What I love about Cyprus are the smells: the earth has its own aroma and there are so many fragrant bushes and trees and flowers. The sun intensifies the essential oils and makes these more potent, then after it rains again the scent is heady in the air. Close to where I am there are many pine trees and these smell beautifully fresh and delicate.
Then there are the smells of cooking….cinnamon, souvlakia cooking, bread and all manner of familiar spices and herbs mixed with vegetables and meat wafts in the air.
I love the sheep and the goats and the flavourful cheese: halloumi , anari, that is made with their milk. I love the views from the heights on the Akamas looking down over the rough terrain down to the blue sea that disappears into the horizon, the individual landscape that is Cyprus. There is a wildness here that will never be tamed and this I love.
I get very disappointed when I see so much commercialism near the coast to entice the tourist usually with cheap tat, tavernas, hotels and villas thrown up overnight in the hope they will be filled by visitors, offering them what they think they want. There is so much more Cyprus has to offer it just needs a little effort to find it.
I love the old buildings often in a half state of collapse or in some cases beautifully restored and even some newly built houses would make me see the advantages of these.
I love driving round the bends in the roads never knowing what I will find around the corner, what new vista lies before me and the radio playing my favourite Greek music with the breeze cooling my face.
I love the fresh fruit, nectarines,watermelon, grapes, figs whatever you want you can find it growing here fresh and delicious with some sheep yoghurt in the morning.
The best time for me is late September or early May when the temperature is warm but not so stifelingly hot as to render you a melted heap.
Last but not least I love the donkeys, how I miss seeing you doing your daily work up the hills.