From Roanoke, Virginia USA

  We’ve been home for 9 days and in some ways it feels as if we never left from our last visit.  Time is funny.  I’m having to relearn being in the US.  I want to say gunaydin (good morning in Turkish) when I pass people on my daily walk.  My sister had to remind me that you can buy caffeine free diet cola.  Things cost more and there are too many choices on grocery store shelves. I’m trying to clean up our small apartment; Randal is taking care of business; we bought a car which was cheaper than renting; and we have doctor and dentist appointments galore!  There are libraries!!!! We are making plans to see family and friends.   And baseball is in real time!  I watched the Sox beat Texas on TV.  And last night we went to the ball park to watch the Salem Red Sox (a Red Sox farm team) play.  It was a twilight double header that started at 5:30 to finish a rained out game from earlier in the summer, and then the regular evening game.  The Sox won 7 to 4 the first game and lost 5 to 6 the second game.  There were some spectacular plays and terrible errors but unfortunately there’s no instant replay at this field so you either paid attention or you missed out.  During the second game my niece’s husband, using his cell phone app kept us informed how the “real” Red Sox were doing and that was not so good.  But it was a nice night for a game and hot dogs at the ball park are always great. 


Between the car and the entrance I managed to drop but find one of our tickets. 

My niece Jess’ family had some “rain out” tickets, but were unable to use them, so Randal and I did.  It was even hat night so we each got a free Salem Sox hat but the hats have an S on the front rather than a B so I wasn’t too impressed.  Turned out Jess’ husband Brian and step-son David did make it to the game so we passed the hats on to them since they wouldn’t let us pay for their tickets.


We met my sister Harriet and brother-in-law Jim and his sister Beth and her friend Gary.  (Har is in pink and sunglasses and Jim has the white “Senior Slugger” hat.)  Gary is wearing light shorts and Beth is in dark everything.

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Not so many people at the first game which was too bad since the Salem Sox won.  We took the opportunity to eat “nutritious” ball park food for dinner while we watched the game. 


You can see the mountains that surround the Roanoke Valley. 

Salem is located geographically within Roanoke County but they are politically separate.  The stadium is in Salem City so the team is the Salem Red Sox rather than the Roanoke Red Sox.  I think Roanoke Red Sox sounds better and there would have been an R on the hat that I could have turned into a B…..maybe.


The lights came on and the color guard came out for the second game. 

I once read a joke in Readers Digest that asked what the last two words of the American National Anthem were.  The answer: Play Ball!


We sat behind third base and were protected from foul balls by the net that is making a black line on the left side of the photo.  I’m not a night person, but there’s just something about a night ball game…the air even feels different.


There was an update about Hurricane Irene and you can just make out the weather man on the large screen.

If they can show that I wonder why they can’t show instant replays?


Randal and Ruth are leaving the building.

We stayed through about a third of the second game and then called it a night.

It was nice and fun and free is always good.  But even if we’d had to pay the tickets are only $5 which is cheaper than lots of the museums in Turkey and India.  And you get to sit for hours, sing, yell, eat bad food, drink beer….Can’t do that in a museum.  I’m really only kidding as I loved the places we visited in Turkey and most of them in India.  And the 5 TL for our visit to the Kantara Castle in Cyprus was a bargain,

So that’s how we are.  Our flights home were pleasant and on time though one piece of luggage arrived in Roanoke the following day but that was no problem.  We’d left Cyprus on the morning of the 16th so had the afternoon and evening in Istanbul before flying out on the 17th.  We love Istanbul and some day will return to spend weeks.  My sister and nephew met us at the airport and we spent the first several days at her house which was full since my nephew Andrew was visiting from Philadelphia. 

When we get past the obligatory appointments and such we’ll visit friends here in Roanoke and then in late September will head down south to Hilton Head to visit our Chinese friend Singkey who has been working there for the summer to improve her command of English, southern style.  Then we’ll head up north maybe as far as Ontario to visit two of Randal’s Odyssey bike tour friends.  We have to wait for my passport to come back before we leave and I have a dentist appointment on September 12th to start the process for a crown, yuck.  But for the first time in forever I had no cavities.  Must be all that cheese I’m eating.  Wonder what it did to my cholesterol.  I’ll find that out on Monday. 

As for our friends on the coasts of anywhere Irene is going; take care and hopefully it will all be better than expected. 

From Roanoke, Virginia



Kantara Castle

Hi All,

  We leave Tuesday for home!  So now we’re actually thinking about packing and defrosting the frig and freezer and all those things it’s a pain to think about.  We’d rather go off on the motorbike!  It will be great to be back with family and friends, but it is a bit hard to leave Cyprus.  It’s a beautiful country.  It has its issues but so do all countries.  The people are friendly, the food is great and the weather just about perfect.  My next email will be from Roanoke,VA which I will try to make interesting for our new friends around the world and our new friends  from Turkey and Cyprus.


ps Sox lost a dumb game today! 

Kantara Castle near Iskele, North Cyprus

Saturday Randal and I set off for Iskele, a small town about 24 miles from the marina.  There is an icon museum located in an old church and we wanted to visit it.  Lunch was good: the museum was closed.

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Spiced grilled chicken, onions, tomato, cilantro all stuffed into a fresh pita bread. Randal gets directions to the icon museum.


I don’t know what SHT stands for but I wanted to insert an I when we found the museum closed.

I don’t know if it was closed for the hour, day, week, or forever.  The lady at the bakery next door said “Closed” and then something else in Turkish….so….one day we will try again. shows what we would have seen.


So then we decided to go on to Kantara Castle and that was great!  The steep road up was built just for our motorbike, lots of curves, great views and no traffic.  There were even really good signs all the way from Iskele. And the entrance fee was only 5 TL per person; now about $2.80. I know Randal loved the castle because as soon as we started to walk up the stone steps into the castle he asked for the camera so he could take some photos and later he asked people to take our photo in the castle.  When we visit the old churches he’s usually out on the motorbike honking the horn for me to hurry up.

10th century Kantara Castle is the one furthest east on the Karpaz Peninsula.


will show you photos and tell you much more than I can. 

But this passage written in 1888 captures it best…

"The superb Castle of Kantara, the Hundred Chambers, which, seeming to hang in mid-air, dominates this end of Cyprus, has been often visited and described. Buffavento stands higher, and St. Hilarion can shew more perfect ramparts and turrets, but neither recalls so strangely a forgotten age, neither seems to be so thickly peopled with its ghosts, as this lonely ruin on its pillar of rock. No painter’s wildest fancy has pictured anything so fantastic as these Cyprian Castles, and, standing at the foot of the last steep leading to the gate of Kantara, and involuntarily recalling the fairy-towers of romance, the traveller might imagine it the stronghold of a Sleeping Beauty, untouched by change or time for a thousand years! It is best seen from the north-west where the precipice is sheerest, the winding paths seem to cling most dizzily to its face, and the ruins of the interior cannot be seen ; but once within the outer gate the illusion partly vanishes in view of the broken battlements, although man and horse can still find shelter in many of the chambers." (11 Devia," p. 101.)”  Devia Cypria; notes of an archaeological journey in Cyprus in 1888 [Electronic Edition]









This is the view looking up from the parking lot which Mr Hogarth, MA probably never envisioned.


Walking up to the castle entrance….who put in the steps?


The Mediterranean on both sides.




Here we are looking back towards Iskele down there somewhere: and south coast of the peninsula.


Randal points to a cove we had passed on the new North Coast road from Girne (Kryenia) to Karpaz that we’d taken a few days earlier.  We came up on the road from Iskele and went down on the road towards the new coast road towards Dipkarpaz. 



Rocky ledges and arrow openings.



It was like having the keys to the museum and you could wander anywhere you wanted.  There was a map with locations noted but the matching numbers weren’t visible and it was off by a number or they just forgot to identify what # 27 was.  We found the cistern and the prison and rooms where people slept and climbed around and had a great time.


The views were all spectacular and the weather perfect but we didn’t spot Turkey or Lebanon which is possible in winter.

    Kantara Castle

Of the three crusader castles of Buffavento, St Hilarion and Kantara, Kantara lies furthest to the east. At 630m above sea level (2066.4 ft,) it is also the lowest of the three.  (We will visit the others one day.)

      Some would say it is the least exciting, as it is easy to reach compared with the other two. However it has by far the best views, its summit standing on a pinnacle with views all round. The name "Kantara" in Arabic means a bridge or an arch. This is an appropriate name, as the castle is located at a point which bridges the mountain range and commands views of both the north and the south coasts. On a clear day, it is possible to see across both sides of the Karpaz peninsula, and on to the distant mountains of Turkey. In winter is sometimes possible to see the snows of Lebanon, over 160km away…….

     There are several routes you can take to Kantara castle, from either the northern or southern coastal roads. It will take you about 30 minutes of good, but narrow and twisty roads to get to the Village of Kantara, where you can stop and have some refreshments after your drive. From the north, the road through Kaplica,  is by far the best, having recently been widened and upgraded (although no less twisty than the other routes!) Approaching from the south, (we did this) the road from Iskele through Topcukoy and Ardahan has likewise been upgraded. The castle itself is about 10 minutes beyond the village (of Ardahan.)

“The origins of the Kantara Castle go back to the 10th century when it was built as a look out post.  The first reference to the castle in the records is 1191 when Richard the Lionheart captured Cyprus and Isaac Comnenos, the rebel Byzantine prince from Trapezus (Trabzon, Turkey) who had captured the island and proclaimed himself King of Cyprus, after having ruled for 7 years as a despot, sheltered in Kantara.  In the 12th century it was remodeled by the Lusignans.    Throughout the island’s history Kantara often served as a shelter for defeated barons and kings. When the Genoese conquered Famagusta and Nicosia in 1373, Kantara remained in the hands of John of Antioch, the brother of King Peter I of Cyprus till he moved to St. Hilarion.  Later his brother King James I (1382-1398) of Cyprus refortified Kantara.  Most of the surviving parts belong to his restorations.  It continued to be used as late as 1525 when Venetians having relied on the coastal fortresses such as Krenia and Famagusta for the defense of the island neglected it as they had done with the other island castles of St. Hilarion and Buffavento.”     Information from the sheet handed out at the castle.           


Physicist, Dermatologist, Psychologist

We met these nice young men as we all wandered through the castle.  We coincidentally stopped at the same café on the way down the mountain and sat together having our drinks while they waited for their lunch.  The Physicist had studied in Athens, the Dermatologist in Russia, and the Psychologist in Bulgaria.  Not sure if they are finished with their schooling of just on a quick vacation.  They were from Nicosia in the Republic of Cyprus so their first language is Greek but luckily for us they all speak English very well.  They were taking a long weekend and driving the circumference of Cyprus so were sort of racing along, camping at night.  Wish we had met them on their way towards Karpaz; they could have camped on our boat.  We told them if they come again they can stay with us.  Meeting people is one of the best parts of traveling.

Ay Trias Basiilica Flip Flop Mosaic and a Lost Puppy:..

Finally got the flip flop photos…


It was my fourth trip up the hill in Sipahi to the Ay Trias Basilica: the third for the purpose of taking a photo of the sandal mosaics.  I left about 7:30 and it was a lovely morning for a walk.


Self-portrait…..with camera….

Here are the sandals….and the pomegranate tree mosaic to the left of the lower pair of sandals.


And here is the puppy that followed me home….


He was so sweet!

I was just taking my flip flop sandals photos when this puppy appeared dragging a raggedy old tattered length of twine.  It was also tied around his neck and was so tight I was afraid he’d choke if no one took it off.  But the knot was too small and there was no room to work it.  I hurriedly took one more photo deciding the puppy was more important at that moment. On my way earlier I had passed a house and said hello to a man who was just going inside.  I decided to take the puppy back there so we could cut the noose from his neck.  After that I was hoping the puppy would “just go home.”  I tried to flag down a truck to get some help but the young men in it thought I was waving and just waved back.  Then no one was at home where I’d seen the man or at the house next door where I heard a radio.  I called “hello” both places and no one answered.  So I went back up the hill and turned left at the basilica because I knew there were houses that way from a previous walk.  Thankfully there were people in a small side porch and they came out.  I think it was a woman and her father or father-in-law.  I mimed what I needed and they understood and got a scissor.  I was a bit reluctant as Muslims think dogs are unclean and I was asking to borrow a utensil that would touch the dog.  But they were very understanding and gave me “a good scissor” and I cut the twine which the man seemed to want.  They didn’t know anything about the puppy but thought it was cute when he followed me back down the road.  At one point he disappeared behind a house and I hoped he’d gone home, but then he came running after me.  Without the twine I wondered how I would get him across the main road to the marina where the staff could help deal with him, but he came when called and stayed right at my feet.  (Love at first sight for me and the puppy.)  Thankfully the guys at the entrance gate were sympathetic and took the puppy which seemed tired and certainly thirsty and hungry.  I had tried earlier to give it water from my hand but finally at the marina gave it water straight from my bottle.  Randal and I stopped at the gate later in the day on our motorbike and were told they’d found “home” and puppy.  Those are the words we understood.  A new home or its old home I don’t know.  There is no ASPCA in Yeni Erenkoy and Serife who works in the office told me that many cats are just dumped off.  Maybe I’ll check on the puppy again, but we just can’t have a dog with our travels so I did what I could do and can only hope for the best for the puppy. 

The walk up the mountain in the morning is lovely and the basilica worth several visits.  I’m sure I’ll go again. (But no more puppies!)  Here are more photos of the basilica.


There is a fence but the gate is open and the ticket booth never manned.

I love getting to go back as often as I like without having to pay.  At $10 or $15 for some of the sites in Turkey, you only go once but later realize what you hadn’t seen so want to return.  But not for that much money.  So free or even a few $$ like the Mevlana Museum in Konya is much better.  Places get to be like old friends when you can come and go.


So signs, no information, just a chance to use your imagination.



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The sandals are at the far end….just about my size..and I have big feet, size 10 or even 11 and the pomegranates…which I almost cropped off to show the sandals!

“The narthex and nave are extensively covered with mosaics, mostly geometric patterns.  In the northern nave, however, there are some exceptions. In particular, a pomegranate tree, alongside a pair of sandals.  Pomegranates were used by the early Christian as a symbol of resurrection and everlasting life. The sandals are a little bit more of a mystery. It is possible they were a reminder of the time when Moses took off his sandals in order to meet God in the desert. It is also possible that it is a reminder of the time that John the Baptist described the coming of Christ, explaining that he was not even important enough to remove the sandals from Christ’s feet. More likely, though, is because they are close to the pomegranates, they simply represent the journey through this world to the next. Although sandals as a symbol, are found elsewhere in the Middle East, this is the only known example in Cyprus.” (Or maybe someone saw into the future and knew the popularity of flip flops!) This is a really good website and gives lots of information about the basilica and church architecture of the period.


More examples of mosaics.


There’s just something about stone…



I had 2 years of Latin and can recite the passive endings of something but that’s about it if this is even Latin though it doesn’t have Greek symbols.

“One thing we do know about the basilica, however is who paid for its building. A mosaic inscription in front of the main apse, credits a deacon by the name of Heraclios. At the western end of the nave, we can also see the names of Aetis, Euthalis and Eutychianos as benefactors.”

The fun of research

Another story, another meal, another church……and a real art theft mystery!


ps lots of variations in the spelling of place names and some British spelling too…so I just cancel spell check and hope for the best.

Because no email from me would be complete without food photos!


We had a table full of food!  Meze, bread and then we split this order of chicken kabobs.

I told a story previously about a British woman explaining she was staring at the food and not at us eating.  This is the food.  We were already full from the variety of meze when the chicken was brought to the table.  Half the wonderful “chips” were still there when we left.

We really had no plan, or not one either of us remembers other than to go down new roads we’d never been on before. We ended up at the small town of Mehmetcik known for its production of olive oil and then we certainly ended up on a really “new road”…just paved, no signs, no markings and it just ended…


None of the construction crew said anything and the dirt eventually lead to an older road that took us by the Panagia Kanakaria Church just outside Boltashli.












Panayia Kanakar

“The main building is from the 6th century and there was once a beautiful mosaic of the Blessed Virgin and Christ child, flanked by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, in the apse. Slowly over the years pieces of the tesserae ( mosaic tiles) were removed as it was believed they possessed miraculous powers to cure skin diseases. In the 20th century a large piece of stolen mosaic was found when an attempt was made to sell it on the open market. It was repatriated and is now in the Byzantine Museum in South Nicosia. 

(There’s a great art theft story connected to this church…..)



The Church was locked but this partial work is visible over a side door.

The art theft story……..

“The church of Panaya Kanakaria was built in the 5th century, and the mosaics have been dated to the middle of the 6th century. Antiphonitis Monastery and its frescoes are a little younger, dating to the 7th century.

Around 730, the Byzantine emperor Leo III began the iconoclast campaign by ordering the removal of an image of Jesus prominently placed over the Chalke gate, the ceremonial entrance to the Great Palace of Constantinople, and its replacement with a cross. The purpose was to ensure that religious images would not become objects of veneration. This edict was repeated throughout the empire, resulting in the almost total destruction of religious icons and frescoes. However, some images in churches at the edge of the empire slipped through the net. The Kanakaria mosaics and the frescoes at Antiphonitis monastery were included in this group, and are recognized as being among the most significant surviving images from the Byzantine period.

In 1974, Turkey occupied the northern part of Cyprus, including the Karpaz village of Lythrangomi (now known as Boltasli). The Greek Cypriots of the area remained, not leaving till 1976. At that time the mosaics were still intact, as the villagers hoped to return after a short period away.

In 1979, two foreign visitors to the church reported to the RoC  (Republic of Cyprus, the south not the Turkish Republic of Cyprus, the north)  Department of Antiquities that the mosaics had disappeared. Because of the difficulties visiting the area at the time, this report was not confirmed till the middle of 1980. On the 30th July 1980, the Director of Antiquities contacted international authorities and museums notifying them of the theft, and in a letter to The Times published on the 9th August 1980, he asked to be contacted should anything appear on the market.

In the summer of 1988, Peg Goldberg, an art dealer from Carmel, Indiana, was in Europe shopping for work for her gallery. While there, she was approached by another art dealer, Robert Fitzgerald, and asked to consider the purchase of four early Christian mosaics. The mosaics, each about 2 ft square, consisted of an adolescent Christ, the Apostles Mathew and James, and an Archangel.  Fitzgerald then arranged a meeting in Amsterdam on the 1st July with Michel van Rijn, a Dutch art dealer, and Ronald Faulk, a California lawyer who represented Fitzgerald and van Rijn.

Van Rijn was a colourful character, claiming to be descended from both Rembrandt and Rubens, and was a published expert on Christian icons. He had, however, also been convicted for art forgery.

At that first meeting on the 1st July, Goldberg was shown photos of the four icons. She was told that the seller was a Turkish archaeologist, Aydin Dikman, who had found the mosaics in an extinct church in North Cyprus, and that he had exported them to Munich with the permission of the TRNC  (Turkish Republic of North Cyprus)  government. She was told that the asking price was $3 million. Goldberg asked Faulk to let the buyer know she was interested. He immediately took this message to Dikman in Munich.

The following day, Faulk returned to Amsterdam, having agreed to buy the mosaics on behalf of van Rijn for $350,000. Goldberg, however, was not told of this deal. He showed her copies of the export documents for the mosaics, none of which was genuine.

On the 3rd July, the principals met in Amsterdam, and agreed to buy the mosaics for $1,080,000. They agreed to split the profits on any resale as follows. Goldberg 50%, Fitzgerald 22.5%, van Rijn 22.5%, and Faulk 5%. Goldberg now approached her bank and requested a loan of $1,200,000, the purchase price plus an amount to cover expenses, insurance, and restoration. As security for the loan, she showed the bank three appraisals valuing the mosaics at between $3 and $6 million.

On the 5th July Goldberg and Fitzgerald went to Geneva for the transfer of the Mosaics. Faulk and Dikman arrived from Munich, and arranged for the transfer to take place as soon as the money was in Goldberg’s bank account, which would take a couple of days. During this time, Goldberg claimed she made efforts to ensure that the mosaics had not been reported stolen. It is significant; however, that Goldberg did not contact the TRNC, the RoC, Interpol, or any Byzantine art experts.

Two days later, the money arrived, and Goldberg handed over $1,080,000 in return for the mosaics. Faulk, Fitzgerald and van Rijn then paid Dikman the agreed $350,000 and split the remainder of the money among themselves. Goldberg returned to Indiana on the 8th July.

Soon after, Peg Goldberg decided to profit from her purchase of the mosaics by selling them, with an asking price of $20,000,000. One of the museums approached was the Getty museum in California, where the curator, Marion True, had suspicions about their origin. She contacted the RoC who confirmed that they were stolen property which they would like returned. After this request was refused by Goldberg, the RoC, jointly with the Church of Cyprus commenced legal proceedings for their return.

The trial began on the 31st May 1989, with Peg Goldberg losing both that and the subsequent appeal, and the mosaics were ordered to be returned to Cyprus, without any compensation to be paid to Goldberg.  The court ruled that she had not shown "due diligence" in establishing the mosaics’ provenance. On the 30th August 1991, the mosaics finally arrived back in Cyprus, and after a period of renovation are now housed in the Byzantine museum in Nicosia.

The two main characters in this story now disappear for a number of years. However in February 1997, van Rijn, apparently having fallen out with Dikman, and tired of a life of crime, approached (or was approached by, the details are unclear,  Tasoula Hadjitofi-Georgiou, the honorary consul of Cyprus in the Hague.  He offered to help in buying back three Kanakaria mosaics and 44 frescoes, asking for protection for himself and his family. He said it would be too dangerous to try to trick the objects from their present owners, but thought he might be able to buy them. Asking only expenses for himself, and with the blessing of the RoC government, around £300,000 of private funding was made available for the operation. To show good faith, on the 5th September, van Rijn delivered the mosaic of Thaddeus to the Hague.

The following day, van Rijn flew to Munich, buying 25 frescoes from Dikman. They were flown immediately to Rotterdam, where experts confirmed that the frescoes included the Tree of Jesse and the Last Judgement, missing from Antiphonitis church since 1976.

On the 7th September, van Rijn returned to Munich and negotiated the purchase of seven larger, less damaged, frescoes. On the 18th September, Hajitofi-Georgiou insisted that the police be called in.

An element of farce now enters the story. Fearing for his own freedom, van Rijn fled to Bangkok. Persuaded to return, he accompanied two Interpol officers to Munich to take part in a "sting" to retrieve the art work. However that evening, in attempting to leave his shoes outside his hotel room for cleaning, he found that his door was jammed. Convinced he had been locked in his room prior to being arrested, he fled once again, this time to Curacao.

The misunderstanding was eventually resolved, and on being given immunity from prosecution, on the 9th October van Rijn and thirty police officers took over an entire floor of the Munich Park Hilton Hotel. The following night, Dikman was arrested as he handed over the objects. A search of Dikman’s home later retrieved 14 cases and packages in which were icons, two Antiphonitis frescoes, and the mosaic of St Thomas form Kanakaria. A search of another property found 20 more boxes and cases with icons, more frescoes from Antiphonitis, early bibles, ancient pottery, statues and coins, as well as $100,000 in cash. The total value amounting to $40,000,000.

In November 1997, police discovered a third apartment rented by Dikman under a false name. In the cellar they found another 30 crates with 130 icons, 25 frescoes, two mosaics, other artefacts, and an unauthenticated Picasso.

Although Cyprus applied for Dikman’s extradition to stand trial in the RoC, this was refused by the German authorities. Some of the artifacts were returned to the island in July 2004. However, the identity and ownership of many of the others were hotly disputed. The RoC had to prove that the artifacts had come from the specific churches listed, and that they were there at the time of the Turkish intervention.

In a bizarre twist, Dikman never had his day in the criminal court. Some of the crimes he was accused of were found to be outside the statute of limitation. And the main prosecution witness, van Rijn, refused to testify. On the 13th January, 1999, he held a press conference claiming he had been asked by the Greek Cypriot authorities to organize the theft and smuggling abroad of antiquities from Northern Cyprus. The smuggled items were subsequently purchased and returned to the Greek Cypriot church with large scale press coverage. He further claimed that some antiquities were smuggled from southern Cyprus with the full knowledge of the director of the antiquities department of the Greek Cypriot administration. These items were also purchased back, and among great publicity blaming Turkey, were returned to the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church.  He said that he now realized that the aim of the Greek Cypriot authorities was anti-Turkish propaganda.

Because of the continued failure of the criminal case, in 2004 the Church of Cyprus decided to bring a civil case against Dikman. This trial started in April 2009, and on the 23rd September 2010 the court decided that the Church had proven the provenance of the artifacts, ordering their return to Cyprus.

Where are they now?

Van Rijn made his peace with the RoC regarding payment of expenses. It’s not known if he withdrew his allegations. He continues to act with the authorities in retrieving stolen works of art. This has made him many enemies and has caused his website (now closed) to be removed from Google.

Dikman is still in Germany, trying to prove that he had legitimate title to all the works of art he had in his possession or sold in the past. Although the German statute of Limitations won his criminal case for him, he is considering an appeal against the civil judgments.

Peg Goldberg moved her gallery to Florida. She specializes in 20th century art, and is a well respected expert in the subject. Her escapade with the Kanakaria Mosaics was her only foray into Byzantine art.

Marion True, the curator of the Getty Museum, is no longer there. In October 2005 she resigned her position. Later that year she was prosecuted in Italy for dealing in stolen works of art. She was accused of illegally obtaining 42 items during the 1980s and 1990s, including a 2,000-year-old 5ft statue of Apollo unearthed in Italy. The charges against her were dismissed on a technicality. In April 2006 at least a dozen antiquities were found during a police raid on her holiday home on the Aegean island of Paros. She was tried in Athens  2007 for illegal possession of artifacts, with the same outcome as the Italian trial.

The New Yorker Magazine also ran a story about the art thefts….


July 13, 1992

(This is an abstract: check with your local library for the full article.)

Antiquities; Art Dealers; Art-Thefts; Cyprus; Fitzgerald, Bob; Goldberg, Peg; Greek Orthodox Church ABSTRACT: ANNALS OF THE ANTIQUITIES TRADE about the theft and sale of Byzantine mosaics from the church of Panagia Kanakaria, in Lythrankomi, Cyprus. Four years ago, Peg Goldberg, a fledgling Indianapolis art dealer, bought four of the mosaics from a man posing as Aydin Dikmen, a Turkish businessman. She paid three million dollars, borrowed from Merchants National Bank, of Indiana. She became involved in the deal through her then friend, Bob Fitzgerald, a former exotic-animals dealer turned art smuggler. He convinced her to go to Amsterdam to buy a reputed Modigliani nude from a dealer named Jack Vecht. The painting turned out to be an obvious forgery. But Bob then introduced her to his friend Michel van Rijn, saying he was a dealer specializing in East Christian art. Michel showed her photos of the four mosaics. Along with a lawyer named Ronald Faulk, the men arranged for Peg to see the mosaics and meet a man posing as Dikmen in Geneva. She got her banker friend Nick Frenzel to finance the purchase. She bought a St. Matthew, a St. James, an Archangel, and an adolescent Christ. She didn’t know that the murals were stolen from the church during the Turkish seizure of northern Cyprus during ’74. After hearing of the sale, the Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, through the agency of the Republic of Cyprus and that country’s U.S. lawyers, sued Peg in Indianapolis court. Tells about the trial. Peg was represented by Joe Emerson, Cyprus by Thomas Kline. Peg lost. Tells how she later met the real Dikmen.


The ancillary buildings that would have been used as workshops, storehouses, and quarters for the monks have undergone recent restoration but are not usually open to the public, in fact overall, opening hours tend to be somewhat sporadic. However it is well worth the detour open or not.

This ancillary building (but not the church) was open and I went wandering through.


The view from the top floor.



A stone grinder for grain… A press for either olives or grapes.

It pays to travel with a country boy, Randal guessed what both of these implements were used for though we don’t know their age, ancient or replicas….


Stone building just next to the church.

has a good bit of information about Kanakaria and pictures of some of the missing mosaics.

It’s fascinating just coming upon these ancient buildings so I don’t get tired of them the way I do museums.  Just getting to wander around is quite nice though if an expert had dropped from the sky to open the church and give a tour, that would have been great. 

And then there are the empty tobacco buildings….. so I started researching the Cyprus tobacco industry.


An empty tobacco building in Yeni Erenkoy

“In Turkish, the word Yeni means new, so this village is New Erenkoy. Once the centre of the thriving and lucrative tobacco industry, it has been administered since 1974 by Turkish Cypriots from Erenkoy (Kokkina) the village far out on the west coast of Cyprus, that appears on maps as a small enclave shut off from the remainder of North Cyprus.

After partition the tobacco conglomerates left the island and the industry was finished. However still very evident are the factories, packing houses and smokeries once associated with the business. Started during the middle ages with most tobacco being produced in the Larnaca area, in the 20th C production moved to the Karpaz and The Tobacco Cooperative Society built the vast warehouse close to the village. Within the last decade the industry has undergone a revival and tobacco can once again be seen growing in the Karpaz landscape.”

“The southern side, (of the Karpaz Peninsula) that includes most of the villages, has been the centre of the once thriving and lucrative tobacco activity in Cyprus. The industry stopped operations in 2004 and currently only the sale of tobacco stocks occurs.  Agriculture is mostly a subsistence activity; farmers lack alternative incomes, and mostly are sheep and goat breeders.”  LOCAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR THE KARPAZ AREA Lefkoşa, 14 December 2010

Karpaz Tobacco Cooperative has been unable to sell its crop this year;  EU accession could easily be

an opportunity for this cooperative in selling its crops to the EU market).

Doğuş Üniversitesi Dergisi, 2002, (6), 111-123




And for pipe smokers…this is kind of interesting about the Cypriot Latakia leaf which is often mixed with Virginia tobacco. Cypriot Latakia leaf

I have a BA in History from U Mass and an MLS in Library Science from Florida State.  For 26 years they helped me earn a living.  Now I’m having way more fun.  No tests, no grades, just the pleasure of trying to answer my own questions.  Just because I saw an empty tobacco building or an old stone church.

Back roads and medieval chapels

Randal and I walked this morning back to the ruins of a 5th century basilica.  It was my third time there.  The first time I forgot my camera card.  The second time I didn’t spot the mosaic of the flip flops (sandals to the ancients.)  This morning Randal walked with me and we found the flip flops, but I’D FORGOTTEN MY CAMERA CARD AGAIN!!!  Yesterday I’d downloaded photos from our day long motorbike trip to Girne and was really tired so forgot to check the whereabouts of the camera card when I was finished.  Now I have an excuse to go back up the hill again to the basilica for the flip flop photo.  Luckily no one mans the entrance gate which is always open so I haven’t had to pay the 5 TL fee each time.  There is nowhere even to leave money if one wanted to which I would once, but not for all of the times I go.  It’s a lovely walk and a nice place to sit and imagine as it’s in a field with nothing commercial around it.  You’ll see it after I finally get my flip flop photo.


Sipahi to Dipkarpaz and the Ayios Thrysos Church on August 8 2011

There is a network of dirt roads all over the peninsula and Randal wanted to start exploring them.  One brochure calls them walking trails and one calls them dirt bike trails.  We took our motorbike.  None of the brochures shows any maps so we just picked our way aiming in the general direction we needed to go. 


Where are the dinosaurs?

There was something about the stark, vast, emptiness that made both Randal and me think prehistory and dinosaurs.  Cyprus is the 3rd largest Island in the Mediterranean and is the result of uplift.  It was once submerged below the Mediterranean. 


The roads were packed dirt with lots of stones.

When we return in late November, and the rainy season, these roads might not be passable on our motorbike.  There are markings on the rocks for walkers following the trails.  “The network is comprised of 580 kilometers (348 miles) of trails covering the northern part of the island.  Nearly 90 kilometers (54 miles) of the total length is in the form of narrow footpaths and over 490 kilometers (294 miles) of length is wider dirt track.”   And when we return I hope to have a new camera with a great wide angle lens to capture some of the vast spaces.


We’re lost!

The trails are marked with green circles in a white circle, but we had no idea where they would lead us.  We finally came to a small community and I called. “Merhaba.”  Luckily the family spoke fluent English.  Here both husband and wife are giving us directions and they pretty much matched.  Straight, right, then straight and left….


All along the way we saw farm fields in the valleys as well as terraced on some of the mountains and occasionally herds of sheep and goats.   There are evenly spaced paths around the mountains which might be the walking trails but Randal guesses they are goat trails


Some of the multicolored goats.

I bought some yogurt yesterday and we’ll get some cheese in the market in Famagusta tomorrow. Hope it’s as good as the cheese in Turkey.

We came off the dirt trails and biked on to Dipkarpaz aiming for the same restaurant as before.  But it was closed.  The signs on the doors said open but no one was around.  I asked the woman from the small market just down below if the restaurant was open.  She spoke no English but understood what I wanted and called the owners.  Then things got really confusing.  I understood her tell me that the owners were coming.  But nothing happened.  Then another man came by to use the restaurant restroom and we asked him. He spoke no English either but understood my question so he also started to call the owners.  I tried to explain they’d already been called and then the Turkish woman heard and told him that she’d already called.  Next the man from the Arch Houses Hotel across the way came over and said he would make us some lunch.  We didn’t know what to do but then he explained that the restaurant owner was in another town and wouldn’t be back until 4 pm.  Who knows?  It is Ramadan so maybe lunch hour is not served, just dinner after sundown when Muslims can eat.  We had eaten lunch there on Saturday during Ramadan and so had about a dozen other people who came to eat just as we were finishing.  Both Randal and I wanted some bread and meze ( salad dishes) so when the Arch man offered to make us some eggs as they only did breakfast and dinner we opted to look for someplace else.  It was nice of him, but just not what we wanted and we weren’t starving or desperate.  We found a small restaurant in the town center and had a lovely conversation with a transplanted British couple and their two daughters.  The couple lives in South Cyprus.  The husband’s work takes him around the world and at this point he is actually working in Lebanon.  As for lunch, no meze either, just a lamb wrap each.  The lamb was good but too little of it and the bread was good, but too much of it.  Didn’t compare to our chicken wraps at Aciktim in Marmaris. 

After lunch we headed back toward Karpaz on the main road stopping to visit Ayios Thrysos Church.  It’s interesting to see interesting old structures here; they’re all over the place!

“Ayios Thrysos church is, in fact, three churches. The one you see first alongside the road dates to the 15th century. It is, however, mainly empty, with no iconostasis, and what icons there are, are reproductions printed on hardboard.

Of much more interest, however is a smaller, medieval church, built closer to the shore, and not obvious as you drive past. This dates to around the 10th century. Further down is a small cave church which is probably Byzantine.

Inside the 10th century church is a healing spring which can be reached down a short flight of stairs. Be warned, however, it’s a bring a torch and bend double situation.

This church is well used, as witnessed by the ready supply of candles at the entrance and the huge number of votive offerings in the form of paper tissues or pieces of cloth which have been inserted into every available nook and cranny”


The 10th century chapel.


I don’t know if the icons have been left by visitors along with the pieces of cloth.  We did see some lit candles but no caretaker was around.


Chapel interior.


Randal deciding not to go down to the healing spring.

I need to create a checklist before we take off on the motorbike.

Flashlight, binoculars, spare camera card (in case if forget and leave mine in the computer) extra camera batteries, sun screen.  We always take water and some Gatorade but twice I’ve left my camera card behind, both times just when I’ve gone walking both times to the same place!  There seem to be lots of dark places to peer into so a flashlight would really be helpful. Here the stone steps were too steep and the light from Randal’s cell phone too weak.   There were lots of cardboard icons that didn’t add to the atmosphere.


Looking out from the medieval chapel.

Many of these churches, chapels and monasteries are along the coast because travel was maybe done mostly by boat around the island.


The side of the chapel.

Up the stairs is a bar and restaurant.  Not sure about the Byzantine cave church unless it is the door that was boarded up with the leaves growing over it just behind and to the left of the palm tree.  We’ll stop another time to look again.  No signs or information boards to help you learn anything.


15th Century Ayios Thrysos Church

All locked up, but at this point we were just getting too hot for Randal to enjoy exploring, so it was time to go back to DoraMac and the AC.  (The heat doesn’t seem to bother me as much as long as I’m not having to pedal a bicycle.)

Lunch in Dipkarpaz

  Everyday a new adventure.  What I especially going to love about this marina is that I can walk out and into the countryside in about 5 minutes.  Absolutely zero excuses not to get out the watercolor travel kit and paint.  Friday  was the motorbike trip east along the Peninsular, Saturday I walked to some ancient ruins in the morning and through fields along the coast at dusk with Randal.  Today we took a short motorbike ride west, had a wonderful (too large) lunch, came across a lovely ancient church, took a new highway that wasn’t really open yet, and stopped at a local small market where we bought eggs, bread, Coke Zero and a 9 TL ($5) bottle of white wine to have with Randal’s tuna for dinner.  Good wine; good fish. 

  At lunch which I mention below, we met two British couples who are neighbors in England and also neighbors here on North Cyprus where each couple owns a second home.  They’ve owned the North Cyprus homes for the past 7 years.  One of the women started the conversation by explaining that they weren’t staring at us eating, they were staring at our food!  We did have quite a bit.  They had just stopped for something to drink as they were short on time at that moment.  We gave them a card to our website so they can keep up with us.  So that’s it!

  Interestingly, here no one seems to understand my Turkish or expect me to speak it either.  I said “Hesap Lutfen” at lunch today and the waitress had no clue.  I explained somehow that we wanted to pay our bill.  I asked her what to say when we wanted to pay and she said, “bill,” which no one had understood in Turkey. 


Dipkarpaz Lunch

We left the Apostolos Andreas Monastery and headed back along the Karpaz Peninsula looking for lunch.  There are about a dozen small hotel/restaurants but most looked deserted and a few, not so appealing (though we don’t really know and the food could have been great.)  We did finally stop at one just short of the park exit which looked very appealing especially with the fleet of small fishing boats tied up at the small wharf.  Alas, only breakfast and dinner are served.   At that point we decided to head back to the small town of Dipkarpaz and the Arch Houses Hotel and Restaurant which we had seen when we’d taken the wrong road in earlier that morning.  When we got to Dipkarpaz Arch Houses seemed not opened so we ate in  Manolyam across the street.  As we drove into the parking lot so did another couple with two young children and a baby.  We smiled at them and later found out they were the restaurant owners!  Lucky timing for us!



The sign at the foot of the steps…and the outdoor seating.

There was seating on two sides of the building and it appeared as if seating is available on the roof as well.  As we were the only ones there at the time we took a small table on the patio off to the side to watch the nonexistent traffic go by.


The restaurant’s stone oven.

The oven is used for bread and to make one special meal the name of which I didn’t catch when the owner explained it to us.   It takes three hours to heat the oven and then you have 3 hours available for cooking with the retained heat. Most homes have them and we saw some for sale in a shop in Yeni Erenkoy.

We ordered the Village Meal…; enough for a village!


First came the 5 meze dishes and bread…..then salad….then our chicken dish…..

The meze included all different tastes, degrees of spiciness, and textures; some creamy, some lumpy and all different colors.  We were given a basket of bread but then our young waiter took it away saying “mistake.”  We soon noticed the restaurant owner walking away and then back with a bag of bread.  Maybe he thought our bread hadn’t been fresh enough though Randal had already eaten a piece and had no complaints.  Earlier, our waiter had gone next door to a small market to buy the Coke light I had ordered.  Luckily he had thought to get 2 cans since I needed a second one.  I don’t always drink enough when we motorbike so I was especially thirsty.  Randal had his usual bottle of Efes.


We were pretty full of meze when our chicken dish came: almost forgot to take a photo.  The dish had eggplant, onions, peppers, tomato and chicken sautéed in olive oil and spices.  Too much food!  And the problem is that it’s all so good that we eat it…and I hate to waste it too. 

Our entertainment was the owner’s 18 month old daughter.



She would come over and look at us for a bit and smile and then walk off; but never off the patio.


The cat always stayed several steps ahead of her. 


The interior….Bob Marley music was playing when we ate our lunch. 


It looked exactly as it was supposed to look.


While Randal sat finishing his beer, I went off to take photos of the Karpaz Arch Houses (its main building across the way behind Randal’s hand) and the neighborhood.


Just across the way and around the side road were stone buildings that make up the Arches House Hotel. 


I read that you could rent mountain bikes so these folks obviously had done just that.


Another stone building in which to spend the night, Cyprus Guest House.

Now some info about Dipkarpaz…….

     “Dipkarpaz (Greek: Rizokarpaso) is a town on the Karpass Peninsula in Famagusta district, north-eastern Cyprus. It is partly located in the ancient city of Karpasia, founded by King Pygmalion.

Dipkarpaz is the biggest town on the peninsula. Soil near the town is very fertile. Local crops include carob, cotton, tobacco, and grain. A tobacco-factory operates in the town.

In 1974, the peninsula was cut off by Turkish troops, and this prevented the town’s Greek-Cypriot inhabitants from fleeing to the unoccupied South. As a result, Dipkarpaz is the home of the biggest Greek-speaking population in the North.

The town has two churches: St. Synesios and the church of the Holy Trinity. They are examples of the typical Cypriot mixed style, combining features of the late Gothic introduced by the Lusignans with the late Byzantine style of the Orthodox tradition. When the island’s Orthodox bishops were banished by the Lusignans in 1222, the Bishop of Famagusta was sent to Dipkarpaz and continued his work in St. Synesios, the main Orthodox Church in the region.

Dipkarpaz is the main settlement, and is the gateway to some of the area’s most interesting ruins. The town is the home to North Cyprus’s largest community of Greek Cypriots, who chose to remain with their Turkish Cypriot neighbours after 1974, and their whitewashed Orthodox church (St.Synesios) rubs shoulders with the mosque overlooking the main square."

Same info but a different slant…..

"Dipkarpaz | North Cyprus

This village is the centre of the Karpaz peninsula, it is here that a mixed community lives side by side just as they have done for hundreds of years. When the island divided in 1974 the majority of people residing in this area chose to stay put. There are Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and a mix of Anatolian farmers from mainland Turkey, carrying on their age-old way of life that mostly revolves around agriculture. For them, the political strife was something they preferred not to get involved with. They continue to farm and bring up their families, in a way of life that stays resolutely stuck in a time warp. Admittedly there are more tractors than there were ten years ago, a fact that is very evident at lunchtime when they are all parked outside the coffee shops, but they are the only clue that there is movement towards the 21st Century.

    There is the mosque that caters to the spiritual needs of the Muslim inhabitants, and the church of Ayios Synesios does likewise for the Orthodox believers. The mosque is a late 20th century construction, whereas the church was built in the 14th century and enlarged in the 18th.

     During Lusignan rule 13th – 15th centuries, Dipkarpaz was one of the twelve main provinces of Cyprus and very wealthy. In the 19th century mulberry trees were grown here to support the prolific silk industry, and today a majority of the vegetables and cereals that are needed on the island come from the surrounding villages."  (website of a transplanted Brit who is now a Karpaz booster.)

It’s hard finding out much information about the area other than real estate ads or “what’s happening” kind of information.  Internet searching is frustrating with several sites seeming more propaganda about Greek or Turkish rightness. (Our RCPL magazine database wasn’t much help either.)  At lunch today, Sunday, a Brit who now lives here said there were more differences between the mainland Turks transplanted to Cypress and the Turkish Cypriots than between the local Greek and Turkish Cypriots.  Nothing is visible as it was in Tibet with Chinese soldiers and their armed patrols. If we visit the Green Line at some point we will see UN troops and I’ll think of our friend from Isparta who was a UN Peacekeeper.


The Church of the Holy Trinity about a block away from our restaurant.

It looked pretty abandoned and was locked with a padlock.

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A dried wreath of some kind around one of the doorways. 


A Massey Ferguson Tractor and some harvested grain.


A stone oven for home use; most homes have one.


A side street on my way back to the restaurant.


St. Synesios on the main road.


Town / Village : Rizokarpaso / Dipkarpaz

District : Famagusta

   The principal church of the town is dedicated to St Synesios, one of the early bishops, and was during the Middle Ages the cathedral of the Orthodox See. This is a cross in square domed church with cylindrical apse and belfry.

   The church consists of a nave and two side aisles. The east end of the church probably dates from the 12th century. The southern apse was destroyed when the belfry was built, but the two remaining apses still retain their Byzantine arcading on the exterior.

    The whole of the western end of the church and the octagonal dome date from the 18th century, when the church was enlarged.    Period : 12th century  &  18th century.,ayios-synesios,547836.html


The doors were padlocked shut and the church  looked quite neglected, but through the window I got this image and it looks like the hanging lamps are lit.  There are paintings behind the hanging lanterns. 

While searching for information about our restaurant and Dipkarpaz in general, I came across this bit of “opinion.”  The website actually is quite interesting though too sarcastic and at times, mean for my taste.

“On the way back to Dipkarpaz, we pass the €15 million-marina that is being built near Yenierenköy. Excavators and cranes are busy doing their work in the concrete-lined construction site filled with increasingly polluted sea water, where soon overly tan, flabby rich white-haired f***s will park their million-$ yachts in the 500 berths available, hop on the convenient shuttle buses to the soon-to-be-built luxury resorts to indulge in the "full range of five-star services on offer".  On the Karpaz Bay Marina-website, it says that "The nearby village will offer a lovely contrast to the modern resort, creating an unforgettable experience for visitors. Every detail will be taken care of, leaving you free to enjoy the sea, the beaches and the beauty of the unspoilt landscape." I wonder how those villagers feel to be reduced to a freak spectacle for affluent Westerners wanting to get a break from their all-inclusive round-the-clock pampering and see the poor conditions those locals live in to make themselves feel superior. It’s also more than ironic that the unique and beautiful Karpas Peninsula, this last relatively unspoilt part of Cyprus, will forever be changed by bulldozers and cement, to then be tainted by the influx of sybaritic, gluttonous boat imperialists, seeking infinite hyperabundant pleasures in an elusive "unspoilt landscape" that doesn’t exist anymore thanks to their contribution.

It was one of those times that I was so stunned that I just had to laugh.  I did email Jen asking if he’d actually ever met someone who lives on a boat.  But if you’d like to leave a comment on his page, I think it would be nice.

Trip along the Karpaz Peninsula

Karpaz, Karpas, Karpasia….all the same.  Lots of names for places here.  Some the former Greek names, some the new Turkish names and some variations on both.  This is part one of the day trip we did from the marina to the very tip of the peninsula.


ps  I’m hoping the Sox don’t have their usual terrible August….

Karpaz Peninsula and the Apostolos Andreas Monastery


Yeni Erenkoy = red line and dot Dipkarpaz = red square Apostolos Andreas Monastery = red circle

“One of the most unspoiled areas on Cyprus is the Karpasia Peninsula, the outline of which stretches northeastwards, with its tip pointing directly to the border between Turkey and Syria. is a 180 page pdf document detailing suggested development plans for the area. It describes what is; good and bad, and what needed to be done to develop the area in a sustainable way.


Sheep and a few donkeys

Land is used for agriculture and grazing. We saw herds of sheep and multicolored goat! Some were beautiful brown and white, or black and white and different shades and patterns. This end of the peninsular is a wildlife refuge home to wild donkeys but these look to be domesticated belonging to whomever owns the sheep. We did see two donkeys begging for food from a car but drove around them before I could take a photo. They were bigger than we were so trying to pat them might not have been a good idea. I wish I’d gotten a photo.


We followed the coastline all the way to the very tip; about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the marina.

We left the marina at 10:10 Friday morning but got a bit lost going through the small town of Dipkarpaz and had to back track, but returned there later in the day for a great lunch! Part of the time the road was well paved and half the time it was just paved and the final three miles was dirt. So we weren’t going very fast. We got to the tip about 11:50.


The tip…Zafer Burnu or Cape Apostolos Andreas

“ Zafer Burnu, also known as cape Apostolos Andreas, is approximately 5km along a reasonably smooth dirt track from the Apostolos Andreas Monastery. Along this part of the panhandle, the north and south coasts gradually merge, although because of geography and vegetation, you’ll only see the southern coast till you get to the end of the cape.

The Klidhes Islets

From here, all that can be seen are a series of small islands called the Klidhes Islets, unoccupied apart from seabirds and the occasional visiting scuba divers. If you could see far enough from here, the next landfall would be close to the border of Turkey and Syria.

This area was the site of the Neolithic city of Kastros. There was once a temple dedicated to Aphrodite here, but that disappeared many centuries ago. Kastros was excavated between 1970 and ’73 by a French team. They discovered that the settlement consisted of small, round, houses, with a diameter of less than 3m. Some of them were round a common courtyard, and some built into platforms in the hillside.

Findings on the site would suggest that the inhabitants were engaged in both fishing and farming. Radio carbon dating off some of the finds indicate the settlement being in use around 6000BC.

Sadly in 2005, the Turkish military decided there was a need for two large flagpoles on the site. In order to do this, they either covered or destroyed the ancient site (There are no records of what the ratio is). It is believed that there is still much to be rediscovered, but sadly this will not be for some time.


Don’t fall !


On the other side crystal clear water.


Just the flags….

Apostolos Andreas Monastery

I was really disappointed. When I was about 10 we did a family trip to Canada, mostly Quebec. My mother especially wanted to see the Chateau Frontenac. Her comment on arriving there was…”This is it?” That’s how I felt. No signs, no brochures, no access to what is supposed to be the most important chapel, or if there was access, no one knew. Lots of tacky stands selling nothing connected to Saint Andrew that I could tell. I actually would have bought something since Andrew is the patron saint of sailors and travelers. I have no photo of the structure since it was so uninspiring and neglected. Actually if it were totally neglected and left on its own with no souvenir sellers or beer concessions or newly constructed outbuildings, that would have been better. You could have imagined. But this was worse than total neglect; it was ruined be a lack of imagination. While doing my “after the visit” research I came across this article….

You’ve Let Birthplace Of Christianly Go To Ruin: posted on Monday, March 29th, 2010

Controversial cleric Archbishop Chrysostomos has blamed the Greek Cypriots for the failure to keep the birthplace of Christianity on the island well maintained.

He crossed the border to see firsthand the state of Apostolos Andreas Monastery, on the tip of the Karpaz peninsula, on Monday. It was the first time a leader of the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church had visited North Cyprus since July 20,1974

And Archbishop Chrysostomos, normally a bitter critic of Turkey and the TRNC {Turkish Republic of North Cyprus} , was diplomatic in the extreme, talking of his desire to meet TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu and also to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he visits Ankara next month.

While he said the main purpose of his trip was to press forward with the scheme to renovate and restore the historic monastery, Archbishop Chrysostomos changed his tune from heaping all the blame on Turkey and TRNC.

He said that “certain quarters in the South” were also responsible for the delays that have brought the monastery to the verge of collapse.

While a current restoration scheme is ready to start within weeks, previous initiatives to save the building have fallen through.

“It was through our own fault that Apostolos Andreas has not been maintained to this day,” he said.” I used to tell them , `look, the monastery must be maintained because in the end it will cave in.` So my conscience is easy, as I have done my duty to the fullest. “God willing, very soon we shall see the start of restoration work, something that is in the interests both of Turkey, as being a democratic country, and of the Turkish Cypriots in that they will show they have great love for these monuments.”

He added that Cyprus was “ a small state that is on friendly terms with Turkey, the European Union and Middle East because our region desires peace and we must all work to this goal”.

Archbishop Chrysostomos had written a letter to Mr Erdogan calling for work to begin as soon as possible . Mr Erdogan replied, saying he would do what he could.

It is the refusal of stallholders to move that is holding up the start of restoration work, agreed by both Cypriot leaders.

President Mehmet Ali Talat has personally gone to speak to the stallholders on several occasions recently.


I think this is the oldest part of the complex….

“An enormous modern plaza of pilgrims lodgings frames the slightly older monastery buildings wrapped around the church. Below, the modern church steps lead down to a square, vaulted chapel, three baptismal basins fed by a sacred spring and an old wharf.”…/karpas/apandreas/index.html


The modern church….


Apostolos Andreas Saint Andrew

“The monastery is dedicated to Saint Andrew (Apostle Andreas). According to the holy books, he was the first person to be called for induction to priesthood by Jesus Christ, His title was O Protoklitos meaning: ‘the one first called."

The monastery is one of the pilgrimage centres of the Cypriot Orthodox Church. It was once known as ‘the Lourdes of Cyprus’, served not by an organized community of monks but by a changing group of volunteer priests and laymen.

An enormous modern plaza of pilgrims’ lodgings frames the slightly older monastery buildings wrapped around the central church. Below, the modern church steps lead down to a square, vaulted chapel, three baptismal basins fed by a sacred spring and an old wharf. It was on this site that it was said St. Andrew briefly landed in Cyprus on his final missionary journey back to his Palestinian homeland. His footfall revealed a spring whose waters miraculously healed the blind captain of his ship.

On the bust in the courtyard of the monastery is an inscription stating that the monastery was built by Ionnis Oicoromus.

A fortified monastery stood here in the 12th century, from which Isaac Comnenus negotiated his surrender to Richard the Lionheart, though the chapel built in the 15th century is the oldest surviving building.,-11.40,70.0


Greek Orthodox Icons, most likely not old.


The “Baba”

I must have been staring at the priest because one of the men explained to me that he was the “baba” which I knew meant father…He would certainly make a great Santa Claus.


The most interesting view of the complex taken from the water side.

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This is what I saw below the church…

According to the 1999 Nelles Cyprus Guide

“The monastery was built in the year 1867, but of greater interest is the quaint little 15th century vaulted Gothic chapel below on the rocky shore” The guide goes on to describe the artifacts within but we saw none of those either. There were no signs anywhere and no internet photos of anything other than what we saw… I told Randal we have to go back and double check.


Our return trip gave us beautiful panoramas.


The paved road through the National Park.

It was after 1pm so time to go find some lunch. We headed back to the town of Dipkarpaz…next email.

Karpaz Peninsular first adventure!

  North Cyprus is soooo picturesque!  Especially with the motorbike I think we’ll enjoy or time here.  And it’s a great place to walk which I love. seems a pretty good website about the area.


Karpaz Peninsular

It gets really hot here! So yesterday morning I made myself leave the boat by 8 am for a morning walk. I needed to be back in an hour about 9 am, a reasonable time to ask our neighbors for help lowering the motorbike from the flybridge. Doramac is sitting at sea level. The road that passes east and west of the marina is not at sea level; it’s up a hill. I walked all the way up Wednesday but yesterday found two short cuts that eliminate two of the switchbacks. Wednesday I had walked towards Sipahi but had forgotten to put the memory card into the camera. I made sure I had it before I left the boat again.


I left Randal plugged into his computer tracking world news, our stock portfolio and keeping up with his Facebook friends I check up on the Sox, a bit of world new and my email; I don’t do Facebook, just email and our website. I can be done pretty quickly; Randal can sit all morning. Of course part of his time is spent researching future ports and boat parts which is a good thing. But I have to get off the boat and get exercise or I would go crazy so while Randal computes, I walk.


Looking back towards the marina, the bit of white in the water between the jutting pieces of land.


Across the road is farmland and an occasional group of houses, most newly built.


I set out to photograph stone walls, my new subject for watercolor projects.


I love the flat roofs that are turned into outdoor rooms. There is an outside stairway on the right side of the houses. Their view looks down on the Mediterranean.


The Mediterranean side.


I walked along the path through these dry farm fields. You see these square stone buildings everywhere. Tobacco is a major crop.


I followed the path down towards the water.


More stone and more fields down to the edges of the cliff.


Further down the coast looking back towards the marina in the distance.


The Greek Alphabet is still visible here and geographic names can be either Turkish or Greek. And I’m not sure if Turkish is pronounced the same way. Sipahi according to my Berlitz book should be Seepahee. One marina staff told me it is Spah and another told me it was Seepah.

We biked to a town I’ve no idea how to pronounce, Yeni Erenkoy (Yialousa, the Greek version in the 1999 Cyprus guide) for lunch and to do a bit of shopping for essentials: Coke Zero, Raki, chips, white vinegar to clean toilets, and that’s about it. We did buy some cable to hook our TV to the marina TV service on the dock, but it wouldn’t work! We’ll check with the marina office tomorrow. We also stopped at the Turkcell office in Yeni Erenkoy and the upshot was, they called someone and we were told our phones are working. I pointed out that we had no signal thus indicating the phones were not working. The woman who really was trying to be helpful (and there were several people waiting) gave me the number she had called and told me to try it myself. I told her my phone wouldn’t work so I couldn’t. She also told me that I could buy a sim card that would work in Cyprus and also in Turkey. I thought, yah, you bet; just like the folks in Marmaris told me my Turkish sim card would work in Cyprus. I think you had to tell the phone to ROAM, but we needed to do it while we were still in Turkish waters. For the short time we are here we’re not desperate for phones and will deal with it when we return in November.


After lunch we biked back past the marina continuing out along the peninsula which is a national park similar to the National Seashore on Cape Cod. It’s a refuge for turtles, wild donkeys, tons of birds and flowers and I can’t wait until we return in November when it’s cool enough to hike here.


We did go down to the water’s edge.



Like being on the moon!


Not sure what these structures are but I will find out! I thought maybe an oven but there was no one about to ask.

We’re going out exploring again today. There are dozens of old churches on North Cyprus. Today we’re aiming for Apostolos Andreas Monastery (St. Andrew; patron saint of travelers!) It’s at the eastern tip of the peninsular. Wish he was the patron saint of baseball…Sox usually need help in August.

Cyprus Passage from Marmaris July 30 to August 1, 2011

  We’re in a different part of the Mediterranean, Karpaz Gate Marina.   The nearest town is Yenierenkoy.  Not sure what to call North Cyprus though Cyprus is an independent country.  There is a "green line" that divides north from south but we haven’t seen that point yet.  We checked into North Cyprus.  We will leave DoraMac here while we’re home in the US and then spend the winter here until cruising season begins next Spring.



All passages should be like this passage (except for the dings in the boat from pulling up our Paravane fish Sunday morning.) It was almost boring.


Afternoon nap time for me (Randal is at the helm)

During the “dark” we each stand two formal watches. Mine were from 8 pm to 11pm and then 2 am until 5 am. And I never had to wake Randal during his so you can see what an uneventful passage it was. We passed ships but with our AIS and Radar it was no problem and there were no fishing boats that we ever encountered.

After those harrowing, frightening, awful passages (Langkawi, Malaysia to Sri Lanka and then to Cochin, India,) boring is GREAT!!! The weather was sunny, the winds died down Sunday morning and our speed was as expected. AND NO PIRATES TO WORRY ABOUT!!!! As a matter a fact, we kept hearing the Israeli navy checking on ships. They either have a powerful radio system or I don’t have a clue actually. Or maybe it wasn’t Israeli; maybe it was some other navy that sounded like Israeli.

Checking into Cyprus at Girne Monday morning was simple, quick but not cheap, 120 TL, $73. There might have been a “free” option but we didn’t have the time to anchor out, take the dinghy to shore….. We still had 48 miles to reach Karpaz marina. So we opted to pay the docking fee at the marina and let them handle it all. The passage from Girne then on to Karpaz Gate marina was calm with good speed to get us by 4:30pm Monday afternoon, August 1.

Late Sunday evening Randal caught a tuna! I don’t mind the cooking or eating, but I really don’t like the part that comes before that. I was actually rooting for the fish. However, hypocrite that I must be, I ate some of the fish Randal cooked for dinner but I did remember to thank the fish for his sacrifice! Randal shared some of the fish with our marina neighbors but we still have lots to eat before we leave here.


Big Tuna: Randal stopped smiling by my 5th photo because the fish was heavy.   (That’s our Paravane fish on the railing behind the tuna.)

Leaving Marmaris was more than a bit sad. We both really like Turkey and had sort of grown attached to Marmaris and the surrounding area. We’ll miss our agent who was really quite helpful, our favorite guy at Aciktim where we always ate lunch, our buddy at the Shell Station and the great Gokova cheese guys at the Thursday market. We still owe our Dost Hotel friends a visit to the boat. Next time. And all of the wonderful people we met on our motorbike travels. It’s hard to believe we only spent 3 ½ months in Turkey. I hardly remember our time in India (a month and a half) and the month in the Maldives we’d rather forget.


Cetin Aktepe

Cetin was always friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and luckily for us he could speak with us in English to make up for our itty bit of Turkish. I expect him to be managing a station or mayor of Marmaris one day. Nice guy.

Just before leaving Marmaris I talked Randal into loading up our cell phones because: 1) The Turkcell people said it would work in Cyprus and would be active for 6 months and 2) our radio Sailmail wasn’t working so we could always call people on the phone mostly being close enough to the coast. Wrong. The phones stopped working away from the Turkish coast and never started working near the Cyprus coast. The marina manager in Girne told us that they won’t work. Rats! But the good news is that we can continue to use our motorbike under our Turkish registration and insurance. That means we can go exploring Cyprus, at least the northern part above the Green Line. The larger part of Cyprus belongs to Greece; the smaller northern part Turkey claims and, at this time, no one is telling Turkey they can’t have it or going to war over it. Apparently it’s an issue effecting Turkey’s admission into the EU which recognizes all of Cyprus as part of Greece. ( I think.) When we return to Cyprus and have more time, then we’ll look into heading for South Cyprus on the bike. It’s enough of an issue that when we checked into North Cyprus, our passports weren’t stamped. We were given a separate piece of paper so if we choose to go to Greece we won’t be blocked because we have a North Cyprus stamp. I’m not making any editorial comments other to say our own country had to have a horribly bloody war to settle issues between north and south and that wasn’t impacted by two bigger countries involved.


Looking back towards the marina offices, restaurant etc.


Looking back at DoraMac

We’re at the end of the dock so can be tied on our starboard side rather than Med moored from our stern. Much easier this way and makes it possible to take down the motorbike. Most of the boats are tied this way; maybe because the marina is still mostly empty. is the website showing the future rather than what presently exists. There are some docks with water and power. Just now, 10:37 am we aren’t using the AC because the breeze makes it not necessary. I washed our passage clothes this morning and you can see them hanging on the line. It isn’t supposed to rain until September! Our nice neighbor, Louis, next door is hosing down his catamaran. The opposite boat seems to be empty as are many of the few boats that are here.


You can see the outer wall what protects the marina.

There are men working, mostly underwater I guess hooking up what looks like water and power for what we’re guessing will be berthing spaces in the future.


The entrance and exit into and from the marina makes it well protected.

Leaving, the red marker is on your right where in the US it would be on the left


Now it’s dirt and construction, sort of like where we were in Puteri Harbour in Johor, Malaysia.


The marina is one huge swimming pool!

Our neighbors swam over to say hello! I just stuck my feet in next to our boat and it’s not so warm as the Tropics but not so cold as the Atlantic off Massachusetts where I grew up swimming and was “Not Cold, MOM!”