Odd to search back through this website and find (in Elaine’s blog at the time) that I had been injured in a cycling accident shortly before we came last time, in 2011.
That time, a cycle courier hit me at the drouth end of Bloomsbury Square, whereas a couple of months before we travelled this time I had to throw myself to one side on my bike in Oxford Street to avoid two young Russian girls who dived out into the road ahead of me. I haven’t cycled since and the bruises are still coming out of my elbow and wrist, though I think the salt water must have helped.
Third time lucky?
When you begin such a holiday, it seems that it will go on forever, and some part of me wishes it could. But as I watched the sun rise over the castle this morning, I knew I was deeply rested and restored and, because I had to, was ready to head home.
We sailed into Bodrum harbour yesterday morning with the castle projecting long-gone power. It proved to be a gentle day, strolling around the town, and including a trek up to the restored Greek theatre, with its glorious views of the town and harbour.
As Andrew’s notes reminded us, this was the ancient Halicarnassus, capital of the Hecatomnid king Mausolus. His wife (also she was also his sister) built the famous Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders, with many of the remains now to be found in the British Museum.
My much-loved, much-abused (in terms of being left behind here, there and more or less everywhere) Leica D-Lux 6 finally ran out of power just as we began the walk along to the castle, so I took it back to the boat – and we proceeded without.
The display of the Bronze Age wreck from Uluburun in the castle museum is breathtaking. First found by a sponge-diver in 1982, it yielded a veritable treasure trove of finds, as listed here.
Although the castle was originally designed as a killing machine, these days it has a wonderfully peaceful feeling to it, especially with all the trees and the peacocks inside its walls.
Later, after dinner, we hunkered down for a noisy night, but it wasn’t too bad. (Incidentally, it strikes me I haven’t yet mentioned the her, who achieved major culinary miracles below deck – and had us all wondering which film star he most reminded us of.) Overall, we have been pretty fortunate sonically this time.
We have also been very lucky with our ship-mates. Indeed, Elaine hugged the crew goodbye.
Over the two weeks I have managed to get through a fair few books, two of which I passed on to Andrew: Alan Furst’s Midnight in Europe and Martin Amis’s The Zone of Interest. This was the first Amis book I had read, and while I came with low expectations I found its treatment of the Holocaust stunning.
When proposing a thank-you toast to Andrew the other night, I joked that we were already making plans for our third Lycian adventure. As I reflected on the two weeks on the flights back to London (TK2509 to Istanbul, TK1991 to LHR), I wondered whether this might prove to be less of a joke and more of a pledge to self?