The Sherardian Professor of Botany at Oxford, Dr John Sibthorp, and his friends made an excursion to the mountain of the Holy Cross:
We passed by the aqueduct of Larnaca and after four hours ride over an uneven plain enlivened with varieties of Ranunculus asiaticus, now in flower, we dined under a carob tree. Several little rivulets crossed the road, skirted with the Oleander. These were frequented by the beautiful Merops apaister, one of which we shot. Numerous Jack-daws burrowed in the holes of the free-stone rock near the rivulet, and the Roller, which after short flights pitched frequently before us, rivalled the Merops in the splendour of its colours. After dinner we lost our way in the mountains covered with Pinus pinea. We arrived late at a hamlet belonging to the convent and about one hour distant from it. The ascent was steep and difficult, and the sun set soon after our arrival. Disappointed at finding the convent quite deserted, and no habitation being near, we resolved upon an entry by force. The different instruments we had brought with us of digging were employed, but without success. At length a Caloyer arrived with the key, and having opened the door of the church, we discovered some straw mattresses. These were drawn before the Altar, and we lay down to repose.