Friday 11th January – 7.30pm Cyprus time – Larnaca Airport, Southern Cyprus
After a calm 4 hour trip from London Gatwick to Larnaca, Southern Cyprus, our journey had started within our group of four, our next mission was to find our pre-booked taxi to head to Lefke, Northern Cyprus. After collecting our luggage we headed towards the Taxi’s department outside only to find after half hour of waiting that our taxi man hadn’t arrived yet. Our first test on this journey!! This holiday to Cyprus wasn’t just going to be for the ‘holiday experience’ (or for the yummy food that awaited ahead of us) but also to treat it as a Spiritual Retreat, since we will be living fully in the Sufi/Islamic lifestyle with our routines and learning about ourselves and the blessings of sharing food.
So after waiting in the cold night and ringing the taxi man, turned out he completely forgotten about picking us up! And to get to Northern Cyprus in Lefke took an hour and a half, now you understand why we called this our first test on our spiritual journey in Cyprus. So we decided to get something to eat as we waited for the taxi man called Hajji Omer to arrive, which I might add, was an extra hour late then stated but we simply laughed it off, whether it was the jetlag of our system still being 2 hours behind then the Cyprus time or just the thrill of finally being on this beautiful Mediterranean Island.
Lefke, Northern Cyprus – 11pm
We had arrived! Albeit more of a delay then we expected but it started to sink in more. My sisterinlaw and I stayed at the free sister’s guesthouse, a place where ladies are welcomed to stay and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere as you meet other ladies from different parts of the world. While our husband’s stayed in the dergah (sufi centre/mosque).
We were kindly welcomed by two sisters (in Islam, all women are considered your sisters and men called your brothers, like a family – a very comforting feeling which I find in other cultures shared the same concept). One sister was from Manchester and the other all the way from Russia! After greeting each other with hugs and smiles, they showed us the shared rooms we can pick where there’s blankets, mattresses and pillows to choose from.
After settling in, the most quietly as we could as their were other’s sleeping in the same room, we reflected on how one moment you are in the busy life of the UK to the peaceful and beautiful Island of Cyprus and how thankful we were and contemplated on what was to come in these next 10 days!
Saturday 12th January – 10am – Lefke, Sister’s Guesthouse
Waking up to the beautiful sunshine of Lefke overlooking the sister’s guesthouse, a truly tranquil place. Meeting so many different sister’s at breakfast time, some flown in from Italy, Serbia, Germany, Russia, even Indonesia, it didn’t feel like we were in Cyprus at all, meeting so many wonderful people from different continents of the world sharing the same intention of spirituality and love.
Now onto the breakfast!! There is one lovely lady who run’s the free guesthouse, aunty Samia and her food is amazing!
Today’s breakfast consisting of yogurt soup (on the topic of soup, soup is always served every morning before any meal – something which I will be taking into account when back home!) a yummy vegetarian oven bake dish (in the middle) consisting of potatoes, leeks, carrots and tomatoes topped with bay leaves. And a healthy porridge and fruit dish made by some other sister’s from Serbia (who had an amazing inspirational story – they CYCLED it to Cyprus!) Not forgetting one of my favorite dishes that got served nearly each day, red cabbage and beetroot salad (middle left) – a dish I will definitely be making myself – and of course sharing the recipe to my wonderful fans of TWC786.
Did you know??
When eating bread with your meal it helps absorb nutrients from the food into your nerves!
With the breakfast meals, always accompanies the olives, the home-made range of jams which are made from the fruits in Cyprus, and a tahini and molasses mix (very yummy and molasses known to help the blood!). Also served every day with tea and toasted Turkish bread.
Now that’s not what was only served during breakfast/brunch, the most delicious omelette made also with fresh leeks. I only had a quick chance to take a picture!
Another meal I intend to try out myself and share the recipe!
Each breakfast, before it being served we all make a prayer on giving thanks to God for the meal and to bless Sheikh Nazim, he is a spiritual master that lives in Lefke, the one that owns the guesthouse and has opened it to people, the one that has brought everyone from around the world to unity and Divine Love.
And at the end of each meal, another prayer is added again to say thanks after eating the delicious food, I found it very beautiful to finish and start a meal with thanks…it makes you appreciate the food that has been given to you.
Tour of the guesthouse…
Midday – Lefke
After helping out with cleaning up after the yummy breakfast we went for a walk around Lefke – which then became a regular routine, a walk after midday – and in Lefke particularly they are well known for their orange trees and January was the season that they are ready to use! So we had to try one of THESE…..
Freshly squeezed Lefke Orange Juice!!!
No exaggeration intended, but by far it was the best orange juice I had tasted and only for 4 Turkish Lira – which comes to about £1.40 – I don’t think I paid that much for juice before, but it was definitely worth it and being so fresh, I would consider it a bargain! So that’s CAFE NATURAL you would want to look out for if your in Lefke!
Day 3 will be up tomorrow with MORE yummy breakfast from the sister’s guesthouse, fresh bread made directly from an outside mud oven, and Lahmacun!! Can’t come all the way to Cyprus and not have a traditional Turkish Pizza which I have tried many times in making myself!
Don’t forget I will posting each day’s experience up to Day 10 of our travels to Cyprus! Including videos!
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