responsible for much of the distinctive vernacular, religious and military architecture that still gives character to the city; the Ottomans and Turks added mosques, souks, and hammams (baths), but sadly, were also responsible for much desecration and destruction, particularly of Christian sites.

Enkomi copper industry; fine grave goods were found in Salamis Tomb #3; is this Barnabas' Tomb?

The British (to whom Cyprus was mandated after the Great War) began a period of recovery and rehabilitation, working mainly through the Greek Cypriot authorities, which included archaeological excavation, the enlargement of Famagusta port, and the development of the tourist industry. The latter gathered momentum during the package holiday boom after the Second World War, and led to the building of the prosperous, mainly Greek, suburb of Varosha to the south of Famagusta, as well as to expansion into the Turkish communities inland and to the north.  Thus were sown the seeds of the Turkish army's advance into the area in 1974, the increasing separation of the two communities, and the current political and diplomatic impasse.

The majestic ruins of the Cathedral from the Venetian Ramparts; Bel and Mary in the dungeons of the Othello Tower;  the Cathedral's beautiful West Front in the Main Square (Rheims anyone?)


Impressive Bastion on the 15C Ramparts; interior of the Sultan's hammam; the Sea Gate and port

Our favourite pitch on the beach; Eddy loved the play park; he was the star of the dining room too!

Eddy and the girls spent a lot of time on the beach, and enjoyed visiting the Old Town and viewing the former Medieval and Renaissance churches and other remains inside the well-preserved walls. We had all been briefly to Famagusta before, but there was much still to see. We also took taxis one morning to Salamis to revisit the main Greek amphitheatre, baths and temples, but while the girls took Eddy back in their taxi to the hotel, Margaret and I stayed on and spent a rewarding couple of hours exploring the Roman agora, basilicas, bath and villa that we had not seen before. We had dismissed our taxi so that we could walk the five miles back to the hotel and see some more of Famagusta on the way, but I think we would rather
have seen a bus! 

Salamis' seaside Roman Basilica; ruined Carmelite Church by the Walls; the Venetian market hall;

       However, undaunted, Margaret and I more or less repeated the experience two days later, in order to explore the famous burial and settlement sites near Salamis: the impressive 'Tombs of the Kings' with their amazing chariots and horse burials and huge St Catherine's Mausoleum, its interesting museum, and the Chellarga Neolithic and Bronze Age necropolis nearby; then St Barnabas'  Tomb and Basilica, and on about a mile to the extensive but little-known copper and bronze settlement of Enkomi (which we had to ourselves).  From Enkomi we walked back home this time via the village of Tuzla, where we unexpectedly came across the sixth century Cenotaph of Nicocreon, the last King of Salamis. What a day that was, and a fitting end to a stimulating and enjoyable year of adventure!                                                                                                                  

          Eddy managed to get us all in the sea!                     The sun setting on another great holiday 

                     Grace with our younger grandchildren at St Stephens' Crib Service

                Peace and Joy to you all in 2017!

NB:  This Website is under constant review and revision: there are already foreign holidays booked for the coming spring, so watch this space! 
Martin and Margaret

*  Pictures of, and reflections on, last February's memorable Holy Land Tour  appear on the 'Pilgrimages' page of this Website.