In late 2021 Bill and I took a group of stitchers to Northern Cyprus for a stitching retreat. We had a wonderful time, despite a couple of days that that can only be described as monsoon conditions.
The venture was challenging before we even set off as we had to prepare all sorts of paperwork because of Covid rules. I must admit to wondering if it was all going to be worth it, but all was well in the end.
Our party stayed in the Turkish part of Cyprus in a luxury hotel where we were looked after so well. Our classroom area was an old garden room in the grounds of the hotel and, apart from the aforementioned downpour, the room was spacious and came supplied with all-day coffee, tea and biscuits.
We managed to visit all the planned places on the tour and even squeezed in an extra trip to the beautiful village of Bellapais, a medieval village up in the mountains. The abbey there was simply gorgeous as you can see from the pictures.
Our lovely Turkish guide, Merih (pronounced Merek), brought his elderly mother to visit us, and she shared so many samples of her traditional embroidery – she even gave each of us a small silk scarf with a handmade lace border.
One excursion included Lefkosa (formerly Nicosia) where the highlight was a visit to the lovingly restored sixteenth-century trading station in the middle of the old town. It is now a museum and a centre for handicrafts, so as you can imagine we did some serious shopping after our alfresco lunch.