Re-visiting the sunshine island of Cyprus.I introduced you to Cyprus last year on the pre-release tour of Island Interludes. Now let
us explore a little more . . . On the map you will find Cyprus nestling south of Turkey.
One feature of Cyprus for those nervous of driving on the opposite side of the road (left) in the UK is that in Cyprus it is just the same. On our first visit to this sunny island we took advantage of this and hired a car. These were the earlier days before we had ventured out on our Gold Wing travels and it was all new to us.
Escaping from the intense heat of the south we headed into the cool forests and onwards to the Troodos Mountains.
"Heading inland from Limassol, our destination today was the Troodos Mountains and a visit to the Kykkos Monastery deep in the north-west of the mountains.
Away from the excellent roads of the coast we found a great difference as we ventured north into the mountains. Many very old trucks and other vehicles contrasted with newer and smarter ones. There were also, tractors. Driving high into the hills we were treated to spectacular views across the fertile land. The road was not quite so good here – just a tarmaced section with no markings and the sides of the road left rough.
Passing through a mountain village we stopped to explore. The streets of this village were lined with smart houses. Shop fronts were adorned with displays of lace, rugs and bedspreads draped over all manner of things like chairs and a washing line. Sunshades and umbrellas protected more delicate lace. A cat, from its position at the edge of a pavement, lazily washed itself. . . .
Eventually, we reached the Kykkos Monastery Museum. As no photographs are allowed we bought the video. We do remember that it was an amazing experience. From the back of our tickets, which cost £1.50 (Cyprus pounds) then, I can see from the small map that the main entrance led into a large courtyard. This led into another one and then a church.
On the left of the main entrance was the ticket office and sales room. From these led a room with ‘antiquities’ between these last two and the courtyard. Further on from the ticket and sales rooms was an enormous room which displayed Early Christian, Byzantine, and Post-Byzantine church vestments and vessels. Also, jewels and what jewels. They took our breath away. A small octagonal room housed manuscripts, documents, and books while a larger octagonal room on the other side displayed icons, wall paintings, and wood carvings.
Leaving the Monastery, we stopped along the road to drink in the views from this high vantage point in the mountains. The Troodos mountains with their many different types of trees are beautiful with the most fantastic views and between the leaves of the trees, glimpses of red-roofed houses tumbling down the mountainside. The whole setting was one of coolness, tranquillity, and timelessness. This coolness was greatly appreciated after the heat of the coast.
On the way down, we saw a garage/petrol station. It sported a Honda sign and proclaimed that it was a ‘Famous Garage’. The voices of children playing in a nearby school playground brought us back to reality. . ."