jump to navigation

Paphos tuna for the boys July 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos, Sports & Games.
comments closed

Fishing for tuna off the coast of Paphos can provide a superb morning’s sport but it is really only for the men

Dinos Ioakim, think Jacques Cousteau minus the woolly hat, is blessed with exceedingly strong sea legs, the tone and texture of his skin is akin to a mahogany sideboard and he is possessed of a seafaring wisdom gleaned from 25 years plying the Mediterranean. And he certainly doesn’t run a Jolly Roger type outing. A serious seaman and experienced deep sea diver, he runs a tight ship, so no nonsense or silly drunken escapades are appreciated aboard this captain’s vessel.

It was a 7am start for photographer Barrie, experienced game fisherman on holiday from London, Gary Pyner and keen anglers Ted and David, both Peyia residents. Fishing for tuna, specifically the albacore, was the name of the game and Dinos gunned his small but speedy craft the 4km out to see to get to the fishing grounds.

At a point known only to Dinos, he doesn’t consult maps, sonar or satellite systems, we reached the promised tuna run, an area these predators of the deep return to every year between the end of May and the beginning of September. The depth is around 300 meters, and in the distant horizon we spotted the marker pots of a commercial long line, stretched out for an estimated 100km to attract and catch tuna. This is factory fishing on a huge scale, with most of the catch being air freighted to end up as part of a sushi platter in Japanese restaurants.

But not what we were here for. These ‘long lines’ are supposed to be dolphin friendly but they do catch birds, turtles and sharks, which is why Dinos with his small-scale operation and short lines bringing in one fish at a time mean there is minimum damage to the marine environment. That said, all types of tuna are over fished to a greater or lesser degree and Dinos’ boat is regularly spot checked by the Fisheries Department when he returns to ensure he is not abusing the catch allocation.

Two rods were cast from the side of the boat, each attached with a silver, red and white rappala lure about the size of a banana. The lines, when fully extended, would run for 80 metres. Primed and ready, we sat waiting expectantly for the sharp bang on the line heralding a bite.

Fishing is not a sport where one gains instant gratification, indeed, to the uninitiated it seems to be merely a form of loafing, only compensated by the ever calming sea and silence, which means it’s also soporific. Out there, all at sea, with no tourist boats belting out music it’s a far gentler pace of life.

If it’s a slow fishing day, an angler sitting there poised in silence eyeing the surface for signs of activity could easily nod off, that is, until the reel starts to scream and everyone snaps into action. Eventually a crack like a gun went off and Gary had his tuna on the bait, the trick then was for him to keep his catch and wind it in. Once landed, the tuna is paralysed and bled to death, not for the feint hearted.

Tuna cruise the sea looking like cartoon torpedoes with long fins, huge eyes searching for anything that moves, pointed noses and muscular streamlined bodies with grooves along their sides that allow them to tuck in their fins to reduce water resistance.

For Gary, catching and landing his tuna was “the most fun you can have standing up”. His catch weighed a respectable 10kg, you can opt to take your prize home with you although for anyone staying in a hotel this is not a very realistic option.

An important note for any ladies who may wish to join their men folk on this ‘Hemmingway’ macho fish fest is that the facilities on the four-hour round trip are none existent. Add to that the fact that conversation is almost entirely centered around their last big catch, cricketing tales and the relative merits of different football teams and it’s easy to see why this trip is a boy thing.

Dinos Tuna Fishing > tel 99 655759, fax 26 822467. Private hire is also available for small groups or individuals.

Stroumpi Tavern > Great food, reasonable prices June 24, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos, Greek Taste Local.
comments closed

One couple who deserve a medal for their efforts to up the quality of food on offer in the Paphos area are Steve and Claire Ward, a British couple who, having moved here with a young family, decided to earn their livelihood by opening a restaurant in the rather sleepy village of Stroumpi.

They are now working hard at making a living, bringing to this culinary starved area a jolly good menu of decent, honest and exceedingly well cooked food. Getting to their place is easy, you turn left just before the square.

Don’t be put off by the restaurant’s uninspired image, just go in, sit down and allow yourself to be reminded of the old adage ‘never to judge a book by its cover, nor a restaurant by its tablecloths’.

All beef used in the restaurant originates from Butcher Boy, a master butcher local to Paphos whose professional appreciation of a good fillet and tasty rib eye, makes for a guaranteed quality product. Here at the Stroumpi Tavern the cow is certainly king with servings of Sirlion, T Bone, Rib Eye all served to perfection by chef Steve.

The starters we decided to bypass altogether, preferring to roar into the meat fest and with a couple of devotees of rib eye and fine fillet in our company they were deeply happy from the minute they ordered and they voted the steaks among the best they had tasted in a long time.

The haddock and chips also went down well, as did the steak and mushroom pie although make sure you ask for the gravy on the side or else you get a totally mugged soggy pie. Steve also plated up a small mezze of some of his specials including a rather delicious chicken with balsamic; a good, balanced sweet chili chicken plus the less spicy Stroumpi chicken. Everything that came out from the kitchen reflected Steve’s art of balance when it comes to seasoning, coupled with a meticulous mentality towards hygiene, methodology, quality and his need for customers to be genuinely satisfied. This is why this little place, about 50 covers, is now en route to becoming one of the most popular places to come to either from Paphos or Polis.

The selection of homemade puddings sealed the recommendation to return to Stroumpi as few can knock up such great bread-and-butter pudding as Steve, ably backed up by Claire’s ginger sponge and creamy rice puddings.

Many may be blissfully unaware of the current ‘roast’ wars that erupt every Sunday in expat land, with nearly every establishment plying ‘Ye Olde English’ inclusive Sunday roast beef and Yorkshire pudding number. Many are pretty ghastly pretenders to the title but, word has it Steve and Claire are well on the way to being hailed as unofficial winners in the battle of the Yorkshires.

Don’t expect flowers, fancy cutlery, murals, quality linen or chic crockery, just great food and reasonable prices.

Stroumpi Tavern, Gregori Afxentiou Street, Kato Stroumpi, Paphos, tel 26 633231.

Olympus Village in Cyprus June 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Architecture Infrastructure, Cyprus Paphos.
comments closed

The Olympus development nestles on the high hills above Paphos, next to the traditional village of Tsada.

The homes there have been carefully sited so residents enjoy panoramic views of the sea and the Mediterranean countryside. These luxury properties are elevated from summer humidity, offering the benefits of a healthy climate and refreshing mountain breezes. Villas dot the landscape, offering open living spaces and large private patios with landscaped gardens.

Olympus Village offers custom-built three, four, and five-bedroom villas, with optional private pools and the luxury of underground telephone and electricity cabling.

For further information and the free Guide to Living In Cyprus call Leptos Estates’ office in London on 020 8883 2333.

For further information visit > www.leptosestates.com

Eco-friendly homes in Cyprus June 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Architecture Infrastructure, Cyprus Paphos.
comments closed

Leptos Estates offer eco-friendly ways for overseas investors to buy into the Greek property market

Proudly Cypriot property developers Leptos Estates have been building on the sun-filled island for 47 years, and haven’t been backward in looking to the Ancient Greeks for inspiration as to how to make their developments more energy efficient and kinder to the environment.

Underfloor heating was originally perfected by the Romans and the Greeks, and the modern version is just one of the eco-friendly features in Leptos Estates’ new homes, alongside passive solar heating, making them attractive to buyers with green fingers on their chequebooks.

“Underfloor heating is around 30% cheaper to run than traditional heating systems, and in the warm Mediterranean climate of Cyprus, effectively heats the largest homes without the need for back-up radiators,” explains Leptos Estates’ Marketing Director, Pantelis Leptos. “At planning stages of all our developments we assess the ecological impact and look at what steps we can take to reduce the carbon footprint of our homes. With changes in materials, and legislation, this is always an ongoing process and there have been major steps forward in our industry in the last year alone.”

Leptos Estates’ commitment to ecological issues doesn’t just relate to their profit margin, however, as the company has just announced that they’re going to plant one million trees during their own Green Festival Celebration, which is slated to take place in Yeroskipou, Paphos. Indeed, the company has already planted a million trees in Paphos, and employs over 35 dedicated horticulturists. Cripes, they’ve even published their own guide to flora and fauna, entitled the Wild Flowers of Kamares and Agios Neophytos!

For further information about Leptos Estates’ properties visit > www.leptosestates.com

Paphos > Anthestiria Festival in bloom April 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos.
comments closed

Heralding the arrival of spring in all its glory, the Anthestiria Flower Festival held in Paphos is set to be another colourful celebration of nature this year.

Taking its name from the Greek word for flower, the festival, which is held on May 6th, has its roots in ancient Athenian traditions of honouring the gods.

Boasting floral parades and food and drink stalls lining the streets, the festival attracts a large number of visitors. Fresh flowers also line the streets and lead the way into the town’s picturesque Old Harbour. According to Visit Cyprus, the country’s summer begins in May, offering visitors “high temperatures, cloudless skies and cooling breezes from the sea”.

Paphos is also home to the island’s St Paul’s Feast on June 28th and 29th, which marks the apostle’s journey after leaving Jerusalem.

Paphos: Cypriot town of beauty > Paphos is regarded as one of the most beautiful destinations in Cyprus, with the Western Troodos Mountains adding a stunning backdrop to the coastal town. The area’s outstanding natural environment is perhaps fitting as it is believed to be the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

And with a population of just 28,000, Paphos remains mostly unspoilt by development, with its old harbour and historic ruins proving a popular draw for holidaymakers. Plus, dozens of quaint villages nestle in the mountains surrounding the town, with life relaxed and seemingly unchanged for decades.

This gives tourists the opportunity to experience a slice of the real Cyprus, untarnished by commercialism and the growing holiday market, while also ensuring that the area delivers for more than just sun, sea and sand.

However, Paphos offers all three of those in abundance with the island of Cyprus offering long, hot summers and mild winters. And with local beaches such as Coral Bay offering luxurious white sand and clear waters, it is the perfect place to relax, top up the tan and enjoy swimming in the ocean without a care in the world.

For info > Paphos Municipality, Telephone 26 932116

Related Links > http://www.cyprustourism.org

A sunny round of golf for dad this father’s day April 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos.
comments closed

This Father’s Day, why not treat Dad to a holiday where he can tee off in the sun at the luxurious Aphrodite Hills golf course in Cyprus.

Whether he sees himself as the next Tiger Woods or simply enjoys the sport, he is sure to appreciate the resorts facilities and perfectly manicured 18-hole championship golf course set in dramatic natural beauty and boasting exquisite views.

Specialist tour operator, Libra Holidays, is currently offering a great saver deal to the luxurious five-star Intercontinental Aphrodite Hills Resort in Cyprus where Dad can enjoy rounds of golf for free!

Book your holiday before 30th April and golf enthusiasts can enjoy 2 rounds of golf and then get an additional 2 rounds for free. This superb deal is on offer on all stays between 1st May – 31st October 2007.

In addition to the golf saver offer, guests can also pay for five nights but stay seven or pay for 10 nights and stay 14!! This offer is only valid for stays during June or July 2007 when booked before 30th April!

Libra Holidays offers seven nights b/b at the five-star Intercontinental Aphrodite Hills Resort from £726 per person. The price is based on two sharing a twin garden pool view room and includes return flights from Gatwick and transfers.

To book, visit www.libraholidays.co.uk

An artist and a blacksmith February 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos.
comments closed

If you are looking for a unique piece of wrought iron work or need some new gates, this is just the place to look

Man has, for over 600 years, sculpted cast iron, bronze, wrought iron and other metals by cutting and burnishing them under high levels of heat to achieve the perfect design and distinctive patina.

One man in Cyprus who can lay claim to the ancient and honourable titles of both blacksmith and artist is 38-year-old Pegasios Philippides. Born in the village of Lemona, the young Philippides left his home land in 1990 to travel to America to study sculpture at the prestigious New York League of Arts. Three years later, the qualified artist returned to Cyprus full of ambition, plus a portfolio bulging with ideas for the creation of a range of bespoke sculpture.

Sadly, like so many other talented people who return home, his talent wasn’t fully recognized. In fact, people thought him slightly crazy for thinking anyone would ever wish to buy the likes of a life-size metal sculpture of Athena. Slowly but surely it dawned that here appreciation of his art was a long way off from its zenith so the artist, like so many before him, had to compromise in order to make a living.

“I knew my sculpted pieces would only sell to a very select audience and that that audience wasn’t really to be found here in sleepy Paphos, with many still preferring to buy imported metal work rather than locally-made goods, something I am sad to say is still the case. So I had to forget working on pure sculpture pieces and start to embrace the commercial wrought iron market.

“The difference, though, with my work is it’s all hand-forged in the old fashioned way, just as blacksmiths of old would work metal: tempering it at high temperatures and working on the anvil as fast as possible to mould the iron into the shape desired, that’s a skill which few around can now do. The point is, working in this way, means even my commercial pieces offer customers a truly unique piece, one that has been genuinely hand crafted and not, as in many pieces of wrought-cast iron, that has only been soldered together.

“All my work relies on working quickly, concentrating hard on working the metal to achieve, if possible, one continuous, beautiful shape purely by beating and cutting atop the anvil under the intense heat of the fire.”

Pegasios has both a shop and a workshop, the former boasts a huge range of metalwork delights for sale including hand-made, wrought-iron bed frames, mirrors, frames and a collection of some of the most beautiful candle holders that clearly show the huge difference between the mass-market produced stuff currently on sale and the touch given from a master blacksmith, who will always be an artist at heart.

A huge variety of work is taken on in the workshop, from the making of kebab holders, hand-forging intricately-detailed wrought iron gates, fencing and stair railings, fire screens, plant stands, garden furniture, lamp-bases and baskets. Among iron works that have been transformed into delicately-constructed, scrolled sconces some of the work is outrageously whimsical, while other pieces are quite formal in style but all are unique. And, in this boom time of cheap imports the relative cost comparison between Pegasios’ works is marginal, added to the fact that you get a piece that is like no other one on sale. This, in the end, is the key element most discerning buyers really do appreciate.

The difference, they say, between quality and tat is in the detail and here Pegasios really does excel. I fell instantly in love with his hand-sculpted wrought iron chaise lounge, a gorgeous piece with perfect rhythm and balance, the cold metal having being transformed into a wonderful sleek, sexy piece of symphony-sculpted furniture. The detailing on the legs was achieved in one complete piece, sculpted to produce feet that resemble curling, sleek, snakes’ tails. Finished in leopard skin, it would definitely excuse any lounging sybarite for demanding that their grapes be always peeled.

The Art House, 39 Apostolos Pavlos Avenue, Paphos. Tel 26 952405 or 99 655438. pegasios@cytanet.com.cy