National Geographic : 1928 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE CYPRUS DINES NEAR WHERE KINGS WERE CROWNED Shaken by quake and bombardment, scarred by Turkish cannon balls, one Gothic turret elongated into a minaret, the broken buttresses and ruined belfries of the cathedral-mosque of Ay. Sofia even so recall brave days in Famagusta, when the Lusignans, after Acre fell in 1291, were crowned here as kings of Jerusalem (see, also, page 7). vorable spot near here, I sat down to wait for a rift in the clouds. Dripping with perspiration after a fight through under brush and appreciating this enforced rest, I was able to take a philosophical attitude about the feature that adds, more than any other, to the winter and spring landscapes in Cyprus (see page 16). A cloud is a precious and a fleeting thing. Sunshine is so common that cities can confidently boast of months of sunny days. Moonlight is delivered at set hours, so that one wishing to wander at night amid the forest of columns at Karnak, or see the stained marble of the Parthenon puri fied, or catch the lunar glint on the blue tiles of the tentlike Temple of Heaven, or emerge from the inky Sik at Petra to see the mahogany-tinted Khazne shine like an opal in the desert moonlight, has but to consult a calendar. But clouds are wayward and capricious. They race past at a speed with which no man can cope, or tantalize for hours, and then part their magic curtains the moment one's back is turned, lending glory to the beauty they had hid. Clouds try one's patience and reward it. Clouds fill in the featureless blue with beauty dramatic in its intensity and vari ableness. They won't be hurried or driven. They won't wait in their courses, as the remotest star does before the trained tele scope. They are the playboys of the land scape, errant mischiefs who distract one for hours and then make him glow with joy at a coquettish but satisfying glance. HEAD SHAWLS WORN BY MEN OF CYPRUS Although when they wore head shawls I often mistook them for women, the men of Cyprus have a distinctive costume-a straw hat with a mushroom brim, a plain shirt sometimes with a jacket, voluminous Turkish trousers whose seats are tucked into their belts for cross-country walking, and heavy leather boots with their tops turned down and tied above the calf.