So I do remember a few Hebrew words and phrases, but that didn’t help me in the grocery store looking for yogurt. There is very little English on anything and many of the store workers speak Hebrew, Russian, or some third language other than English. And there are about a hundred containers that look like they could be yogurt. Buffalo yogurt, sheep yogurt, cow yogurt, other containers that look like yogurt but aren’t and that’s before you get to the cottage cheese or sour cream containers! Boy, do I wish I’d paid attention all those years ago in Hebrew School though I don’t remember coming across the words yogurt or egg noodles. Maybe they didn’t have Kugel in the time of Moses. Learning to repeat phrases like "good morning" is nice but one needs to read Hebrew in the markets or even along the boardwalk in the marina. Pretty much nothing is in English. It’s almost like being back in China except we look like everyone else so they just sort of expect us to speak Hebrew. I was really lucky in Cyprus to have had Denise to teach me Turkish! I need an Israeli Denise!
This email is about our second day in the Girne area which started out with a leisurely visit to St. Hilarion Castle and ended with a forced march back from the reservoir near Koruçam and a stop in town for a cold drink (tea wasn’t available?) and a quick look into the church before the drive back to Girne.
Cheese in Kozanköy
We left St Hilarion and following Heidi and Kalle’s suggestion, we followed the ridge road traveling west towards Kozanköy. Kozanköy was known for its cheese, bread and carob syrup making. When we arrived the bakery was already closed for the day, I forgot about the carob syrup option and we didn’t actually find the “cheese factory.” We did, however, find cheese. And we met a lovely mom and daughter from the village.
Sukran Zor welcomes us to her mom’s home and “cheese factory.”
We drove around town past the closed bakery looking for the cheese factory. The road we picked to drive took us up a hill past where a group of women were sitting ending at a dead end. We drove back down the hill past the group of ladies again but this time we stopped to ask. They didn’t know anything about a cheese factory but Sukran told us her mom made and sold cheese and invited us in to see. Amazingly Sukran now lives in Canada not at all far from Charmaine and Linda in Ontario! She comes home each year to visit her mom.
Zühre with a 2 kg round of very fresh, just made Hellim cheese.
We paid the “North Cypriot” discount rate and it was well worth it.
And of course, we were invited for coffee.
Mom didn’t speak English so I used my limited Turkish and my “cheat booklet” to tell her about us.
The view from her back yard.
A visit to her sheep just behind the house where she stays to look after the sheep.
Sukran and Zühre
Linda, Sukran, and Linda
We were invited for lunch but felt we needed to be on our way. We had lots more to see and do. Our next stop was Çamlibel for lunch and then on to visit to the ancient olive grove in the Kalkanli Valley.
We were referred to this restaurant by a man helping his friend fix a truck. Turns out the man who referred us owned the restaurant. But the food was good and provided both lunch and dinner.
This is where we met Tuğberk Emirzade, one of our “save the environment” friends.
From Çamlibel we drove to the Ancient Olive Grove where some of the trees were 800 years old.
How can you not protect and respect something as ancient as these trees. They remind me of the knarled hands of elderly people.
Our next stop was Koruçam, a Maronite village and the nearby reservoir which might be a nice walk and birding area. It was a “too long walk” that late in the day and all the birds had gone someplace else. By the time we got to Koruçam we were too tired for too much but peeked into the church just because we were there. Then it was time to head on to our second home on North Cyprus, Heidi and Kalle’s house.
Where are those birds?
It was lovely, but hot and we were too tired to really enjoy it.
Maronite Church in Koruçam.
“For centuries the cape has been inhabited by Maronites, a Christian sect that originated in Syria and Lebanon in the 7th century. This Eastern Christian sect, whose members proclaim themselves to be Catholic and to recognize the supremacy of the Pope, arose from a dispute between Momophysites (who postulate a single, divine nature of Jesus) and Christians (who believe Jesus to be both divine and human.) The Maronites took their name from the 4th or 5th century Syrian hermit, St. Maron. They arrived on Cyprus in the 12th century together with the Crusaders, whom they served during their campaigns in the Holy Land.” EYEWITNESS TRAVEL CYPRUS
Dinner at the Ilgaz Church
We had lots of left over lunch food so decided on a picnic dinner. The tiny hill town of Ilgaz provided a perfect setting on the stone wall just front of the church. And since it was just a 3 minute drive down the road to Villa Manzara, wine with dinner was ok for all.
Food for us and some “emergency dog food” for some strays who were happy to share.
Next email, our last morning in Girne, saying "Good-bye to good friends."