No24. LaLe Land

I can’t stress enough how beautiful Cyprus becomes in the spring! Knowing how the island heats and dries up in the summer, makes the experience of the colors, scents and sights of the spring season even more precious.

Among the flowers that bloom in March are the Anemone Coronaria and the Tulipa Cypria, which in local language are called lalés (the Turkish word for tulip).

Anemone are easier to spot than the Cyprus tulip, an endemic species which appeared on the island a few hundred years ago. The tulips of Cyprus are rare and under threat by the brainless people who cut them or the heavy agricultural machinery that is now used to cultivate the wheat fields where they grow.

In order to discover them together with friends, the day’s road trip had several parts, starting from

a) Nicosia towards St. Hilarion castle, then

b) a drive through the wonderful forest road (narrow enough for only one car to pass at some points),  with wide views of the sea below on one side and  the valley around Nicosia and Morfou/Guzelyurt on the other side, down to Vasilia/Karsiyaka village (including a stop to listen to the grazing goats and admire the multi-colored anemone that covered the side of the road; a smile-up-to-my-ears kind of moment), then

c) a turn towards Karpasha village (where I found myself agreeing 100% with a kind, old Turkish Cypriot man [displaced to northern Cyprus from Androlykou village in the Paphos district] – whom I asked, in Greek Cypriot dialect, for directions towards the tulips – on who caused the division of Cyprus), before following

d) the Greek Cypriots who showed up at the perfect time while I was talking to the old man and were also heading towards the wheat fields of the Kormakitis/Korucam area, where the beautiful red tulips grow.

The second half of the day was split into:

e) a drive towards the forest and beach of Ayia Irini/Akdeniz, where the rough, dark blue sea was pounding the coast and the Troodos mountains were clearly outlined in the background, which was the perfect setting for

f) a humble picnic and coffee on the spot, before

g) heading back to the forest for walking on one of the area’s trails, enjoying more of the anemone and lying on the fresh grass.

Oh…c’est LaLe vie! 🙂

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