Welcome to Cyprus! And more specifically Carob cottage. Me and Jackie spent 10 days in post Christmas (09/10) chill out mode staying here in the middle of the countryside in Northern Cyprus and had a great time. Lots of sightseeing, walking, eating and general mooching. This first page is just a few photos of around the cottage. Upcoming pages will feature trips to the orange growing areas of the far North West, a daytrip to old Nicosia, Lofty Castles in the Kyrenia Range, Famagusta and the far East, a trip to the charming old port of Kyrenia and a page of various walks we did in the countryside. I also hope to put up a few videos as well.
St. Hilarion is one of a number of fairytale castles nestled in the craggy hills of the Kyrenia range which lines the northern coast of Cyprus. We explored the ruins one clear, cold, windswept day and got some great views both on the way and while exploring the empty castle. A top day!
The day we explored Nicosia was the worst weatherwise of our holiday. Cold and dreary - just like a typical British weekend! It didn't dampen our spirits though as there were plenty of places to explore while wandering around the labyrinthine streets of the old city.
West and south of the cottage we ventured away from the mountains into the wide Guzelyurt plain and its burgeoning orchards of oranges. Nearby is the bay of the same name where we went on a few walks and then stretching around the bay we found the ancient cities of Soli and hilltop Palace of Vouni. We also spent an afternoon in the foothills of the Troodos mountains in the village of Lefke.
The guidebooks gave me a very wrong impression of Famagusta. They make out like it is a ghost town with huge Venetian walls encircling a few crumbling buildings with everything overgrown and left to nature. The walls are there for sure as are the ruins but there are also plenty of people living there as well, in newish houses and with the usual infrastructure. In fact the central area around the cathedral has undergone a degree of rehabilitation and pedestrianisation with a few pleasant cafes and all round it had a very pleasant feel to it - despite the dark clouds which swirled around threatening to dump on us at any moment.
Kyrenia, jewel of the North coast, is probably the most picturesque coastal town in Cyprus. The picture postcard harbour certainly is but the huge residential developments which are spreading like wildfire along the coast certainly aren't. The harbour itself is no longer used as such, except for tourist boats and the quay is lined with restaurants. Despite its 'falseness' it certainly is attractive and there is no better place to have a cold beer and enjoy some seafood while staring into the turquoise clear water. You can even contemplate an exploration of the huge Kyrenia castle which dominates the scene. Try to soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere and ignore the English retirees ensconced in the Daily Mail.
Flushed with the success of our podcasts and our videos from Syria, here are a few vids that we took in Cyprus. The first three were all originally made for podcastsinenglish.com our podcast site for learners and teachers of English.