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A tour of Nicosia reveals its hidden history July 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Nicosia.
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Walking! I hate walking! However, the walking wouldn’t involve any mountains or ancient tombs. It was a walking tour of Nicosia.

I duly turned up at the appointed time at the Cyprus Tourist Organisation office in Nicosia for a walking tour of the capital they have arranged in collaboration with the Tourist Guides Association. (They also offer tours of Larnaca, Germasogeia and Ayia Napa). I know I started off whining but the truth is, it’s a great idea. 

And when I saw the means of transport (on someparts of the walking tour you are bussed around), I enjoyed it.

Most of the tours begin early in the morning, about 10, so you have to be at the CTO Information Office in Laiki Yeitonia at 9:45. I would advise you to wear light clothes, if you’re planning on going anytime this month and comfortable shoes. Don’t wear heels, even if sneakers don’t go with your clothes! Oh, and put on that hat, you’re going to need it. 

Due to the fact that the tour is based on sites and houses from bygone eras and history is, therefore, in the air what better than an old-fashioned, wooden, village coach, to get you in the mood. “We don’t want you to get very tired,” said our tour guide, “so we also use this coach.” I looked at a friend who had accompanied me and started to rue that he had agreed to. Looking at the old Bedford coach, I knew I could do it because I’m in for a laugh anytime. So, I convinced myself, it would be fun, grabbed my notebook and pen and climbed on board. (more…)

The greatest love story of all time July 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus.
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Russian ballet company stages Shakespeare’s favourite play to classic score.

Romeo and Juliet, the greatest love story of all time is set to come alive through beautiful music and dance straight from Moscow as the renowned Imperial Russian Ballet Company stage a performance not to be missed by lovers of classic dance.

This Russian ballet company was established in 1994 by a soloist of Igor Moiseyev’s Folk Dance Company under the initiative of the famous Russian ballerina, Maya Plisetskaya. Although the overall choreographic style of the company is classical, it does at times indulge in modern dance. The repertoire includes several famous masterpieces including The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and Don Quixote, along with several modern choreographies. Having previously visited Cyprus for a performance of Bolero, the company has since performed in Brazil, Spain, Finland, Japan, Uruguay, Austria, Germany, Israel and the US. Four years on, it’s a real treat to see this talented dance group back again.

The upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet tells the tragic tale that we all know well revolving around star crossed lovers, the hostility between the two feuding families, and the extent to which they go to keep their love a secret. The Imperial Russian Company’s exquisite dancing, lavish costumes and stage setting dramatise the heartbreaking tale of love and eventual death. Expect to see wonderful costumes inspired by the Italian romantic period coupled with breathtaking moves. (more…)

Dancing in the streets of Limassol July 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus.
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The third summer contemporary dance festival in Limassol takes place at locations around the town, anywhere but a theatre.

The summer festival organised by the Cyprus New Movement of Dance Companies, Choreographers and Dancers is only in its third year but it has already become an establishment in Limassol. The first festival was staged at the Medieval Castle and lasted for two nights. Last year, it featured seven choreographers in the downtown Limassol area and this year promises more magical evenings.

All works are site-specific, meaning they are performed in any setting that is not a theatre stage. Also, the choreographers attempt to exploit the chosen environment. Last year offered some highlights but some of the choreographers still seem to be struggling with the outdoors, with shapes of the city and nature, with the lack of the proscenium stage.

This year’s festival will feature five dance companies, all veterans due to some of the rules imposed. The festival will span a week, opening with Echo Arts Arianna Economou’s work Body and Stone and closing with Natasa Georgiou’s piece Confessions. Chorotheatro Omada Pente will present Fast Forward with choreography by Roula Kleovolou. Emily Papaloizou, who is taking part in the summer festival for the first time, will show her new piece Less than Two. Amfidromo Chorotheatro will show a choreography by its founder Elena Christodoulidou and Nicoletta Nicolaou. (more…)

One night in Ayia Napa July 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa.
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Life must be a party, working as a nightclub DJ, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

If you are out in Ayia Napa without your better half and the kids to worry about and you get that craving to let hair down, get sauced and live it up then a night at Bedrock with Pete and Tony is hard to beat.

Bedrock Bar, which is situated barely two minute’s walk from the square in Ayia Napa, is a Flintstone’s-themed bar. But it’s not Fred and Barney luring the happy drinkers, rather a couple of English-Cypriot lads that have made quite a name for themselves, especially among the tourists.

Apart from performing hilarious dance routines and handling the hundreds of people queuing up to take their turn on the Karaoke, they have the almost impossible task of controlling up to 1,000 holidaymakers. And, let it not be forgetten that they are holidaymakers that have been drinking.

Remarkably, the acts on stage are neither rehearsed or planned but all done on the spur of the moment. The night we were there, these included burying their faces into girls’ breasts, ripping off their t-shirts to reveal their bare hairy chests and getting everybody in the bar to jump about like chimpanzees. I would imagine that older folks like me could be excused from such outlandish activities, but only if they are prepared to be embarrassed.
“We get the people going, they are on holiday, they pay money to enjoy themselves after working hard all year round. They wanna break so we give the tourists what they want,” explained Pete.

And it’s not just about going mad on the stage and getting everyone to follow what you do. “Everybody thinks that it is easy to work in Bedrock and get the people going because it is a busy place but it isn’t. You have to basically be a mind reader – you can’t just pick on anyone you like, you have to find the right buttons to know whether a certain person is up for a laugh or this person is here to watch the show.” A point they went on to prove as the party got started and those dragged up in front of everyone seemed to revel in the attention, including one whose boob job was called into question. (more…)

“None of us expected what happened next” July 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Uncategorized.
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Former Observer correspondent Colin Smith recalls the days immediately after the coup and the invasion of 1974 in Cyprus.

David Astor, my editor and proprietor of The Observer, had spent his second honeymoon at Nicosia’s Ledra Palace hotel where, it is said, the brandy sour was invented so that Egypt’s King Farouk might appear to be sipping a non-alcoholic beverage.

In the early hours of Saturday July 20, 1974 its clientele were rather a rougher crowd. It was exclusively made up of that media circus (though nobody talked about media then) whose bar bills are the only consolation for grand hotels suddenly deprived of quality trade by some passing horseman of the Apocalypse. (more…)

Gulf Air flights are beefed up July 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in News Flights.
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GULF Air flights between Bahrain and Beirut, Lebanon, have been suspended until the end of next month, it was revealed yesterday, the Gulf Daily News reports.

The carrier is also upgrading its services out of Larnaca, Cyprus, in light of developments in Lebanon and customer demand, it said. “We are constantly monitoring the situation in the region and are in close contact with concerned authorities as we deploy all available resources to meet customer demand,” said Gulf Air president and chief executive James Hogan.

Gulf Air, which flies three times a week to Larnaca, will upgrade its flight from an A320 to A340 aircraft from today until August 10.

It has also laid on additional flights to Damascus, in Syria, and taken further measures to deploy larger aircraft to ensure people stranded in Beirut can be flown to safety.

Meanwhile, Gulf Air is urging passengers travelling out of Damascus to obtain confirmed bookings to their final destinations.

Gulf Air’s emergency response team, working with national and international government and airport authorities and embassies, has taken several steps to assist people wishing to travel to and from Lebanon.

Following the onset of hostilities and the closure of Beirut Airport, Gulf Air suspended flights to Beirut and re-routed the service via Damascus.  

My Big Fat Greek Wording > a trevia July 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Learn To Speak Greek.
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Let’s see how good you are!

Welcome to my Big Fat Greek Wording! Can you determine the Greek root and meaning that links each pair of following English words?

Sample: cryptic, cryptogram. Answer: Both are from the Greek root “crypt,” meaning secret, hidden.

English word pairs:

1. chrysanthemum, chrysalis
2. planet, plankton
3. melancholy, melanoma
4. rhinoceros, rhinoplasty
5. know, agnostic
6. pathetic, sympathy
7. appendectomy, tome
8. odometer, electrode
9. taxidermy, tactics
10. philanthropy, philosophy


1. “Chrysos” – gold, yellow. One of the most common colors of the chrysanthemum flower is yellow. “Chrysalis” originally referred to the gold-colored pupa of butterflies but now means any insect pupa.

2. “Planasthai” – to wander. The erratic movements of the planets led the Greeks to call them “wanderers.” “Plankton” is so called because it consists of minute plant and animal life that wander or drift in bodies of water.

3. “Melas” – black. The Greeks believed “melancholia” (sadness) was caused by an excess of black bile. A “melanoma” is a malignant tumor containing dark pigment.

4. “Rhino” – related to the nose. A rhinoceros has a horn or horns on its snout. Rhinoplasty is plastic surgery performed on the nose, usually for cosmetic purposes.

5. “Gignoskein” – to know. “Know” derives from “gignoskein” through the Latin “gnoscere.” An “agnostic” believes that the existence and/or nature of God is unknown or unknowable.

6. “Pathos” – suffering, experience, feeling. A situation that is pathetic has the capacity to induce feelings, especially pity, in others. Sympathy is having feeling for others, especially for their suffering.

7. “Tomi” – to cut. In an appendectomy, the appendix is cut out. Originally, a tome was a volume cut or separated from a larger work, though “tome” is now used to mean a large book.

8. “Odos” – way, road. An odometer measures the road, while an electrode provides a way or path for an electrical charge.

9. “Taxis” – order, arrangement. A taxidermist puts an animal’s remains in order, while tactics are arrangements, plans.

10. “Phil” – love. A philanthropist loves human beings, while a philosopher loves wisdom.