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Limassol to get second Cyprus shopping mall October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Business & Economy, Shopping.
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With Limassolians unfettered by the noise about the opening of the Mall of Cyprus in  Nicosia, work is underway to build a 30,000-square metre shopping mall with 150 shops in the coastal port town.

The biggest continuous pouring of concrete was completed in Zakaki two weeks ago for the construction of a foundation raft, in what is considered a major achievement in the erection of a commercial property in the East Mediterranean and Middle East. 

The concrete pouring work was completed in about 30 hours by hundreds of workers and engineers from the construction company Atlas Pantou. A total of four batching plants of concrete were involved using six pumps and 35 concrete-mixer trucks. In all, 533 loads of concrete were delivered, which resulted in the pouring of around 5.000 cubic meters of concrete. All this was for the construction of the central basement floor of the mall.

Dimitris Krikellis, Marketing Manager of Tiffany Investments Ltd, owner of Limassol’s first shopping mall said that the building will also include cafés, restaurants, as well as other places for leisure and entertainment.

The mall is being built on a plot of 100,000 sq.m. and will have parking spaces for 2,000 cars. It hopes to attract around 10,000 visitors per day, which is less than half the traffic at the Mall of Cyprus during the first week of operation. The project will be concluded in August 2008 and the grand opening of the mall is scheduled for the fall of 2008.

The operator of the new mall will “an international  experienced mall management company,” Krikellis said, adding that the total cost of the whole project is estimated at close to CyPounds 40 million (68 million euros).

“We believe that the mall’s contribution to the economy of Cyprus and not just that of Limassol is multifold, since it is one of the largest investments in retailing ever made in Cyprus creating some 1,000 new jobs.

Krikellis said the new mall is located in Zakaki, one of the fastest developing areas of Limassol, only one kilometre away from the new port of Limassol, ten minutes from the city center and five minutes from the British bases.

Although he could not say which retail companies or fashion houses had agreed to take up shops, Krikellis said that “many international and Cypriot companies have already signed agreements with Tiffany Investments Ltd., but brands or names of the companies cannot be given at this stage.

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A worldwide guide to budget flights October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in News Flights.
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Say you want a cheap flight from Manchester, England, to Greece, but you don’t know which budget airlines or charters fly there.

Turn to www.whichbudget.com, which offers a directory of such carriers around the world.

The England-based site lists 116 airlines in 124 countries, including out-of-the-way nations. Perusing is fun just to find airlines you never knew existed.

Greece’s S&B to acquire USA bentonite unit October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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Greek miner company S&B said it has reached an agreement to acquire the bentonite and lustrous carbon business of USA firm The Hill & Griffith Co for 13.4 million US$.

The Greek miner company will acquire four blending plants in Cincinnati, Burbank, Cicero and in Birmingham. The total turnover of the acquired activities is 20 million US$, while total production comes to 150,000 tons per year.

S&B said the acquisition will allow it to offer broader integrated solutions to the American foundry market and represents another step in its geographical expansion.

New Zealand’s Gemmell victorious in Rhodes, Greece October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Athletics.
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The New Zealand triathlete Kris Gemmell led from the start of the bike leg to secure his third BG Triathlon World Cup victory with a commanding win in Greece yesterday.

The world number five imposed his aggressive race plan on the rest of the field early in the bike leg, quickly establishing a substantial break on a world class group of triathletes including former World Champion Ivan Rana of Spain.

The huge effort on the bike did not show as Gemmell immediately went to work, with just the 18-year-old Alistair Brownlee of the UK able to stay with the hot pace from the Kiwi number two.

After running side by side for the bulk of the ten kilometre distance with Brownlee, Gemmell surged away with apparent ease in the final 200 metres to score yet another win for a New Zealander in World Cup racing this year.

Meanwhile fellow Kiwi Blair Jordan struggled to make an impact in the hot conditions in Rhodes and eventually withdrew from the event.

Cypriot artists open their studios > II October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus.
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Some of the artists participating in Open Studios

Chindos >
Where: Forza 9 Gallery, 1 Dem. Papamilthiadous Street, Polis Chrysohous
When: October 6-7 and October 13-14
Contact details: 99418245 and 99127428, chindosframegallery [at] cytanet.com.cy

Marianna Constanti >
Where: 3 Pallados Street, Paphos. From Kennedy Square, turn into Gladstonos Street towards Kato Paphos. First turning right and left again, second building on left hand side.
When: October 6-7
Contact details: 99-402636, boldo77 [at] hotmail.com, www.constantimarianna.com

George Kvezerli >
Where: L Tekniart, 16 Kinyras Street, Paphos, just behind the law courts near Moufflon and Travel Express.
When: October 20-21
Contact details: 99947439, vampy_tgv [at] yahoo.com

Karima Ben Otman >
Where: Karima Art Studio, 29 Ankaras Street, Limassol
When: All weekends throughout October
Contact details: 99-022912, koko [at] kokoart.com, www.benotman.com

Cypriot artists open their studios > I October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus.
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Seeing the place where an artist works gives far more insight into their finished product than merely observing it in a gallery. This year, 88 artists from Paphos and Limassol open their places of work to the public throughout October

Ever walked into a gallery and felt like you could cut through the atmosphere with a knife? An artist may pour his heart and soul into one of his works, but as it hangs in the exhibition hall, all that’s left is a finished product waiting to be purchased according to visual appeal. When the fairest of them all is taken home and placed on that bit of empty wall you wanted to fill, you’ve got a picture before you that is meant to speak a thousand words. But are you really in tune with what the artist was thinking at the time of creation?

Last year, artists from the Paphos district opened their personal workshops to the public for the first time ever, creating enormous interest as art lovers travelled even to remote villages to catch a glimpse of what happens behind closed doors.

This year, Open Studios is expanding beyond Paphos to cover the Limassol district as well. Each artist involved in the occasion will open their studio door to the public throughout various weekends in October. Artists who don’t have their own workshop will be exhibiting at one of the participating galleries. From Polis Chrysochous all the way to the centre of Limassol, there are 22 different locations that are calling out to be discovered by art lovers.

Since the idea was launched in England some 20 years ago, it has spread and gained popularity worldwide. Very different from the usual experience of visiting galleries, Open Studios gives you the chance to get to know artists in an informal atmosphere as you enjoy the privilege of spending time chatting and learning more about how various types of art work are produced.

“A traditional art exhibition can certainly be a bit sterile,” explains one of the organisers, Nic Costa. “Whereas walking into a gallery can be a bit cold and impersonal, Open Studios is all about getting to the know the person who has created the art work that hangs on the wall.” What were they thinking when they created the specific image? And how do they feel about the outcome? These are just some of the interesting things you can chat about when you meet the persona behind the picture that glares back at you.

Although Open Studios is something new for Cyprus, last year proved that locals are warmly embracing the idea. “I will never forget one Russian lady who visited every single on the artist on the list,” says Nic. “She was just so excited by the idea that she could spend a few weekends travelling around some beautiful parts of the island while popping in to discover hidden gems in personal spaces that are usually closed off to the public.”

You’ll have the unique opportunity to discover beautiful pieces of art that you wouldn’t normally stumble upon and if something appeals to you, it’s all down to a one-to-one transaction between you and the artist. “Being an artist tends to be an isolated occupation and Open Studios is a non profit making initiative that aims to directly benefit the creator without any of the commissions that burden the artist,” Nic explains.

With 88 artists taking part in the occasion this year, those involved come from very different backgrounds and cultures, and many of whom have enjoyed years of experience. And don’t expect just the usual paintings and sculptures as the studio doors open; there will also be video installations, photographic works, prints, textiles and mosaics to set your sights on. “There’s no selection committee to judge what goes in and what stays out,” says Nic. “The event is open to everyone that has had at least a year’s experience making art works. Because of the democratic system, it’s a complete mix and match of works with both amateurs and professionals taking part.”

With so many interesting things to see, organisers urge everyone to tell friends and family about the scheme. If you don’t live in Paphos or Limassol, it may be a good idea to plan a weekend trip down to the respective towns so you can really soak up the great atmosphere.

You can pick up your Open Studios guide now for free from supermarkets, kiosks and other retail outlets throughout Paphos and Limassol. In October, look out for the banners bearing the distinctive Open Studios logo on a blue and yellow background hanging near the entrances of each artists’ workplace. The special website, as well as the guidebook, provides the dates each artist will open their studio, as well as directions to each studio, addresses, and phone numbers.

Open Studios > Artists opening their doors to the public in weekends throughout October, 10am-1pm and 2pm-6pm. Personal workshops and galleries throughout Limassol and Paphos. For further information visit > www.openstudioscy.com

One of the Cyprus top wineries uses most varieties available October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Cyprus, Wine And Spirits.
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Aes Ambelis Winery > It was always obvious that the Aes Ambelis winery would progress. Since the late eighties, when it was founded, the aim was set: unique wines of premium quality.

George Tripatsas, the Director, said that the winery’s whites and reds were the house wines at many od the leading hotels in Cyprus since late 90’s. The Xynisteri-based dry white had a refreshing tropical fruit taste and the Chardonnay a strong, pink grapefruit flavour. Cretan Savvas Fakoukakis, partner and winemaker, puts emphasis on achieving aromatic complexity and rich, full flavours. For the reds in particular, ageing in fine, new, French oak barrels and cellaring the bottles in their underground cellars contributes extensively to the rich and unique character of his wines.

This modern winery is distinct in architectural style, and the estate is located on the slopes of Kalo Chorio Orinis in the Nicosia district, just 28 km from the capital. Vineyard management is the key phrase that George repeats time after time. And he has actually confessed that he believes the status his wines have achieved is down to this practice.

The winery uses most of the grape varieties available on the island, a combination of local and international varieties. Xynisteri and Semillon are used for the Aes Ambelis dry white, while the red Aes Ambelis is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mourvadre and Maratheftiko. The cosmopolitan Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon form the elite of the varietals. Recently, Aes Ambelis launched Liastos, a dessert wine made with Muscat of Alexandria and the Grand Gold Medalist medium dry rose.

Talking about medals, Aes Ambelis has won awards for wines other than the rose: three gold medals and a silver medal at the Cyprus Wine Competition, a competition that only began last year. No wonder I call this winery the “awards winner”.

2006 Aes Ambelis Chardonnay, Paphos Regional, Alcohol Volume 13.5% > The batonage method was applied, a technique where the wine while ageing on the lees is hand stirred weekly to promote depth and longevity, using new oak barrels for maturing the wine for at least six months. Clear light gold colour, the hue has a bright gold colour on the rim. The wine opens with a touch of creamy aromas of citrus, orange blossoms, ripe peach and red apples on a tropical background and vanilla. The medium body mouthfeel features sweet citrus, ripe peach, lemon/lime and a touch creamy on the finish. Balanced acidity and fruit and toast. Serve not too cold at 11 degrC enjoyed with salad and grilled chicken, scallops in white wine and spinach, pastas with salmon in creamy sauce.

2003 Aes Ambelis Cabernet Sauvignon, Limassol Regional, Alcohol Volume 14% > A silver medal winner at both the International Thessaloniki Wine Competition and the 2006 Cyprus Wine Contest. This wine aged for twelve months in new French oak barrels, and subsequently in the bottle. What we have is probably one of the best Cabs on the island, with a robust, deep red colour. Layers of scent and flavour escape on take off, blackcurrant, cherry, black pepper, tobacco and cedar. A velvety feel seduces your mouth with ripe fruit character and chocolate, leading right to a slightly rustic herbaceous landing. Surprisingly the tannins are smooth in this full-bodied wine. Pair it with rich meats like lamb, grilled steak or salmon or with strong cheese like cheddar at 18 degrC.

2006 Aes Ambelis Shiraz, Limassol Regional, Alcohol Volume 14% > Yet another medal winner, silver in Thessaloniki and gold last year in Cyprus. This Shiraz is aged for 14 months in new, French oak barrels. It is a dense, red-purple wine. The nose reeks of sweet, over-ripe, warm climate Shiraz fruit of black plums and blueberries in particular along with white pepper, dried date and hints of oak. A big, soft, sweet, cloying wine on the palate loaded with herby plum fruit and with very appealing ripe, slightly spicy tannins and fairly soft acidity. Oven roasted leg of lamb, rare roast beef, barbecue steak and mature cheese at 17 degrC. Limited.