Magical Cyprus in Winter!

Winter flower

Winter flower (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I have just returned from a bracing walk along the sea path between Latchi and Polis in Cyprus. This coast faces the North, with Turkey beyond the horizon on the Mediterranean Sea. As I looked out to sea, the surf was breaking four hundred meters out, and the strong, cold, Northerly wind was producing some mighty rollers. I gently turned my head and my eyes feasted on the great expense of Chrisochou Bay; the sea had a huge band of white foam, with the mountains clearly in view on the horizon. On land, the wind was causing Palm trees and hardy shrubs to bend at unnatural angles. It was truly spectacular. {Open this link for some amazing photos of Chrisochou Bay}

The temperature was circa fifteen degrees Celsius but it felt much colder because of the chill factor of the wind. I was wearing Summer weight jeans and sandals and a chunky woolen cardigan but the wind was breaking through my Cardie, so I needed to walk briskly to keep warm. The magical ingredient, of course, was the sun. The Winter sun was very bright indeed and I needed my wrap-around sunglasses to protect my eyes from both the sun and the wind.

There were a handful of other people on the path. The locals wore thick padded jackets but the expats, like myself, can compare these climates to Northern Winters. As I was walking I reflected back on walking on Hampstead Heath in Winter, London, just a week ago.

Yes, the sun is the magical ingredient. The sun brings its own special warmth, especially in Winter. Cyprus is fortunate, with an exceptionally mild Winter and 300+ days of sunshine.

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Return to London in Winter!

English: Parliament Hill, London. View over ce...

English: Parliament Hill, London. View over central London from Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath, North London, the highest point around London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have just returned from a very brisk walk over Hampstead Heath, London, in the middle of Winter,and to my surprise it was thoroughly enjoyable! I am more used to warmer climates. Yesterday, I was in shorts and a T-shirt in Cyprus, enjoying the Winter sun, so the most obvious thing that I noticed in London was the complete absence of sunshine. Actually, I was fascinated by the absence of bright color. Everything seemed to be a patchwork of green, brown or grey.

I was armed with an umbrella and padded jacket but no hat nor gloves. When I started walking, I felt the cold but after I had briskly climbed Parliament Hill twice, I was feeling too warm in my  jacket. “The Heath”, as it known affectionately by Londoners is always full of life.

Irrespective of season, there are always dogs having fun on the Heath, and beckoning their owners to hurry-up. Actually, the dog-owners seemed to be congregating in bigger packs than the dogs. I wonder what the dogs thought of that? The owners were thickly insulted against the elements; I suppose that they, viz. the owners, were more concerned with their dogs’ excercise than their own. There were couples out walking, enjoying the fresh air and busy joggers, in their Winter outfits.

Apart from the dogs, the birds seemed to be enjoying themselves too. Many were actually hunting for food. Swans in the lakes were attracted to children and their mothers, hoping for tit-bits. A couple of small dogs were cautiously playing with the swans.

I so much enjoyed my first morning back in London.

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