21 November 1815: The British diplomat William Turner visited Cyprus on his way to Palestine and Mount Sinai and again on his way back to Constantinople. He wrote extensively in his journal about the island.
“Up to my departure the rain had hardly begun; we had only two days of it in Nicosia, and the inhabitants attribute this unusual continuation of dry weather, which oppresses every one with colds or fevers, to the early cold which is wafted here from the snow on the mountains of Caramania. In winter a sort of tornado is not infrequent, and the inhabitants have not yet forgotten one of these which occurred in a night of February, in the severe winter of 1812 — 13, during which hailstones fell as big as walnuts, that beat in the mud roofs of many of the houses. I did not see in Cyprus a single cypress tree, from which some assert that the island derived its name, while others deduce it from the Henna plant (Lawsonia inermis) whence the Easterns prepare the yellow dye for the hair, and which in Hellenick was called Cypros. It grows very abundantly in the island. I could not hear of any serpents in Cyprus. It seems now to be free from the annoyance of those animals by which it was anciently so infested as to have acquired the epithet of ophiodes Cypros. At sunset on November 21, 1815, 1 bade adieu for ever to Cyprus, which we had seen but dimly all day.”
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