The Foreign Residents in the TRNC
Trip to probably Europe´s last Paradise
By Ralph Kratzer
My preference for the Karpaz Peninsula in Cyprus, one of probably the last natural paradises in Europe, is maybe known by the readers of this site. Once or twice a year it attracts me to go there and I’ve written some articles about it in the past (to remember the article “Welcome to my World” – click here or for the post “Karpaz – a Chance for the Paradise?” – click here!)
So, Willy Lindh, Deputy Chairman of the association The Foreign Residents in the TRNC, short TFR, didn´t have to ask me twice when he invited members to make a short trip with him to the Karpaz.
The advantage this time was that he had organized a coach for the travelers. All the previous times I was the chauffeur, and therefore could only partially enjoy the approach to my destination. This time I sat in the bus comfortably and saw things on the way that I had never seen before.
20 members of the TFR were on the road last week and first sight to visit were the wonderful ruins of Salamis. I had already visited this ancient place several times in the last 10 years, but Willy gave us, as our tour guide, background knowledge that was new to all of us in a funny, yet informative style. This was repeated at all the places we visited on the trip. In Salamis we as well came in the way of a film crew who were this day making a documentary about the British actor Peter Sellers´ stay in Cyprus in the 1970´s.
After lunch at the picturesque fishing harbour of Bogaz on the south coast of Northern Cyprus and the subsequent visit to an olive oil factory, where we could admire old and new equipment for the production of this valuable gift of nature side by side, we arrived at the destination for the day, the small but fine resort Villa Lembos in the village of Dipkarpaz. Dipkarpaz is by the way one of the few places in Northern Cyprus where Greek Cypriots are still living together with Turkish Cypriots in a village community since the separation of the island in 1974, even though it is more living side by side than with each other, but at least peacefully…
The next day the Apostolos Andreas Monastery, perhaps the most important place of pilgrimage for Greek Orthodox Christians in Cyprus, was on our programme. Although the holy site, which is visited also because of a well with miracle water, is currently being restored, but the visit was interesting anyway thanks to Willy’s statements. And some of the wild donkeys, who still inhabit the Karpaz in hundreds, discard their wildness for a brief moment in order to get a carrot or a piece of bread.
Of course, it is part of every trip to this natural paradise to visit the Golden Beach, a kilometre-long sandy beach, which is frequented, even this time of the year, by only a few sun-seeking bathers. Where do you find such a thing in the overcrowded rest of Europe any longer?
The last day of the trip, and at the same time home travel day, led us along the north coast of Cyprus to another ancient Christian site, called Ayios Tyrsos. The interesting thing in this place is a small chapel built into the rock, which is said to be dedicated to Ayia Theresa and is also said to contain healing water. Believers do attach to date little paper ribbons to the walls to seek the help of higher powers.
Last sight was then the ruins of the Basilica Ayia Trias, where, inter alia, still relatively well preserved floor mosaics can be admired.
I think it was Willy´s personal matter of concern to show us, on the way home, the war memorial in Yeni [New] Erenköy, and to tell the “New-Cypriots” about the siege of the Turkish Cypriot village of Erenköy, in which he was personally involved in 1964 as a young officer of the UN forces, and this influenced his whole life decisively. Read our former article “Erenköy, the truth is told!” including a very interesting interview with Willy Lindh on video – click here!
A successful short trip for members of the TFR, who all took home new impressions of the Karpaz.
P.S. As with all my travel reports, there is the possibility for the interested reader to get more information on each topic by clicking on the underlined bold links in the text.
To read the original article and view more pictures of the trip – click here!