A little of the hocus pocus rubbed off and we struck it lucky by being taken up by a local, who showed us the best place to view the whole monastery and then wangled us an entry. It was too late to see inside the church and the museum (most annoying) so Jamie and I bought lots of postcards of all the beautiful objects we missed and had a cup of tea. We did manage a walk round the impressive grounds and buildings, which was an experience.
I only see him move once, and this was to pass us the bill. He limps his huge mass towards us and smiles through toad-like eyes. I imagine he is probably very good friend with James Bond, he seems to know everybody and things seemed to work around him to his satisfaction – whether this is down to wealth, culture or bloody hard work, I do not know, what I do know is it looks like a good life.
Short of trudging through somebody’s garden, we decide to descend, only to be stopped by two traditionally dressed women who insist on giving us directions. It turns out that a set of steps which were guarded by a charming black Labrador were in fact the correct route and we soon find ourselves onwards and upwards. Even the dogs here are friendly.
At Platres we admired the colonial mansions left by the Brits and stopped to wander round Cleopatra’s, a mad shop full of tat and car boot sale memorabilia, run by a tiny ancient ant-like woman with the innate charm of a Lady and well-oiled diplomat.
Contrasts again. The richly self-indulgent road south of the line turns into a dusty careworn main road on the Turkish Cypriot side. No Starbucks, Top Shop or McDonalds to be found here. Stepping off the main drag we are in a monstrous slum of poverty and wasteland.
The great thing about Knidos is the lack of tourists. Because there is only one road leading to the headland very little road traffic bother to make the journey. Therefore the majority of tourists come by boat, and since the site Knidos sits on is so remote, nestled between a mountain and a hill at the end of the headland, there are very few people walking round the site.