Getting swept up by the enchanting walled city of Lefkosa is one of my favourite pastimes when holidaying in North Cyprus. As mentioned in my previous post, there are many gems waiting to be discovered in this part of the city and tantalizing cuisines is no exception! El Sabor Latino Restaurant (specializing in Mediterranean cuisines) was just what we needed to quench our appetite after strolling in the autumn sunshine. Located in a pedestrianized cobbled square near the Selimiye Mosque, it was the perfect setting to indulge in my seafood pasta.
Ok . . . Now where do I start from when describing my time in Lefkosa (Nicosia)? Firstly, this is also the capital city of North Cyprus and my base, whenever I visit my family. As much as I love escaping to the peaceful and picturesque scenery in Kyrenia; I still enjoy the lively atmosphere in Lefkosa, which consists of lively cafes, bars and charming eateries. However, Lefkosa’s old quarter will always be my favorite part of this unique capital with it’s authentic and unspoiled setting; so much so that I have to split this post into three because this area of Lefkosa consists of many hidden gems that I cannot possibly describe in one post!
North Cyprus really is an unspoilt treasure waiting to be unearthed, however, at the same time, I fear that mass tourism would ruin the authentic charm this part of the island epitomises. Unfortunately, not a lot of people, even discerning travellers are aware of North Cyprus which is why I am relishing in raising awareness of this magical part of the Island I am proud to be a part of. So I would like to start with the most popular and richly historic town called Kyrenia (Girne in Turkish). Let’s just say that Kyrenia Harbour should be first on your list of places to explore if you ever get to travel here, and I shall happily tell you why . . .
December is one of my favourite months of the year. Not only because it is my birthday; I simply love the festive spirit leading up to Christmas. When I found out the Christmas Market had opened at the Southbank Centre, I was excited like a child and couldn’t wait to to be there and and soak up the atmosphere. I have already been to Winter Wonderland which has a similar vibe but my favourite is the Christmas Market at Southbank because nothing beats the magical view of the enchanting London landscape.
“But no such thought was in my mind that first spring morning as I walked in those deserted cloisters, touching the rosy stones of the old Abbey with an idle hand, noticing the blaze of flowers . . . and here and there, bursting from a clump of fallen masonry, cracking the rock triumphantly, the . . . plumes of yellow fennel. . . . In that silence the light airs of the plain climbed up to us, full of the small sound of birds as they stooped and dived in the blue gulf below. Somewhere near at hand came the rustle and dribble of spring-water feeding the flowers.”
Lawrence Durrell in Bitter Lemons, “The Tree of Idleness”
North Cyprus (Officially recognised as Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) has always had a special place in my heart and one of those places I would always return to. Well, firstly, because it is where my family are from and two, because North Cyprus has many unspoilt and beautifully preserved historical and cultural gems bursting to be written about. It has been 6 loooong years since I returned to this beautiful island. For me, it is the most eagerly anticipated destination I have been waiting to write about. Finally that time has arrived and have the pleasure in sharing with you my wonderful and special time spent in North Cyprus . . . . . . .
I can honestly say that we saved the best trip till last in Provence. Despite having little time left before flying back to London, we had to make valuable time to see the vibrant village of Rousillon. It is very difficult to justify how unique this village is until you see it with your own eyes. Nothing prepares you for the splash of warm golden palettes glowing over the reddish orange cliffs surrounding the village. It truly was a striking setting against a backdrop of clear blue skies and verdant pine trees.
As much as I was content relaxing in the tranquil grounds of my hotel pool, a holiday would not be a holiday in Bodrum, without doing a classic boat tour and exploring the natural wonders from the azure coloured coastline. And disappointed, I was not . . . . I had such a memorable time on this boat tour with my friends that it actually made me feel more invigorated and revitalised than the hamam treatment I received the day after!
I love going to the cinema and not to just the typical cinema venue but unique venues which takes the cinema experience to another level. Which is why I jumped at the opportunity to watch Oz the Great and the Powerful in Hyde Park. There was nothing like soaking in the sun rays while watching the handsome James Franco acting in one of our favourite classics of all time.