By Margaret Sheard …… 

Time flies by and once again it was time for the Yeşilirmak Strawberry Festival which started on the 12th May and continued to the 14th May.

This year we decided to go to the Festival on the Saturday and we found it was not quite as busy as we had previously experienced when we went on a Sunday, but it did mean we were able to park close to the area where the many stalls and stage were located adjacent to the Belediye Office.

When we arrived in Yeşilirmak we first went to Vouni King Restaurant to meet up with Cemal and Bilgen Yorulmaz and their son Kaya.  We had hoped to meet up with their daughter, and our good friend, Havva, but discovered she would only be there on Sunday, so maybe we chose the wrong day this time!

During the winter months, Vouni King have carried out a lot of work on their outside dining area and it looked lovely with the covered decking which sits over the water, which had opened for the first time that day.   We decided to have lunch and while we were there many more people arrived after their visit to the Festival area.   It was a little breezy that day but as the weather becomes hotter and hotter, what a lovely place to dine with the water lapping gently beneath you.

There is a very nice kitchen area, where Bilgen and her staff were busy as usual, there is a separate bar, and toilets and a very large dining area to cater for the many guests who will arrive during the summer months.

We said our goodbyes and then visited the Festival area and wandered around the stalls.  I made a couple of purchases and we then discovered Erol Akcan who makes beautiful clay models, some depicting Cyprus culture, others with turtles, ladybirds etc. and we were intrigued with his models which represented the troubles of Syria, obviously a very deep thinking man.   Erol lives in Akdeniz (Ayia Irini) where he can be seen making his models outside his house/workshop.   This is another must visit for us.

In another area we came across Jawa Ali with a selection of his many paintings depicting areas he has visited with his motorcycle friends.  A very impressive array of paintings and standing alongside his exhibition was his superb motorbike.  We stayed for a while and chatted and he told us about some of his paintings and the areas they represented.

As we were leaving a group of children had assembled on the stage for what looked like a dance session but unfortunately, with the long journey back to Girne, we did not have time to stay and see this.   Our last stop, inevitably, was on our way out of the village to purchase strawberries for ourselves and friends.

On our return we decided to pay another visit to the Eco Village of Bağliköy to see if we could this time find the eco village (we didn’t find it last time).  We drove to the village which is very high up in the mountains and took the road which seemed to be pointing to the eco village.  It was not quite what we expected although we did drive through what looked like a very neat and well kept area, and again maybe we did not find the right route but we thought what we did see was in fact an eco area, which was indeed very pretty compared to the other part of the village which is very old and a little run down.

As we were approaching Guzelyurt, I remembered a very nice shoe shop I had visited many years before and so we parked and I found what I think was the same shop, although it had changed a bit and I bought some nice sandals.  Driving around Guzelyurt it was nice to see how much it has changed with many improvements around the town.

So home we went, stopping off in Alsancak to deliver a tub of strawberries to our good friends, Valerie and John Aziz Kent.

A very long day but a lovely trip to Yeşilirmak, which is always a pleasure to visit.