January 29, 2023

Welcome to my World

A short trip to the Karpaz Peninsula

By Ralph Kratzer

Karpaz_2Any regular reader of our website knows my penchant for pristine landscapes in general and the Karpaz Peninsula in Northern Cyprus in particular. To remember one of the former articles “A chance for the paradise?”- click here!)

Once or twice a year I have to get there, as long as this paradise is still intact and until there are no greedy investors snaffling it.

The last few years my way always led me near to the most north-eastern part of Cyprus, even after the old monastery Apostolos Andreas until shortly before the Cape Zafer, the end of the so-called „panhandle“.

This time my girlfriend wanted to show me her preferred place on the Karpaz, and I let myself being surprised.

Luggage carrierThe deal was, we visit her favorite destination and I go on my motorcycle „Black Betty“, while she carries the luggage with the car! I know, typical macho … many female readers will think now!

So we went last week on our way to the north-east of the island.

I went ahead with the bike and my girlfriend followed me by car. Later she confessed to me that she even enjoyed it to have a “mounted” escort, which made her feel some kind of celebrity.

After a short coffee break in the well-known Food Lodge Bakery of our friends Sonja and Latifa in Catalköy, we continued towards Esentepe and Tatlisu.

You can say what you want, but the newly built road to the Karpaz has definite advantages. It bothers the landscape only slightly (as opposed to the countless newly built residential areas along the north coast, largely unsaleable and therefore standing around in the landscape unoccupied!), and makes the formerly arduous journey into a relaxing experience.

After 2 hours of driving at a leisurely pace we reached the new Karpaz Gate Marina, a few kilometers after passing Yenierenköy. An impressive complex with all sorts of ways to relax, but not as yet being used.

After another stop at the old Greek Orthodox chapel of Ayios Thyrsus with its healing water spring, we reached our destination, the small holiday complex Balci Plaza.

P1020309Surrounded by a huge natural but well looked after plot of land there are a handful of apartments for guests. A peaceful quiet place to relax – on the first day we even had the whole small sandy cove just for ourselves! Where do you still find this in Europe?

After quiet nights and good food in Balci Plaza (I’ve never eaten a better fillet steak!) we travelled back towards Kyrenia and Alsancak.

This time we took the route via the south coast, making stops in the “Naturland”, a large leasure park in Büyukkonuk, and afterwards in the picturesque fishing harbour of Bogaz.

Biker_13I enjoyed, despite the heat, the ride with „Black Betty“ through the big Mesaoria plain. This landscape with its vastness gives me always the impression I would drive through the Midwest of the United States.

Just biker dreams…!

To view more pictures of the trip in a slideshow – click here!

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