Oh, what a beautiful morning…
Tulip Festival in Avtepe
By Heidi Trautmann
It was a freshly polished typical Cypriot spring morning when we went to see the tulips around Avtepe, coming from Yeni Erenköy where we had spent the night on a boat at the Karpaz Marina. Spring greeted us brimming with flower power and shining colours along our way via Sipahi to Avtepe, over the last hills of the Five Finger mountain range.
The village lies on the southern side of the hills with a terrific view onto the sea and over many fruitful valleys where wheat is grown. Beyond the village towards the sea we drove to find the wild tulips – Tulipa Cypria - and we found them, indicated by a friendly sign, between cist roses under carob trees in stony fields. In such moments, blinded by the beauty of nature, I can fully understand the feeling of homesickness experienced by Cypriots abroad, do I feel it already before I have even left this moment of peace.
We entered the village where we were expected by the villagers who must have been very busy the last days preparing all the good food, village bread and börek, small doughnuts dancing in boiling fat; there were stands with homemade cheese and pickled vegetables; and stands with national crafts: silk worm cocoons transformed into pictures, embroidery, typical shepherd’s rucksacks made from goat leather, and I was happy to see Hasan Eminağa, the ceramist from Dizayn 74 who was invited by the local Muhtar to come and add to the festival’s image. Everywhere fresh asparagus was offered by girls and boys who were trying to make extra pocket money.
The place was full and some were already waiting for the official opening of the festival - the President Derviş Eroğlu was expected to come – when, after long speeches - folk dance and music was going to take place on the small stage all day long. It was also mother’s day, not to forget, so many people were expected to come and I got myself a hot village bread and some freshly made börek to take home before it was gone.
When we later left the village towards Kaleburnu we passed endless rows of cars, one of them being the President’s, going towards Avtepe. It was a lovely day for us, the proper greeting and celebrating procedures for the arrival of spring.