Mountains & Rain

A patch of wet weather sets in. We backtrack a bit to the the town of Episkopi. One place we visit is the Cyprus Wine Museum, where we get tips on possible wineries to visit on our trip.

We also visit the the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates.

‘I will remember and not be unmindful of Apollo who shoots afar…’ – Homeric hymn to Apollo

This was part of the ancient city of Kourion. We’re sure Apollo would be tickled to learn about the space program named after him.

Another place we visit is the Kourion Museum. It’s in the former house of George McFadden, an American archeologist who did a lot work in ancient Kourion. In fact, when we arrive, the very friendly woman in the ticket office is chatting with an elderly woman who knew Mr. McFadden personally.

Probably the most touching exhibit is that of some skeletons found in the ‘earthquake house’ in Kourion. The remains are those of a 25-year-old male and a 20-year-old female who is cradling an 18-month-old infant. The protective position speaks volumes about the last moments of these three souls.

‘And No More Shall We Part…’

We also stop at Paleopaphos, which means ‘old Paphos’.

(There are four Paphoses: this is ‘old Paphos’. (Which is in a town with the modern name of Kouklia.) The ancient ruins we visit in Paphos are Neopaphos, or ‘new Paphos’. The beachy part of town we stay in is called Kato Paphos, or ‘lower Paphos’. The actual centre of the modern town of Paphos is called ‘Ktima’. Go figure.)

Anyway, since time immemorial, this place has been famous for the worship of Aphrodite.

The oldest part of the sanctuary

A medieval building on the site displays some of the objects found here.

Former sugar factory

In this museum is an interesting sarcophagus decorated with a scene of Odysseus escaping from the Cyclops’s cave.

The Great Escape

From Paphos we drive inland to the Troodos Mountains. This is where a lot of the country’s wineries are located.

I already have some favourite local grape varietals: Maratheftiko and Opthalmo. I know I won’t find these in Canada, so I’m enjoying generous amounts while we’re here.

These mountains are in the middle of the island. It’s cold up here. We drive through Prodromos, the highest town in Cyprus.

Almost looks like Canada

Omodos is in the middle of wine country. There are few tourists at this time of year.

Omodos taverna

So the local sights are uncrowded.

Μοναστήρι του Τιμίου Σταυρού, or ‘Holy Cross Monastery’

Our lodging for the night is in the small village of Vasa.

View of Vasa from our accommodation

There must be a thousand villages like this in Cyprus. They’re unbelievably quaint. And half deserted.

Tiny church

The only problem is driving through them. Some passages are so narrow, we dread meeting another vehicle coming the other way.

Thankfully, this is not for cars

In Cyprus wine country, you see these giant ceramic containers everywhere. They remind us of Georgian qvevri.

Vats Amore

Sight or Insight of the Day

What is it with cats and the Internet? According to Wikipedia:

ThoughtCatalog has described cats as the “unofficial mascot of the Internet.”‘

We certainly see our share of adorable kitties and can’t resist a feline photo-op. This guy was snoozing on a seat in an Omodos café. He didn’t bat an eye while we ordered coffee and cake, consumed it, and left.

‘I’m Only Sleeping…’