By Margaret Sheard …..
A day out with Nord Zypern and Kuzey Kibris
We spent a lovely Sunday with Fred and Chris (alias Nord Zypern and Kuzey Kibris) who are very keen on exploring the heritage and culture of North Cyprus and they spend as much time here as they can manage from their home towns in Germany.
We met Fred and Chris some years ago and try to catch up at some time when they are in North Cyprus. Last time they came to the Girne area and this time we arranged to meet nearer to their usual base in the Famagusta area and so arrangements were made to have breakfast with them at one of their favourite restaurants in Iskele – Osman Ağa Kűltűr Evi and Restaurant.
Fred and Chris introduced us to the Patron – Emine Sutcu, with whom they have become great friends, and she made us feel very welcome. We made our way into the restaurant and were amazed to see the large number of people having their breakfast or meal so early. The only Turkish style breakfast I have experienced in the past has been at holiday resorts in Turkey and I found them to be very basic, however, the breakfast we were served with was a feast, there were so many different dishes it was hard to know where to start.
We could see why Fred and Chris like to go to this restaurant, it is really nice, with a large dining area and a vast outside area with gardens and a very large grassy area with a stage and in the summer it is very popular as a wedding venue. The garden area is surrounded by footpaths and shrubs, cacti and many other plants.
An added bonus is the culture house which is being put together by Emine and her family and there are already many artefacts from days gone by. When it is completed it will be a really nice place to browse around, after of course a meal in the restaurant.
We looked around the culture house and Emine told us where many items in the collection had come from such as a bell from the Cyprus Railway and a beautiful dress which was worn by the wife of Dr Fazıl Kűçűk, first Vice President of the Republic of Cyprus. As we were continuing our day out in another area we didn’t spend as much time looking at the collection as we would have liked but felt it would be nice to return and repeat our breakfast experience and then have more time at the culture house and be able to write about it in more detail.
Our next stop was at Buyukkonuk. We all knew Lois and Ismail at Delcraft very well and so this is where we headed for. There is a new shop adjacent to Delcraft which is called Livania and Chris and I popped in to see what it is like now it is open. They sell mainly spirits and wines together with other gift items but I was surprised to see glassware which is made on the premises and I sat and watched Suat make a lovely amphora, starting with a tube of blue glass and this emerged as a delightful object. It was such a delicate operation with the glass over the flame and some blowing into shape and forming, I was so intrigued that I watched the process from start to finish and so I persuaded Chris to buy it for me! Suat, who is 65 years old, is Turkish and spent 4 years in Germany where he learned the art of glasswork in a village near Bonn. Ismail Cemal came in while I was there and said Suat is a master of his trade.
I joined the others to talk to Lois and Ismail. Lois had been baking that morning so there was a lovely smell of fresh bread around and we sat with them for some refreshments and sampled some of Lois’s lovely homemade goodies. We were told that next Sunday 5th February is Donkey Day in Buyukkonuk which will be a nice festival day with plenty going on and local produce on sale.
While we were with Lois and Ismail, two coaches arrived so suddenly there were people everywhere, visiting the small market and generally looking around the village.
The sun was starting to go down and it was getting chilly so we thought we had better start making our way home. We said goodbye to Fred and Chris and hope to see them again on their next visit to North Cyprus when we can explore another area with them.
To visit their website and look at the many places they have discovered click here