Easter Monday in Karmi (Karaman) village, north Cyprus

The first impression I received when entering Karmi village is that I had travelled back in time to an English 1950s village. I half expected to hear the faint sound of a wireless quietly playing music from the Light programme. Perhaps the sound of Billy Cotton crying “wakey, wakey!” Instead all around me was silence. The village was almost deserted, but not for long. As the morning progressed the village started to fill with white skinned tourists.

I travelled to the village via Edremit, the home of The Hideway, normally reached via a turning at Karaoğlanoğlu. Today, probably because they knew I was coming, roadworks led to a diversion which took me across the about to be opened Girne Bypass.

In the winter the village, 300m above sea level, is in the shadow of the mountains, and the cold and damp can be off putting, but this spring visit was very pleasant. The former Greek Cypriot village was badly damaged in the 1974 conflict but was then renovated and leased with the stipulation that apparently only foreigners would be allowed to live there.

There is a local pub, the Crows Nest, and a corner shop all adding to the English village feel. The former Greek Orthodox church includes a small museum, open only on Sundays, containing 19th century icons rescued from decaying local churches. I parked next to church and began my exploration.

There are several routes described in the Landmark Visitors Guide of Northern Cyprus but I decided to just wander as the fancy took me. Plum Walk, Ilgaz Road, Forestry Road followed on from Pool Road, Poppy Steps and eventually on to the Crows Nest pub which shockingly did not open until 4pm and then only for 4 hours. Karmi is even drier than 1950s Britain!

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