Since I started this blog, I was mostly writing in English. Because, it is the language that you can reach to people from all over the world as you all know. You have to use English, if you want to spread your message internationally. Then, I realize that, I have to write in Turkish as well, because not everyone knows English in my country, which was a disadvantage for reaching to non-English readers. Since then, I am trying my best to write in both languages about same story. Even though, I write about same thing in both language, translation never works. I have to sit down, and put the whole story to a new format when I switch the languages. Because, each language has its own concepts of saying and expressing things. Recently, I read some articles that says people has different personalities in each language they speak which is very logical and true.
Today’s story is about the weekend trip that we organized as Maras-Der, a youth-NGO located in Famagusta. It was a trip from Famagusta to Yeşilırmak, from east to west, which is quite long route for Cyprus. We were about 40 people from Cyprus, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey, Syria and Iran.
Yeşilırmak or Limnitis is a village located in the west-end of northern Cyprus. The region is known as Dillirga and beauty of this place is expressed in the famous folk-song, ‘Dillirga’. It is known for its strawberry production and the green nature of course. The area is in between mountains and sea which gives a spectacular view to its visitors. On the other hand, economy of the village is a combination of this natural beauty and production, in other words agriculture and tourism. When the season comes, Yeşilırmak attracts a lot of visitors from all around the island because of its beauty but mainly because of its strawberry gardens. As you all may know, organic food and natural life is an increasing trend around the world. People are demanding healthy and eco-friendly products. At this point, Yeşilırmak became a place where people comes and picks up their own strawberries from gardens with their families or friends. Villager gives you a basket at the entrance of garden, and tells you that you can eat as much as you want and you fill this basket for taking it back with you for only 15 Turkish Lira. In my opinion, This offer is absolutely a win-win situation for both parties. When you look from the consumer side, it is a unique experience to enter at garden and taste delicious strawberries from its source. It satisfies their demand about organic food plus it allows them to break the routine and visit a different part of the country. However, it is also very much beneficial for the producer too. All of the strawberry supply of North Cyprus is coming from Yeşilırmak, but to reach the market in the cities, there is a transportation cost and also labour cost for harvesting the product. On the other hand, when consumers comes to the gardens, the product is getting sold without these two costs at similar prices.
Above, in the picture you can see the garden that we visited. The photo is taken from a shadow of the olive tree. After I taste some great strawberries, at a moment when I was feeling exhausted because of the sun, I saw this olive tree, with very attractive shadow and I was there for some minutes to enjoy the view and observe the place.
Before going to the village, our first stop was ruins of Vouni Palace which is located 5 kilometre outside of Yeşilırmak. It is located in a high hill which has an amazing view that gets the whole Morphou Bay. No wonder, why they build this palace here, it is also very much strategical area because it is giving you the ability of observing every action in the sea.
Who does not want a Bathroom with this view? It is spectacular. The palace is constructed back in B.C 500 and there are some ruins left to our time.
Let’s come back to our trip. When we arrived to Vouni Palace around 11.00 a.m, the whole group was so much excited because of the view. Everyone was running around to explore the area. Some of them were looking for the best selfie angle, others were just enjoying the moment or laughing to this beauty. After sometime of exploration, it was time for group photo.
After this photo, we started to our 5 kilometre hiking to the strawberry heaven. Even though, weather was just perfect for walking, I can say that sun was a little bit too much. Nevertheless, the strawberry gardens at the end of route was giving a motivation to everyone for this walk and I was understanding this from incredible speed of everyone. After walking for one hour and thirty minutes, we arrived at Yeşilırmak. Although I am not sure if it’s because of completing the route or reaching to strawberries, the happiness was obvious at the eyes of our people when we came to the village.
We stopped by the first garden, and jump inside directly. I cannot keep myself from remembering that amazing taste. I really wanted to stay there forever.
After this part, We walked through the village to explore the area more, had coffee in the local coffee shop. It is for sure that everyone was enjoying this beautiful place.
In the afternoon, around 3.00 p.m, it was time to go back. We left Yeşilırmak with happiness, and a lot of strawberries.
To conclude, It was a day of exploring this great island with a inter-cultural group of people. We tasted from delicious strawberries, enjoyed spring weather and had some cultural interaction with each other. I can say that, Yeşilırmak and Dillirga region is a must to see for anyone who wants to visit Cyprus. It is highly recommended. Additionally, there will be a ‘strawberry festival’ organized by the producers union of the village which is highly recommended as well for travelers.
” To travel is to take a journey into yourself ” –Danny Kaye