By Heidi Trautmann
Not far away from Camlibel on the road to Lefkosa is the turnoff sign to Hizarköy, a rural village on the south side of the Kyrenia mountains, with houses and farms scattered over the hills among wheat fields, olive orchards and vineyards, and still wide stretches of untouched nature where the flowers of Cyprus can still bloom in peace, and for the sake of the festival the orchids tried to make their appearance.
I know the village in quiet times when the village centre lies peaceful and empty, a village centre restored by the UN and/or EU. Many will have heard the name of the village in connection with Maureen and Tony Hutchinson for their nature walks and who had their farm in this village. With Maureen’s death we have lost a very important link between tourism, nature lovers and nature.
We have friends living in Hizarköy, Catherine and Nick. They have adjusted themselves to village life with all their heart and have opened a small art centre where arts folk can come and work. For the occasion some of their art friends have exhibited along with Catherine's lovely machine stitching art.
On the day of the festival the newly renovated cultural house and coffeeshop was opened with much ceremony and dancing; groups of orchid seekers were led to the fields outside the village. We joined them to find a most lovely landscape in the grips of spring overlooking a deep valley inviting our hearts to go and explore it and the many trails around one of these days, sit there at the rim and have a picnic.
Back in the village we enjoyed to see and smell the tastes of Cypriot cuisine, handicraft and a row of old black and white photos reminding us of Cyprus’ history. It was hard to get through the roads lined with stalls, people met and talked and I met with many friends who had come for the occasion. Thousands of people and they waited for the shows to begin and perhaps join in themselves.
A lovely afternoon we had, and we passed again the barrage lake nearly full this year; here they have recently celebrated the beginning of the works on the dam which one day will contain waters from Turkey. What an undertaking!