The Foreign Residents in the TRNC (TFR)
The “tfrnorthcyprus” writers team on the road in
North Cyprus – Culture Shock!
By Ralph Kratzer
Chris Elliot and Margaret Sheard had the idea to bring me to other thoughts after the sad loss of my dog and suggested we should all escape the daily grind for a day out and enjoy a tour around part of the island. (All of our permanent readers are familiar with the terrible story of my dog Laika, all new readers – please click here.)
Chris, the creator of our websites “tfrnorthcyprus” and “cyprusscene”, and his partner Margaret, our indefatigable chief editor, have meanwhile become really good friends to me.
So we met this morning at their house and made our way.
The first stop was not too far away, the new bakery “Food Lodge” in Catalköy (I reported a few weeks ago about it, to remember – please click here). We supplied ourselves with all sorts of goodies and then bought sausage and cheese in the nearby Tempo Supermarket for a later picnic.
The trip went east to the Karpaz Peninsula. Our first stopover was the village of Tatlisu. Although I knew it from its name, because it is signposted on the coast road to the Karpaz, I had never been there before – even though I have lived here on the island almost nine years! Tatlisu is located inland some distance from the coastline. An original and rather sleepy village with a really big Mosque compared to the size of the village (the former Greek Cypriot Church). I always wonder why the Church worldwide – regardless of faith – have built such huge buildings, even in the smallest villages (I live in Alsancak, there it is the same!). After a short walk through the village we drove further eastwards.
We visited the small museum with artifacts of weaving handicraft and olive oil production.
(for more information – please click the following link: http://www.ecotourismcyprus.org/. )
At the edge of the village is the site of the former “Pine View” recreation area, which was operated by the Municipality of Büyükkonuk. 6 months ago, the property was leased to a private investor, who is extending and modernising it and the business is continuing under the new name of “Naturland”. The finished eco-friendly area will include nicely furnished upgraded wooden bungalows, a swimming pool, horse riding, walks, cycling, a local produce market, there are existing BBQ facilities, etc. and there will be a small zoo, all set in an extensive area with mature trees. In short, an ideal destination for a relaxing weekend. However, it must be noted that currently, although Naturland is open, there is some refurbishment being undertaken and we hope to bring you more news of more features as and when they become available. Nevertheless, it is already worth a visit.
The road led us on to Bafra. I had heard and read on many occasions a few years ago, of the newly opened luxury hotel, but never had come close to it.
After the previous impressions in Tatlisu and Büyükkonuk the sight that greeted me now was overwhelming and definitely not to my taste. A real culture shock! The scene of this hotel, built in the style of a Greek temple, situated on the outskirts of the tiny little village of Bafra, in the middle of nowhere! You suddenly are in a different world: before we experienced rural tranquility and modesty, now busy with noisy activity and excessive luxury!
If someone wants to have the experience of the future Northern Cyprus they should definitely look at this tourist resort and take a drink in the comfortable air-conditioned lounge (when the prices, for example 10TL for a small beer, do not frighten you!). The service by our young waitress Dunya from Iran was certainly outstanding!
We escaped the spectacle and were on our way home.
The road took us to Bogaz on the South coast towards Famagusta. This small town, where I already had many stopovers when I was on the way home from the Karpaz Peninsula, always fascinates me. The quaint little fishing harbour, nice restaurants, the beautiful view … always worth a visit!
Back in Kyrenia we were all three fairly tired, but happy with the day’s experiences.
We will repeat this kind of tour soon!