Salt Lake,Tekke, and Stegi, Agios Charalambos

Trip Start Mar 03, 2010
Trip End Feb 06, 2011

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Salt Lake, Tekke  and Stegi Agios Charalambos

I am supposed to meet the owner of "Gabriel's Tradition House" in Kato Drys.

I give him a call though earlier in the morning  and ask him to delay for half an hour.

We meet at 9.30 a.m.

He is supposed to take me to Kato Drys, but he is giving me a tour to some interesting

places in the Larnaka District. I have never met Mr. Gabriel before but he seems to be

very kind and friendly and willing to help me take the photos I want.

I have only read positive comments on his Traditional House, so here I am now

driven towards it. I am going to spend 3 days with him and his wife Eleni who is expecting

us for lunch at their house.

Our first ride is towards the salt lake which is so beautiful at this time of year.  We want to

check and see if we see some flamingoes. There are some scattered clouds in the sky, but it is

quite warm. The lake is the haunt of migrant birds from December to March, and it is full of

water this time of year.

We see flamingoes in the lake …..but  not near the coast. Of course there are not only flamingoes here.

Various other flying species like swans, and different kinds of ducks have also emigrated

here and give life to the lake.

My host Mr. Gabriel is so patient with me. He is also interested that I take the best pictures,

and he does not hesitate to stop the car every time I think the place is suitable for a picture or two.

We turn right to the road leading to Hala Sultan Tekke just behind the salt lake.  There are

very tall Palm trees scattered in the whole of this area. I have written about the salt lake on

previous trips that I had in Larnaca, but today what I see is exceptionally beautiful.

Anyway, the contrast of green, blue and grey, the beauty of the surround area and the reflections

in the lake excite me.  This beautiful spot here is the first thing a tourist sees upon arriving

in Larnaca.  It is about 5 kms from the city centre and probably a mile from the Airport. It is one of the

most distinctive landmarks of the area.

(According to a legend, the lake’s saltiness stems from St. Lazarus’ request of an old woman for food

and drink. She refused, saying her vines had dried up, to which he said, “May your vines be dry and be

a salt lake forever more.”

We leave the lake and head back towards Larnaka. Gabriel takes me to see a very old church

which used to be in Nicosia some years back, but they had it pulled down and re built. It is the church of

St. Charalambos and it dates back to 1891. Unfortunately we find it locked. The route Gabriel

follows to drive me here is unknown to me. He tells me that in this little neighbourhood next to

the lake and in the houses I see, there used to live sick people with tuberculosis many years back.

To be honest I don’t ever remember coming here in this place in the past even when I was young

and living in Larnaka. Never have I heard of it.  So, this is the pleasure I get out of all this.  I travel

and continue learning new things especially if I have the right people, and when Gabriel talks he is like a book.

He is sure of the facts he tells me and the best of all is that he is doing it with pleasure.

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