Thursday, 1 September 2016

Cyprus - Part II

Cyprus is known for its beaches and watersports and we had a marvellous time in beautiful Latchi, a Greek Cypriot village on the Akamas Peninsula, renting out a speedboat and taking it out to the Blue Lagoon, a popular bay. The water was warm - in summer it’s up to 30°C - and the sandy bottom gave the sea a magical turquoise colour. There was also a fair number of fish, and lots of shells and other aquatic life on the sea bed. My youngest son - the daredevil in our household - tried out parasailing and loved it. Now I wish I'd tried it too!
But Cyprus is far more than a lazy beach-time resort. Cyprus is a small island with a vast amount of history. There were ruins to wander through, villages with churches on every corner to explore, and a capital city, divided in 1974 when the Turkish army occupied the northern third of the island, to visit.
The Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia, situated on the slope of a hill towards the southern coast of the island, was so interesting. We explored its circular stone houses and archaeological remains dating back to 7,000 BC, whilst learning about the inhabitants of the ancient farming community. Lefkara, a village famous for its lace and silver handicrafts, was so very picturesque with narrow, winding streets and traditional architecture of old, terracotta-roofed houses.
I am finding it hard to put into words how wonderful our short stay was at Aperanti Agrotourism, the traditional agrotourism accommodation we found in the picturesque village of Pera Orinis. The accommodation was absolutely beautiful and our hosts, Sara and Tassos, were fantastic and made us feel very welcome. We spent a great deal of time chatting with them about life in Cyprus and they spent each morning helping us plan the day ahead. We would happily return!
The Xyliatos Dam, located in a magnificent green valley, was beautiful, but even more impressive were the Troodos Byzantine churches that have such significant historical and artistic value that UNESCO included them in its list of World Heritage Sites. All ten churches are located in the Troodos mountain range and date from the 11th to the 17th centuries. We visited three of them.
Then of course we visited Nicosia, or Lefkosia (South Nicosia) and Lefkoşa (North Nicosia) as it is known officially and to Greek speakers, the world's last divided capital. The barbed wire and guard towers of the Green Line cuts the town in two, with the northern side being the capital of the self-proclaimed Northern Cyprus and the southern half being the capital of the Republic of Cyprus. Wandering around the Old City was an interesting experience in itself, although some buildings, especially those near the Green Line, were derelict and crumbling.
We had two more days left of our holiday which we spent visiting yet more Troodos mountain villages and monasteries. and canoeing on the Tamasos Dam... as one does! Our very last night in Cyprus was spent at the Santa Maria Festival in the village of Deftera. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven was certainly a new thing for this Jewish family to be observing, but it was fun to watch the locals - and to see the tremendous queues into the neighbourhood church - whilst sampling some of their local treats. The delightful fishing harbour of Liopetri was our very last stop, but gosh, I hope to be back in Cyprus one day. After all, it is so very close by.

* This post has been shared on Blue MondaySeasons and Scenic Weekends.


Richard said...

Would definitely recoomend Cypru as a hoilday destination. People are friendly and helpful (every second person we asked seemed to have lived in North London at some point!) We had a great time.

Miss Val's Creations said...

So gorgeous! Cyprus must have been wonderful for residents back in BC times too. I love those blue trimmed entry ways on the homes.

Jedidja said...

Wow, that is nice.Thank you for sharing via Good Fences. I love the color blue in your photos. That traditional architecture of old, terracotta-roofed houses on the Island is amazing and beautiful.

TexWisGirl said...

lots of blues! just beautiful.

VeggieMummy said...

Cyprus has been on my wish list for a while now and your photos have just confirmed it. So beautiful - I bet the food is good too! xx

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Beautiful stone - lovely warm colours!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, what a beautiful place to visit. Gorgeous views of Cyprus. It is on my bucket list. Lovely photos!

Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

Anonymous said...

Love the captures you took for the island, and it looks like there's enough to do for a whole week (that is what in held me back in the past, thinking I would get bored). So, what is para sailing actually?
Since I'm protestant, just checking if you meant the ascension of Mary? Can imagine that would be a new frame of mind to observe that event! Many thanks for sharing Cyprus with SEASONS!

Thank you - am happy you found a way to comment to my blog!
That you were first taken by surprise, was it because I gave the impression I was physically pregnant? (or was it another reason?) Sorry, that was not my intent. Even my daughters have already established their families:)

jandi said...

your photos are gorgeous! makes me want to go there right now!

likeschocolate said...

Gorgeous! I have never been to Cyprus, but would love to go!

bettyl-NZ said...

Such a lovely island! I'll probably never see it myself and your photos are so inviting.

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