Lace in Lefkara, farewell in Larnaca

Tuesday 19 to Wednesday 20 March

Our last journey, back to Larnaca, was via the craft region of Cyprus. Lefkara is the most famous village and is renowned for its interesting lace work. Perhaps this is what inspired me to experiment with crochet all those years back.

The village is a tourist’s delight with narrow cobble stoned streets, colourful buildings and ancient ladies sitting at their doors creating lace work. There is plenty to buy – but my life of lacy decorations went with the sale of our beautiful Edwardian house in Hampton, nine years ago. Instead, Bruce treated me to a tiny silver elephant to add to my souvenirs of travels.

We visited the Lacemaking and Silversmith Museum where they explained how the lefkaritika needlework is made. The embroidery was taken from techniques introduced to Cyprus by the Venetians in the 16th century and includes cutwork, where certain threads are cut from the woven fabrics and the uncut threads are bound to make distinctive patterns.

I always love looking at local craftwork, and this particular museum was a great experience.

We continued our drive back to Larnaca. We stopped by the Hala Sultan Tekke, a mosque built in the 18th century which is built over a tomb said to belong to Umm Haram, the foster mother of the prophet Muhammad. It is one of the most important holy places of Islam and the main Muslim pilgrimage site of Cyprus.

As always we were made to feel very welcome at the mosque and given the opportunity to wander around the mosque and its delightful garden.

We had an early morning flight to Berlin, so had booked a less expensive hotel on the outskirts of the resort town, where we were guaranteed easy parking. We found a fish restaurant for dinner, and after an early rise and a rushed breakfast, popped the summery clothes to the bottom of our cases and prepared for cooler weather in Berlin.