Favourite Bits : Northern Cyprus

My favourite part of our Turkey/ North Cyprus adventure was the vegetable market on the road toward Girne/Kyrenia.

I think no sooner than the words “if there’s anywhere you want to stop” were out of Sergio’s mouth then I spotted the market and said, “stop there!”

I felt like we hasn’t had much vegetable action and so I sort of binged on all things green. And red and purple.

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Stunning peppers. Piles of deep hued reds and verdant greens, filled with hot hot hotness! Bins and bins of peppers. Mint. Oh my! Leafy greens, nectarines.

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Lovely Aubergine!
Eggs in a bag, straight from the farm. Mushrooms. Oh! The thing I love and I miss most! Mushrooms! And of course, sweet figs. Figs at the front counter. Waiting for me!

It was pretty much my idea of heaven. We visited often. It was pretty incredible.

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I only regret that I didn’t bring my camera into the market to take pictures there. But I couldn’t resist when we arrived home, as I was scrubbing and sampling and revelling in vegetable heaven, to take a few indulgent still shots!

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Northern Cyprus: It’s Ancient!

We arrived to Cyprus and stayed in a town just outside of Girne. We had decided to visit Northern Cyprus because unlike the Greek side of Cyprus the Turkish side is less developed. For the most part, large resorts have yet to be developed.

We were in for a treat as it seemed we had everything almost to ourselves. So we took a lot of time just wandering around.

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The amazing thing in Northern Cyprus is the old gnarled and weathered olive trees. I read in one of the guides that scientific research had shown that the origin of Olive Trees was Cyprus. I don’t know if that’s 100 percent true but I am sure it’s fairly close to true. Either way, to drive past groves of olives and see the long history in the weathered wood is to look back in time a bit.

I can say hands down that the olives from Cyprus were the best I’ve ever eaten. We even packed some home with us.

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My husband would drive around the island pointing at things in wonder and saying “look at that, that’s ancient!!”
It was endearing, because he made no discrimination about ancient, to him, everything unequivocally was ancient.

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Roses and Stratagems

“She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her… I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little stratagems. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her…”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


More from the botanical gardens adventures of the summer. Kew Gardens again! There is the most delightful rose garden. Covet!
Roses always remind me of the Little Prince. Flowers are so inconsistent!

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“For millions of years flowers have been producing thorns. For millions of years sheep have been eating them all the same. And it’s not serious, trying to understand why flowers go to such trouble to produce thorns that are good for nothing? It’s not important, the war between the sheep and the flowers? It’s no more serious and more important than the numbers that fat red gentleman is adding up? Suppose I happen to know a unique flower, one that exists nowhere in the world except on my planet, one that a little sheep can wipe out in a single bite one morning, just like that, without even realizing what he’d doing – that isn’t important? If someone loves a flower of which just one example exists among all the millions and millions of stars, that’s enough to make him happy when he looks at the stars. He tells himself ‘My flower’s up there somewhere…’ But if the sheep eats the flower, then for him it’s as if, suddenly, all the stars went out. And that isn’t important?”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

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“The little prince went away, to look again at the roses. “You’re not at all like my rose,” he said. “As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You’re like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made a friend, and now he’s unique in all the world.” And the roses were very much embarrassed. “You’re beautiful, but you’re empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you –the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she’s more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is for her that I’ve killed the caterpillars (except the two or three we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is MY rose.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

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“Here, then, is a great mystery. For you who love the little prince, as for me, nothing in the universe can be the same if somewhere – we do not know where -a sheep we have never met has or has not eaten a rose.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

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Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk : Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens had a lovely garden table focusing on various herbs and tea party treats. It was the theme of the Mad Hatters tea party. It was a really creative way to showcase the edible & culinary herbs. I wish I had a table like this in my backyard…

There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.

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IncrEdibles at Kew

It was delightful to visit Kew Gardens and see the IncrEdibles exhibit there. Edible landscapes, all over it. Food not lawns! Of course, I think the perfectly manicured and weeded gardens (royal horticultural society?) are a little different than a “commoners”attempt at ripping up the lawn and planting an edible front lawn. My sister did this two summers ago– much to the chagrin of her neighbours at first. Now her yard has grown in wonderfully but she could have used the Kew gardens examples a few years ago! None withstanding, for the 1.35 million people who visit per year, some must have thought a little bit about planting some edibles of their own!

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Here’s a look at whats happening there:
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A Mystery Flower

Here in Brazil my greatest guilty pleasure is to buy flower bulbs when I am at the grocery store. Which is great– but also leads to my situation now- a mystery flower. Is is gorgeous! I thought it was an amaryllis bulb I planted. But it came up– four feet tall with beautiful globe shaped clusters. Anyone out there know what it is? I want to plant hundreds of them!

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The Deluge

Sad day today friends. Last night, a torrential rain swept through my little garden at the front of the house and took out the seedlings I started at Christmas. Oh the sorrow!

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But, I rescued my bedraggled pommegranite seedlings and repotted them in a new home. I have been tending and babying these seeds since they went into the ground. They are some of the seeds from our trip to Byblos, Lebanon in the fall. This is the second attempt at getting them to grow . I was beginning to despair until I say the little green popping from the earth last week. It was a razors edge amount– but like I said I have been TENDING these babies. Over the week they came out, there were three. Now, two remain. Needless to say, I think they will survive. Oh, how I do hope so.