Thursday, 12 August 2010

Summer holiday for two - Northern Cyprus

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John and I went on holiday together to Northern Cyprus where it was hot. A heat wave in fact, the hottest temperature it has been there on record. It was 46.6 in the shade! It was, despite the heat, an idyllic island where the pace of life makes you feel as though you are really living. The heat means that things move more slowly, but the people had a lovely serene approach to life. It was wonderful to see the men sit under trees, play backgammon, talk and smoke. Women too, in the doorways of their homes, in their shops, sitting and waiting for life and customers to come to them. It was nice not to be harassed to buy all the time. It happened in the harbour where restaurants compete for custom, but a simple no thanks usually got the response of 'OK mate, maybe another time'.
Nicosia is the capital, the only divided capital city in the world. There is a 'green zone', a UN buffer zone between the two halves. Since the war in 1974, the Turks have owned the north and the Greeks the south.

We stayed near Bellapais where Lawrence Durrell lived and wrote his book 'Bitter Lemons'. His house is there on Bitter Lemon Street, painted a pale yellow; and the restaurant where he wrote much of the book, is there still. It is 'The Tree of Idleness' and is opposite the old Abbey, now used for music concerts for artists from around the world. We had two meals in the restaurant and Turkish coffee and baklava there on our last afternoon.

Click on the collage to see closer images of the visit. More later.

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