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Brew > Have a cocktail with your cuppa March 14, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Nicosia, Food Cyprus, Greek Taste Local.
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An evening spent in a bar that specialises in cups of tea may not sound like your idea of a good night out, but, banish any thoughts of PG Tips and the blue-rinse brigade and, if you’ve not been already, be sure to put the wonderful Brew on your list of bars to visit.

Yes, it has an extraordinary variety of teas (hence the name), but it also has an extensive range of expertly made cocktails, an intriguing selection of light bites and a warm and welcoming ambience that other bars could only wish to have.

Set in Laiki Yitonia, a little gem in the heart of the city, the rabbits’ warren of outside and internal bar areas make Brew one of Nicosia’s prettiest nightspots. During the warm evenings the lovely, intimate tea-lit courtyard is an ideal haven for romantic trysts whilst all year round the inside bar is a perfect place to gather with friends and explore the large variety of drinks and try the tasty salads, sandwiches and soups, such as the exotic sounding carrot, honey and ginger soup, whilst listening to an eclectic mixture of current R&B, dance and indie tracks peppered with a few classics.

The decor is simple but stylish. Aside from a vibrant red wall behind the long glass-topped bar in the main bar area, the rest of the interior is painted white with some floral artwork here and there, with sofas and kafenion style wooden chairs scattered around candle lit tables.

The place is decidedly unpretentious – an increasingly rare attribute for bars in Nicosia. As far as dress is concerned, anything goes – be it sequins, jeans, heels or trainers, it doesn’t matter. And although Brew is the venue for Mixed Olives nights – popular singles events – it lacks that predatory feel of so many other places, instead exuding a relaxed and chilled out atmosphere.

You could spend most of the night perusing the dizzying array of drinks on offer. Whilst tea may not seem initially enticing, one look at the menu, which includes such delights as ‘Octopussy’ – a blend of black teas with vanilla, citrus and lavender, may have you change your mind. There are even teas to combat migraines, menstrual cramps and the flu so there is no excuse for a tummy ache or cold to prevent you from going out.

As tempting as the tea menu was however, I made a beeline for the cocktail list and enjoyed a particularly spicy and zingy Bloody Mary. Some gentle persuasion from Nas, one of the owners, steered me away from ordering a second and opting instead for an interesting sounding mandarin margarita. It was probably one of the best cocktails I’ve ever tasted. Made with freshly squeezed mandarin juice and with just the right balance of sweet and sour, it was quite simply, delicious.

On a roll, I decided to go out with a bang and ordered as my third and final cocktail of the night, the classic choice of 1980s chavs, a Pink Panther. Imagine. The humble Pink Panther has been promoted from student union rocket fuel to a bona fide cocktail. The mind boggles! The sickly flavour of blackcurrant mixed with cider and lager – inexplicably tasty – brought back recollections of precariously balancing plastic tumblers filled with the potent mixture whilst dancing disastrously to Martha and the Muffins. Before attempting to recreate these embarrassing memories I wisely decided I had had enough and should leave whilst my dignity remained more or less in tact. This was around midnight and the bar was getting lively and filling up with a mixed crowd who were drinking teas, cocktails, beers, wine and whatever took their fancy.

‘Something for everyone’ is a much used and often abused description but in the case of Brew, it really could not be more apt.

Brew, 30b Hippocrates Street, Nicosia, Cyprus, tel 22 100133. Opening hours: 11.30am – 2.00am weekdays, 11.30am – 3.00am weekends.

For further reading > https://grhomeboy.wordpress.com/2007/11/03/a-passion-for-tea-tea-for-one/

New green project for Nicosia’s riverbed March 5, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Cyprus Nicosia, Nature.
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The upgrading of a linear park in Nicosia which includes a lit pedestrian walkway and bicycle lanes along the Pedieos River is expected to begin shortly, with the area set to be transformed into one of outstanding natural beauty.

The first 4.5km of the project was built in Lakatamia as far back as eight years ago. Upgrade plans include two parallel paths, one for pedestrians and one for cyclists over a distance of 18 kilometres.

The project’s architect, Andreas Kyriakides said that the aim is, “to modernise the capital and to give citizens the opportunity to walk in safety and tranquillity.”

The upgrade plans include a further two-kilometre section which needs to be built within Nicosia Municipality borders, specifically from the Agrotis Bridge near the Presidential Palace to the old General Hospital.

According to the architect, “the final goal is to take advantage of the whole passage of the river, which begins at the Tamassos Dam and finishes at Paphos Gate. We would also like to utilise the moat circling the old city so that a truly circular park can be created, which will strengthen the unification of the old town in the future.”

Construction plans are in place with work due to begin shortly. It is hoped everything will be ready by 2009. Tenders are expected to be submitted by the end of March, with the project designed and approved by the Town Planning Department.

It will also be environmentally friendly. “No pollution of the river will be seen during the building works,” the architect assured. Two modern laminated timber footbridges will also be constructed, one in Ayioi Omologites, the other close to the Evangelistria private clinic. Kyriakides said dense growth and private property had hindered progress in Ayioi Omologites. Special ‘green’ buses will also run through the park, helping both pedestrians and cyclists to cover distance.

He stated that the exact cost was not yet known but would be in the region of several million euros. He thanked Nicosia, Strovolos and Lakatamia Municipalities, saying the project would not have been possible without their help.

The walkway will be flanked by eucalyptus trees, with tropical fish, frogs, and turtles introduced into the river. Rare birds will also be set free.

“We want to take advantage of the river’s location and beauty. The environment is very clean and peaceful there and is will be a lovely in which to go for a walk.”

A passion for tea > Tea for one November 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Nicosia, Food Cyprus, Greek Taste Local.
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While most of us make it from a teabag, for one Nicosia woman, the quest for a perfect cuppa has become a lifetime’s adventure

Cyprus is a country renowned for its coffee culture, so the idea of a tea bar may seem somewhat strange. That hasn’t put off Gabrielle Duval though, who has recently opened Brew Lounge and Tea Bar in old Nicosia, which serves more than 24 types of tea.

“Cypriots associate drinking tea with being ill but I’m convinced that Brew will show that drinking tea is an entire lifestyle,” the 30-year-old said. “We have an amazing variety on offer, including classic teas from Sri Lanka, India, China and Japan to name a few, as well as herbal, scented and iced teas.”

She added that she is confident that Cypriots, “will embrace this new lifestyle that they’re not currently familiar with, much like they have done over the last decade with wine, with which we can draw similar analogies.” Duval explained that she has been a tea lover since the age of 18, “when I had to stop drinking coffee for medical reasons and needed to find an alternative.”

While studying in Toulouse, France, Duval discovered a quaint creperie, where the owner initiated her to tea. “This was the beginning of a journey which has been expanding ever since.” She said that she took the decision to open a tea bar in Nicosia, “to follow my passion, indulge in it and share it with others. This became urgent when I couldn’t find any decent tea to drink on the island.” When asked what her favourite is, she hesitated. “That is an impossible question as the variety is so great, with each tea having its own separate character. A different time of day and mood will dictate my choice.”

A teabag is how most of us will take the drink, but Duval said that the contents are the lowest grade of the leaf. “When the leaves are gathered and stored at source, all the leaves that don’t pass the quality requirements of the tea houses are ground together with the rest of the sediment to produce tea bags. Tea has been popularised and made available to the masses through a teabag, but it’s worth noting that it was considered a luxury item until just after WWII.”

So, how does one make the perfect cuppa? “There are certain basic rules and each type of tea has its own way of being brewed,” she noted. “For example, a black tea should be brewed with water of 95 degrees celcius for about five minutes, while green tea should be brewed at 70 degrees and should not infuse for longer than three minutes.”

A true connoisseur will not add milk or sugar, nor will they eat or smoke during a tasting. “The choice of tea pot is also important,” Duval stated. “For example, earthenware pots are ideal for many of the fragrant Chinese black teas as the tannin, the chemical compound, is absorbed by the pot, thus enhancing the next pot to be drunk.”

She also spoke of the drink’s health benefits. “Tea contains anti-oxidants, some are high in vitamin C, while most are diuretic. Some even have properties that lower the body’s temperature, which is great during Cyprus’ hot summers and highly beneficial when running a fever.

Brew also sells rooibos, which, according to Duval, is not technically a tea as it comes from the red bush plant grown in South Africa. “This contains no theine [caffeine] whatsoever and has become popular around the world with those who must eliminate all caffeine from their diet.”

Brew Lounge and Tea Bar, 30b Hippocrates Street, Nicosia, tel 22 100133.

Sampling a tea > We couldn’t leave without a tasting so Duval proceeded to make us an ‘Au Revoir’. The Chinese green tea is blended with traditional Moroccan nanah mint and naturally scented bergamot from Calabria and pepper from Madagascar.

Brew uses a water purifier as the water on the island can be very hard, Duval explained. She poured hot water over the loose leaves, which clearly unravelled and expanded as they absorbed the water, “which releases the flavour.” The contents were left to infuse for three minutes in a glass teapot. The taste and smell was quite minty, while I could also clearly detect the black pepper. I had never before tasted such an unusual tea but it definitely got the thumbs up. Delicious!

An Art Gallery without walls November 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus, Cyprus Nicosia.
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Ten artists from around the world gathered in a cloud of dust last week to create the second part of an International Sculpture Park

I could see white dust filling the air from the main road but thought nothing of it. However, approaching the park, the scene was quite breathtaking. A woodland slope was host to a group of ten dust-coated artists, each working on individual pieces of limestone. Over two weeks they had been carving sculptures as part of the second International Sculpture Symposium held in Ayia Varvara.

These ten sculptures were unveiled last week and have taken their places alongside ten existing sculptures at the International Sculpture Park, that were created during a similar event last year. Despite being on a hillside outside Nicosia, the park is called ‘international’ due to the participation of overseas artists, from as far afield as Cuba and Argentina.

“The International Sculpture Symposium is an EU-funded programme that helps Europe’s regions form partnerships to work together on common projects,” said Christos Lanitis, one of the artists and a member of the Friends of Fine Arts Association, which first realised the dream of a park. “By sharing knowledge and experience, these partnerships enable the regions involved to develop new solutions to economic, social and environmental challenges.”

Last year, the first symposium had sculptors from France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Georgia, Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus working together to set up the first part of the park. “The association’s aim is to promote both Cypriot and foreign artists by organising exhibitions in Cyprus and abroad, and, of course, educating our members and the public about the arts in general and cultural and artistic events in particular,” said Christos. The Ayia Varvara Community Council donated the land, which, in addition to the sculptures, is home to eucalyptus trees and a small chapel of the Holy Cross that sits on top of the hill.

The scene from this year’s gathering was reminiscent of Edward Scissorhands, with clouds of dust surrounding each artist as they worked away on sculptures in the open air. Some were in overalls sans T-shirts due to the heat while others were covered from head to toe in clothing and masks. Tools were scattered around the area, and the atmosphere was cheerful despite the pressure to finish in time for the unveiling last Sunday. “Some of us have worked together on other symposiums,” said Nabi Basbus, from Lebanon. “But it’s such a nice time for all of us because we meet new people and live with them for 15 days, meanwhile doing what we love, so we’re one big, happy family.”

Although last year’s symposium did not have a theme, members of the Association decided to adopt the idea of having one from now on. “It was Christos Lanitis’ idea to focus this year’s sculptures on one theme, the sea, because he’s such a fan,” says Christiana Megalemou, PR spokesperson for the symposium. “The idea was to give all these people from different backgrounds a theme so they could elaborate and create something the way they understand and view it.” Although some of the artists’ English was on the poor side, it was clear that they were all happy to lend each other a helping hand whenever necessary, and, of course, the language of art was widely spoken.

The Friends of Fine Arts Association, a registered non-profit organisation, has big plans for this large stretch of hill. At present, however, describing the area as a park is a little misleading. There is little greenery and few facilities. “Nothing has happened yet apart from the roofed kiosk and seating area but our objective is to create a sculpture park with no admission fee, that way making it accessible to everyone,” said Christiana. “It has already become an educational destination for schoolchildren and college students, and we’re hoping that a cafeteria will also be operating for the community and the youth in particular.”

This is encouraging, but improvements to the site in the last year have been fewer than organisers had hoped. The reason is simple. “Lack of funds and sponsors,” said Christiana. “The younger generation might appreciate what we are trying to do here, but the truth is that a lot of people don’t understand or simply don’t see the point of it.” The EU funds 50 per cent of the costs involved, but the rest have to be covered by other sponsors and more need to be found.

The idea of a gallery without walls is intriguing enough but the fact that it also enables people to respond to these pieces of art, explore them and think about the sculpture in relation to the landscape, is a thrilling concept. However, the sad fact is that although people, regardless of race, creed and colour had gathered at this small village just outside of Nicosia to create a beautiful, creative recreational area, it’s a wonder if it will ever be fully appreciated.

The International Sculpture Park is situated in the village of Ayia Varvara, (Saint Barbara), Nicosia district, Cyprus.

Related Links > www.friendsoffinearts.org.cy

Phikardou > the past restored June 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Cyprus Nicosia.
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The entire village of Phikardou has been declared an ancient monument. It now provides a fascinating insight into life in 18th century Cyprus

Most tourists seem perfectly content to spend their time here eating familiar cuisine and tipsily tripping from sun bed to hotel bar and back, which is a huge shame, especially on an island as fascinating and varied as this.

On this day trip, we visit a village that 10 years ago was literally taken over by the Department of Antiquities to preserve its entire fabric and unique architecture, it now boasts the unusual title of being the only village which has been declared in its entirety as an ancient monument.

Such was the success of this huge undertaking, the project was awarded the prestigious Europa Nostra award for conservation work, while visitors will not visit a lifeless archeological site as every house in Phikardou has an owner and has either been renovated or is in the process of being done so by the owners. Every occupier must adhere to what is a strict set of rules and regulations for listed buildings, so no satellite dishes loom from roofs nor will you catch sight of any aluminium doors or window frames.

The aim is to breathe new life into this rural village, which so called progress threatened to snuff out. Farmland lay untended as workers left to seek work along the busy coastal strips, leaving behind deserted buildings and a dwindling elderly population. Phikardou is now considered to be one of the most important traditional settlements still surviving on the island and is quite a success story for the environmentalists. In addition, all visitors are able to experience a living village where little has changed since the 18th century.

From Nicosia, the drive is around 25minutes, and the turn off is one and a half kilometers past Gouri village on the Machairas-Nicosia via Klirou road. Visitors from Paphos can enjoy a longer, 2hr, 40min, but still lovely route once they come off the motorway at Limassol.

As the village is an ancient monument, the government-issue ‘brown’ signs clearly show the route. The village is set on a sort of dog leg, which means there are two ways in and out, so if you miss one turn off, a few kilometers further on there will be the other.

We made the journey in late February and as we drove along the winding but well-surfaced road we saw what first looked like snow flakes fluttering across the windscreen but turned out to be almond blossom, millions of petals were falling and gently blowing past us, originating from the hundreds of almond trees that flourish in the area. This helped make for a lovely drive up to the village all through rolling, un-spoilt countryside surrounded on either side by forests of pink-tinged blooming almond trees, the experience making us feel as if we were taking part in an extended and very slick car advert.

Make for the parking area just by the 18th century church, dedicated to the Apostles Peter and Paul. This is a good place to first walk round then take the tiny path from the side of the church yard into the heart of the village. The first thing you notice is the predominance of local stone, or iron stone, used in the construction of all the houses, that is mixed with pebbles and limestone slabs to support mud brick superstructures, covered with slanted tile roofs.

Walking through the narrow, slate-lined walkways, make sure you look at the wooden front doors and especially the front door locking mechanism. Here the cover of the lock is carved and a special key was made with a lever and opened with a wooden key specifically designed for each household. Above the door lintel, some of the houses boast carved plaques displaying the protective eye, one even has a rather somber cut out of a human head, yet another deterrent to a visitation from the devil.

There is a small visitor centre a few minutes walk down from the church right in the heart of the village staffed by very friendly, English-speaking locals, who will take you on a small tour of the two homes open to the public.

The house of Katsinioros can be traced back to 16th century origins and here you get a fascinating insight into the way lives were lived: families slept on hard wood planks amusingly described as beds, one room on top was used for sleeping, cooking and the all-important art of weaving. Below the living quarters resided livestock, with a room for the all important zivania still, an oven for cooking and baking bread, and an area for storing wine in huge pithary pots.

This house, along with that of Achilleas Dimitri, has been faithfully restored using reference to old drawings and photographs, and it is very well done. Mind you, after being told that parts of the village date back to the 16th century one has to then stop and look around and wish there was much more of this type of conservation, by comparison most of us now live in rather temporary accommodation.

Don’t dare leave without enjoying a jolly good lunch served at the one and only taverna, set on the hill down from the church. The owner prides herself on her homemade bread and everything served here is fresh, well cooked, good quality and excellent value for money. Sitting with glass in hand and good food on the plate it’s a perfect end to our time spent looking into a past that will hopefully flourish for another three centuries.

If you are going from Paphos or Limassol > Leave at Limassol Junction 27 towards Agia Fylia (E110) to Palodia, Paramytha, Gerasa, Zoopigi Agros. Then make a right onto the E903 towards Palaichori/Apliki Then either take a right to Farmakas and turn left to Gouri/Phikardou, note on most maps its spelt Fikardou, or carry on towards Klirou turning right at Kalo Chorio then Gouri to reach Phikardou.

Nestling in a corner of Nicosia’s history June 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Cyprus Nicosia, Greek Taste Local.
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One of the first parts of the old town to be successfully renovated was Chrysaliniotissa. The area has its own crafts centre which now boasts a very European coffee shop.

A lot has been written about the historical centre of Nicosia, the old inhabitants, its multicultural image, not as new as one might think, and the efforts for its revival. Part of that effort is the Nicosia Master Plan and the rehabilitation of the inner city, which includes Chrysaliniotissa and the area’s craft centre. The area takes its name from the oldest Byzantine church in Nicosia, dedicated to “Our Lady of the Golden Flax” that was built in 1463 by the Lusignan Queen Eleni Paleologina, whose origins were Greek. The Chrysaliniotissa revitalisation project was selected as the first to be implemented because of the outstanding architectural character the area displayed, and taking a look around proves just that.

An Icelander has now been added to the long list of foreigners that have fallen in love with the old part of Nicosia. Inga Hadjipanayi came to the island as a tourist in 1983, a young teenager not knowing what the future held. More than two decades later, Inga is still here, trying her hand at an exciting new challenge. The mother of four has never worked in her life and venturing into business on her own was daunting to say the least. “When the first customer came through the door of the Coffee Nest, I was petrified,” she said. The small, quaint coffee shop come diner started operation under Inga’s management back in November 2006 at the Chrysaliniotissa Craft Centre. “A few years before, I came with a friend to tour the area and the nearby sights and fell in love with the whole concept of the centre as well as the area. At the time, an old lady was running the coffee shop and just the basics were on offer.” Nothing came of it until recently when the shop was vacated. The establishment is found at one end of the complex, neighbouring the craft shops.

The Coffee Nest’s main door, flanked by a tall window on each side, opens to the road and the slow daily grind of the ageing residents. The east-facing door opens on to a little square and wooden pergola with a canvas ceiling, offers solace from the summer heat. A small number of tables and chairs scattered on the stoned surface beckon the weary traveller to quench his thirst. The shop also offers wholesome food at reasonable prices, friendly faces and good service. It provides an alternative menu to the stale and unimaginative dishes that major outlets offer and also has the advantage of being a venue steeped in history.

Inga plans on holding knitting club meetings at the shop as she is an accomplished knitter too. The idea is to attract likeminded people that crave some companionship or knitting guidance. An art exhibition of prints by English-born Alexandra Storer is currently displayed on the coffee shop’s walls.

Outside the coffee shop, an easel with a green slate board states the day’s special dish and once indoors, the sparkling clean, open, stainless steel kitchen is in full view. On the working surface an array of homemade cakes and pies look delectable. Inga is promoting a healthy, all natural ingredients menu. Some of the pies and cakes on offer are local favourites such as the olive cake and the tahini pie while others are more European, such as the quiches and fish cakes or the vegetarian lasagne. “When I first started, it was going to be mainly sandwiches but it is anything but that now. I much prefer cooking vegetarian or the odd chicken fillet or fish cake for light lunches,” said Inga. The shop is open from 9am to 6pm but now the summer is upon us will stay open until 9pm. “Once the sun disappears behind the rooftops, there is nowhere I’d rather be, there’s such a lovely breeze.”

The centre as a whole has something of a 50s neighbourhood feel to it as one of the artisans at the centre explained: “it reminds me of my hometown, Kyrenia. I can hear the Christian church bells tolling and after a while I can hear the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer from the nearby mosque.” Inga says she feels “at home” and “right to be here” and if it wasn’t for some minor problems with the hot weather everything would be perfect. “The first five years were the worst. I couldn’t bear the heat but now it’s a lot better,” she said.

The complex does not really allow for expansion plans but Inga is happy with the way things are: “I really like; it’s more intimate and cosy this way. But I’d like to expand to more tables and chairs in the square. I would love to organise poetry evenings or other affiliate subjects. The evenings in the walled city are magical and especially here at the Craft Centre.”

Chrysaliniotissa Craft Centre, 2 Dimonaktos Street, Nicosia. For info call 22 344674.

The Monastery of Machairas > a day trip April 29, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Nicosia.
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For a lunch with a view, grab a picnic and head towards the Monastery of Machairas

For those living in Limassol, Larnaca and Nicosia, this is an easy day trip with not much driving involved. The same cannot be said for those doing the route from Paphos, especially those who detest motorway driving and vow only to use the back roads, for whom the round trip would be 300km.

No restaurants this time, take a good picnic and make use of one of the marvelous picnic sites en route, all of which are well equipped with wooden tables, chairs, barbeque areas and good toilet and washing facilities.

The route from central Nicosia is simple > travel out through the suburbs of Strovolos and aim for Kato Deftera. A short distance from the centre, take the turn to Tamassos, reckoned to be one of the oldest Cypriot settlements. The road is well signposted with the now-familiar brown signs. It’s worth taking the time to walk the half-acre site and explore the subterranean tombs then take a moment to wonder at what other treasures from the past must lie, as yet undiscovered, beneath your feet. Mind you, not everyone has been clued up on the need to preserve and conserve our unique heritage as demonstrated in 1836 when two farmers dug up a magnificent, life-size bronze statue of Apollo that they hacked to bits and sold for scrap.

Returning to the main road, carry on through the villages of Kampia, Kapedes and Lazanias, you are now well out of the flat zone of the sprawling suburbs of the capital into the calm, peace and quiet of the forest, which leads to the north slope of Mount Kionia, atop of which sits the quite magnificent Machairas Monastery. This is a truly stunning location with views right over to Nicosia and since 1148 has been a safe home for hermits and monks in addition to offering a welcome to thousands of visiting pilgrims.

machairas_monastery.jpg  Two bad fires, in 1530 and 1892, resulted in a bleak, stone skeleton until the Leventis Foundation stepped in and sensitively restored the building in 1998. The big draw is the icon of the Virgin Mary attributed to Luke the Evangelist, along with a small Museum dedicated to a photographic history of EOKA hero Grigorios Afxentiou. You can carry on 1km below the Monastery to visit Afxentiou’s hideout, the Krisfigeto tou Afxentiou, which is basically a bunker but also now a shrine to Afxentiou, who met his death on March 3, 1957 after a local farmer informed on him to the British colonial army. Soldiers surrounded his bunker and the brave Afxentiou, despite being wounded, managed to hold off a platoon of 60 for 10 hours before being finally dispatched with a petrol bomb and explosives. It’s easy to spot even from the road as the statue erected in his honour is a massive sculpted figure of the man, standing arms akimbo and guarded by a huge eagle.

The road continues to be a bit twisty but with a good surface and it’s worth winding down the windows to sniff vigorously at the pine-scented air and keep an eye out for the clumps of wild flowers that seem to cling, limpet like, to the rock faces.

Make your way to Gourri and stop at the wooden sign at the village entrance pointing to the Textile Workshop. This was once the village school and is set on a side road a two-minute walk away. When inside, you will be welcomed by either Elli, Margarita or Androulla, three talented ladies from the village who have, with the assistance of the Community Council and the Ministry of Culture, managed to revive the almost lost art of the loom. The passion these ladies have for their work is obvious as they patiently explain the basics of weaving and will proudly show you samples of some of the best decorative pieces you have seen in a long time. These include everything from towels, curtains, tablecloths, rugs and cushion covers. They are also in great demand to make priests’ vestments, olokentita, as well as weaving maktras, the bright red cloth used for Holy Communion. It’s a lovely little place that is giving a bit of life back to this rather sleepy village and hopefully attracting more quality tourists.

Next stop is the hillside view looking down to the Apliki dam and the village of Palaichori nestling in the distance. Again, it’s the sheer quiet and calm of the area that makes you want to sit on one of the benches, pour a cup of coffee from your flask and take some time to reflect on the sheer beauty of the surroundings. It’s now time for those traveling from Nicosia to turn back and follow clearly marked signs for the E903, leading them back to the capital.

Limassol and Paphos-based drivers will start the journey by taking the Agia Filaxis turnoff at Limassol then carry straight on through what is a lovely, leisurely drive climbing slowly till 35km later taking the turn off signed to Zoopigi. Another quiet, contemplative drive until taking the turn at the entrance to the village of Agios Theodoros, making sure you take the higher, right-hand road, which will take you onto the E903 which you travel on to Palaichori and basically from there work the trip in reverse. Returning you will find it quicker to get onto the motorway, take signs marked to Limassol, which will get you back to Paphos at around 4pm having left home at 9am. It’s a long but a very worthwhile trip, one you will certainly wish to take again as going off some of the roads we traveled, there’s a great many more places of interest waiting to be discovered.