A Walk to Cape Gkreko

From Agia Napa the walk to this south eastern headland of Cyprus is obligatory. The cape is to be seen from our balcony and thence a great challenge. Rosemarie and Hans will go with us, they have been there already one week ago by bicycle until they had to return in front of military barrier. Some other fellows tell us, that we better use solid footwear after they had met a hissing snake, three feet long, on their route.

So we start full of expectation and will have to walk about 8 km, the way back can be done by the bus. At first we trail around the luxury 5 stars hotels and surround this or that comfortable swimming pool. At the beach there is a group of paddlers who just prepare themselves for their tour by some gymnastics.

Thereafter we stroll along a comfortable stepping stone path which was built in the last years which is to be seen by some inscriptions of Jenny and Jim, August 2005. On both sides of the route there is a beautiful vegetation, as to say the common morning glory (Winde) and others. We are now upside of a rocky cliff coast, which is named The Palaces. The sea has formed bizarre sculptures out of the rocks and it is to be read in the information brochure, that this is not done by any architect or so. We didn't await this anyway. There are some caves made open by the sea and the dripstone rests look like organ pipes.

We come to a parking lot with some benches. These are at this place because there is a hole in the cliff rocks, which is a sensation at any such place of the world. Remember the Foradada at Mallorca. So we find a nice place for a rest and some pictures. From here there are a couple of paths up to the cape. As we just twinkle up there a greater lizard runs towards the next bush. I just can throw my camera towards the animal to get a picture. But the characteristic head is nearly hidden already. The lizard is about 2 ft. long and has circular spikes and coloured stripes around its body. Recently we have found out that this perhaps was any kind of an Agama lizard. We never heard of such a species before.

At the next bend there it is: the snake. But at once it disappears in the bush, so we cannot present a photo.

Now there are still different routes and the other companions choose the direct path while I turn right to inspect a strange twinkling metal sphere nearby. The sphere rotates by the wind and its purpose is to spend fresh air for a - guess it - open toilet or better latrine with only a hole at the floor and no front door. But you will have an excellent view out of there!

The Cape Gkreko is 60 m high and there is a pretty view around this part of the island. Not so nice are the military arrangements nearby. There are some high antenna towers and we wonder what kind of highly important messages could be transmitted day by day. Of course it is strictly forbidden to take any photo. But this is allowed by a little colourful lizard which enjoys the sun as we do.
Finally we walk down to the bus stop, have to wait for 30 minutes for the bus and so have a nice snack and some drinks at a red van of a clever business man. "This is our 5 star hotel" we say. At last  we return to our hotel by the bus within 10 minutes. May be you can imagine that this walk had various sensations concerning the landscape, the plants, flowers, and animals. Can you imagine that the greatest sensation is now awaiting us just aside the pool of the hotel?
And there it is: the greatest insect we have ever seen is strolling along by lazy movements and so easily can be shot by the camera. This is really a Praying Mantis (Gottesanbeterin). This kind of species is famous for a special bad habit to eat up its male partner after the coitus. A fine dessert - may be. Now after a while of two steps forward and one step back she finally reaches the stem of a nearby palm tree and now climbs pull up by pull up. We know that a colony of spadows lives up there and may be they are delighted about a fine dessert themselves? But we cannot tell more details of the history, the nature must do its task. Of course we talk about this matter to our other pool companions and those cannot help to stare up this palm tree for the rest of the day.

A Story from the Past

We start with the present time or the recent years. There were someone who got our tour reports over years for Christmas. These were my aunt Otti and uncle Walter living at Lübeck. To my birthday I regularly got a nice letter and their enthusiastic critics about the reports, they are a journey from the armchair for them. Let us return to Cyprus and I just talk with a gentleman named Bruno W. at the next sun lounger. He was born at Danzig and now lives at Travemünde near Lübeck. We talk about the characteristics and analogy of the old Hanseatic towns Danzig, Lübeck or Stralsund. The conversation now turns to get sensational.

As my wife comes back out of the pool I can tell her a riddle tale (Rätselgeschichte):

There once were German soldiers in Russian war captivity. Their daily work was to organize the transport of heavy tree trunks by those Panje carts. One of the soldiers was a teacher in mathematics and especially knew something about geometry. He was able to reverse the problem of the dense package, in this case to get a maximum of free space between the trunks on the cart. So the work was easier and the cart not so heavy.

"A nd now find out who this soldier was" I ask Heidi. No idea of course. As I spoke to Bruno W. I mentioned my uncle Walter Manegold at Lübeck and Bruno W. cried out: "That was my teacher many years ago!! Quarta, Tertia, Obertertia at the Johanneum!" Mathematics and geography and then he told the story of the Russian trunk work - this was told in the lessons to have some fun aside the dry school subjects.

Now I must continue, that we met our uncle within this year for the last time and he told us, that he never was a Russian  prisoner - but the story is so nice anyway. And I must tell you, that our uncle died this year after a last enjoyable voyage to the island of Rügen. And he had reached a devine age - guess - of 96 years.

Animals and Plants

Of course we have met some animals of the island already. We see nearly no dogs and don't know why. But cats are available and Heidi is delighted about it. I always murmur behind my book (if we are at the pool) "Hopefully they have no fleas". Then we got known to two fellows who are pelicanes and live behind a wooden fence. But you better get not too near to their swordlike peckers (Schnabel). If they just swallow a fish by their huge throat bag you may imagine that you better not be inside there.

There is a sad story of a little spadow sqeaker which sits and tschilps helpless on the hotel floor. May be the parents will find it but the blueshirted cleaning squad (Putzkolonne) is on the run. And may be those are not so amicable.

Once we see a couple of magpies (Elster) on a balcony. One of them has to do the lookout and the other flies away with a little shiny object in its peckers. May be it was a brilliant jewel or something like that?

Let us end with the plants and flowers. At our island cruise we could solve the origin of this thick onion which we had found at all our Mediterranianholiday resorts. There are lush green leaves in the spring but no flower. Our guide Eva votes for Affodil, but we know already that this is not right. But then we find out that it is the Sea Onion, Urginea Maritima (Meerzwiebel). The blossom period is about Sept. - Oct. and it is a kind of hyacinth flower. At the same occasion we have asked for those strange cobweblike nets in the pine trees. These shall be the nests of the maggots (Made) of future moths or butterflies.

At the end of our journeys in the Mediterranian regions Heidi is known to start with a stolen teaspoon, the pocket knife, and a plastic bag to devastate the green natural vegetation. I can only murmur "Hope that not everybody has this idea" or so. Otherwise the nice Mediterranian areas soon will look like just been ripped off by the good old Romans. And watch: Rosemarie and Hans are contaminated as well and they all crawl on their knees around the flower beds but at last they all return with no haul at all. "We must wait until dark, we made some depots" say say. Now do not think that there would be diminished any rare plants of the real nature. There are really lots of scions (Ableger) shooting out of the pavement chinks (Ritze) and it is heavy work to get them out. The small fan palm plants are impossibly to capture. At home we have cultures of Agaves from Crete or a nice bunch of the Dianthus Arboreus (Baumnelke) from Spain which is meanwhile nearly 20 years old. But all the other plants will not flourish in our north European climate. This time we got a Cana which grew fine during the summer and now we have to wait until spring if this species will have survived in the cellar.

The Way Home

At the end of any holiday you often hear the saying "Now the nice time is over" or so. This time this does not apply to us. We enjoy our "third life" (since a year meanwhile) and will ride from one vacation to the next, and this will happen at home. We will bring the summer with us and be glad to see our dog Otto again and be happy with him because he will be happy with us. We have an uneventful flight, but at the airport at Hannover the shuttle service "Nightliner" seems to have forgotten to bring us home. We finally take a normal taxi which is much more expensive. So we get known to the GPS- positioning system. As we at last stop at our house the GPS- lady shouts out "You have reached your destination". She is right!

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