March 24th, 2017
How else could I describe the thousands of blossomed almond, peach, plum and cherry trees that we come across in the city streets, villages and open fields of Cyprus between February and April? White and pink, large and small, and with a subtle scent of honey (in the case of almond trees), these blossoms are a true pleasure to our eyes and noses and certainly a gift to the bees that fly restlessly from one to the other, faithfully performing their pollinating role.
Soon they will be followed by the orgasmically-scented blossoms of citrus trees… but I’ll dedicate another post to those in a couple of weeks.
One of my favorite hiking trails this time of the year is the 14km linear one between Lagouderá village and the monastery of Stavrós tou Ayiasmáti (close to Platanistása village) and that’s because it passes through an abandoned orchard of blossomed almond trees. The drive to and from Lagouderá through a number of villages also includes views of many blossomed trees. One can imagine that the temptation to stop the car on the side of the road, cut a few branches and carry them home to put in a vase is irresistible. [Tips: watch out not to get the branches too close to each other, they are so delicate that the flowers will start falling off! Also, devise a way to keep the branches wet until you get home – a very wet napkin wrapped around the base of the branches, with a plastic cover on top to keep the humidity in, should do the trick.]
As for the cherry trees, those need colder weather thus a higher elevation, so the Nicosia-district villages of Kampos and Tsakistra in the Paphos forest [typically described as part of the most “remote” area of the Troodos mountains] are the ideal location to see them before the beginning of the 40-day gestation period after which the cherry fruit is ready for picking. I can personally eat a bucket of wine-colored cherries in one sitting! There is a 10km circular hiking trail (called Panthéa) that starts from Kampos and goes up to the top of the mountain above the village, before bringing you down again through an orchard that allows the opportunity to lie on the grass under the trees. 😉