sFabulous day today. Started off with breakfast on the terrace in the sun and also getting the bathroom guys settled in again to start the second bathroom. We decided on a day away from the house because experience with the first bathroom told us that today they'd be hammering and electronically lancing off the existing tilework. Noisy. Yes. So made the guys coffee and they started to settle in. All seemed well and at about 930 we set off for our day out.
First stop was the weekly market in Kyrenia. It's a very large market and a mix of clothes/shoes/knickknacks and a central fruit/vegetable/plants area. The produce is absolutely remarkable and fantastic. All local stuff and you can wander around tasting. We bought some amazing fruit and veg - tiny little apricots, super sweet; green beans; olives both black and green; artichoke hearts.... the cherries are just starting, strawberries fully ready. A lovely experience.
After that we headed uphill to drive along the mountain track at the pinnacle of the Besparmak Mountains that runs from St Hilarion Castle all the way along to Lapta and Karsiyaka. It is now tarmacked all the way although it is narrow in parts and with sheer drops on both sides at other parts. The views are extraordinary. At times you can see the coast all the way along the northern coast towards the Karpaz and at other times you can see across the great central plain of Cyprus towards the Troodos in the south and the sea again in the west. And all the time you are driving through wonderfully scented pine forests, with viewpoints round every corner. Shortly before the road starts to descend towards Lapta and Karsiyaka, there is a tank memorialised from the 1974 conflict which is interesting to see, blown off the road and hanging on the mountainside. After that the road descends with clear views over the reservoir and out towards Camlibel and Guzelyurt. A really great little road trip which I highly recommend.
We got back to the house about 1pm having stopped for some fresh bread and milk. Had lunch on the terrace and then pegged out around the pool with our books. The builders finished stripping out the ensuite bathroom about 2pm and headed off for the day so it was a peaceful afternoon.
Tonight we met up for a sundowner at 615 then headed down to Kyrenia for dinner. We were eating at Efendi Restaurant in the old Turkish quarter of the city. Very peaceful and picturesque. We stopped at the Kyrenia Tavern on the way to make a reservation for Saturday night but it was closed. As we got back to the car, the son of the family came up and explained that they were renovating and that mama and papa had been ill, so they had been only patchily open for the last year. Shall await the reopening with interest. Anyway on to Efendi. We had asked to eat outside and were lucky enough to have a table set up on our own in the courtyard garden. Everyone else was eating indoors. No idea why, plenty hot enough to be outside. However, our gain. It was so atmospheric and romantic. Food was amazing. Wine was even better. I started with mushrooms stuffed with a blue cheese cream mix, Bob had tempura prawns,, Sue had salmon in a beetroot gravadlax, John had black pudding with chicken liver parfait and an onion chutney. All divine. Such nice waiting staff too. For mains, 3 of us had breast of duck on a bed of red cabbage, with a red wine sauce, thyme carrots..... John had lamb tagine with buttery flatbreads. All fantastic. Most of us couldn't manage dessert but John, brave man, had a tropical fruit sundae and we all had several rounds of Turkish coffee, the latter ones taken sprawled on some chaise lounges under the stars. Rated the number one restaurant in Kyrenia at the moment and well deserved. It's not cheap by Cyprus standards but excellent value. We had a round of pre-dinner drinks, 2 bottles of a good wine, bottled water, 2 course dinner x 3 and a 3 course dinner x 1, rounds of coffee and it was about 150 ytl/£30 per couple. Fantastic!
A fabulous day and I do recommend the mountain road trip especially.