… then the map of its lines could perhaps look like this: * Or maybe like this: In fact, it wouldn’t really matter whether there would be 5 metro lines or 8. The important thing would be for Nicosia to become a unified whole and for its geographical, cultural, political and psychological division to be … More No 34. If Nicosia had a metro …
For The Dark Side of the Moon, please look for Pink Floyd. But if you are looking for The Bright Side of the Moon, come to Cyprus! The pictures you see below were not captured on the surface of our lunar companion (nor in any Hollywood film studio for that matter), but close to coastal … More No 33. The Bright Side of the Moon
I have had the privilege of being asked by Kuperard, the company behind the CULTURE SMART! series of guidebooks for numerous countries on Earth, to read and review the first guide they published about Cyprus, written by London-based Constantine Buhayer. Culture Smart! guides help readers “to deal confidently with unfamiliar situations” in the country they … More No 32. Culture Smart! Cyprus guide – a review
Out of a handful of coffee shops around the world (at least those with a searchable internet presence) with this name, I would dare to say that the Spitfire coffee shop [ΚΑΦΕΝΕΙΟΝ ‘ΤΟ ΣΠΙΤΦΑΙΑΡ’] of Nicosia is the only one which has CONFLICT AND DIVISION “painted” all over it. Together with so many other historical … More No31. Spitting fire (and bullets)
Flat, long, crooked, french-style, thin, fleshy, pointed, aquiline, celestial, hawkish, broad, bulbous or snub…..regardless of its size and appearance, you should thank your nose for offering you the possibility to indulge in incredible scents in your surroundings, without having to spend a single cent. At least, if you live in a place like Cyprus. With … More No30. Citrus paradise
On a number of occasions, I have met persons visiting Cyprus that had from little to zero knowledge of the political history of the island. Most visitors seem to know that there is “a Greek part” and “a Turkish part” to the island (it’s actually much more complicated than that). A number of the visitors … More No29. April 1st: Of lies and myths
You start by wanting to introduce a name with a playful twist of two seemingly unrelated words…. and end up finding out that “a Hitler Youth manual from the 1930s promoted soy beans, which it called “Nazi beans” as an alternative to meat” (!) [if in doubt, blame Wikipedia and their source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/9859294/Hitlers-food-taster-speaks-of-Fuhrers-vegetarian-diet.html%5D. And as … More No28. German_Soya
I’m “forced” to come back to the previous post, as I would like to be fair to the orchids and other flowers which graced my day with their presence, in yet another great, uphill-downhill-dressed-in-cloud-and-mist hike, this time above the village of Lápithos/Lapta. *************** A bit of background history first: Lápithos is one of Cyprus’ largest … More No27b. Orchiduary [The Sequel]
O-rchi-du-a-ry [noun]: * a) The name given to the month of the year when Cypriot Orchids typically blossom. eg. January, February, Orchiduary… etc. b) The name given to the obituary of an Orchid following the completion of its blossoming period, eg. “Oh, the Daisies read a very touching orchiduary at the Orchids’ funeral yesterday“, said … More No27. Orchiduary
How else could I describe the thousands of blossomed almond, peach, plum and cherry trees that we come across in the city streets, villages and open fields of Cyprus between February and April? White and pink, large and small, and with a subtle scent of honey (in the case of almond trees), these blossoms are … More No26. Here Come the Brides!
I invite you to have a look at the map of Cyprus – looks a bit like an electric guitar, don’t you think!? You will notice 5 main points sticking out of the “body” of this guitar. Starting from Nicosia and going clockwise: The long Karpasia peninsula, Cape Greco between Paralimni and Ayia Napa, the … More No25. Cavo Gre.at
I can’t stress enough how beautiful Cyprus becomes in the spring! Knowing how the island heats and dries up in the summer, makes the experience of the colors, scents and sights of the spring season even more precious. Among the flowers that bloom in March are the Anemone Coronaria and the Tulipa Cypria, which in … More No24. LaLe Land
Little did the Lusignan Kings imagine, when they were expanding and reinforcing the 3 Byzantine fortifications on the Pentadaktylos/Besparmak mountain range in the 13th century, that these sites would become one of the island’s most magical places to visit a few centuries later. Regardless that the Venetians neglected or destroyed much of them. The castles … More No23. Three in a row
The creation of You’ve Got: Cyprus! is forcing me to look beyond what I already know about the history of the island and to share my findings here on the blog. One thing is for sure: I can speak about the beauty and the particularities of Cyprus now much more easily than if I had … More No22. 300 years of …. ????
… are just as high as the odds of you breathing while you are reading this post! 1000%!!!! Actually, make that 2 million%! That’s the estimated number of cats on the island!!! Yes, that IS more than all the humans living here. If you are a cat-loving person visiting Cyprus, you are definitely in for … More No21. The odds of finding cats in Cyprus
The Ottoman rule in Cyprus between 1571-1878 unsurprisingly led to the appearance of a number of public baths (hamams) for the cleansing, relaxation and social networking of the people of that time. Both of the two hamams which are still in operation within the walled city of Nicosia – the Omerye Hamam and the Grand … More No20. Hamammmm
Among the many idioms used by Greek-speaking Cypriots is the expression “Το πουλλίν επέτασεν” [To poullín epétasen], literally translated into “The bird has flown away” and meant to signify a “lost opportunity”. The coat of arms of the independent country formed in 1960 when the British Empire released Cyprus from its colonial grip, includes a … More No19. Is the bird gone?
The village of Kormakítis (Korucam) is located on the way to the north-western tip of Cyprus, a cape of the same name. Kormakitis is one of the 4 villages inhabited by (Catholic) Maronite Cypriots, whose (8th century AD) origins are from Syria and Lebanon. Their dialect, Sanna, is Cypriot Arabic, a combination of Arabic, Turkish … More No18. Journey to The End
Not surprisingly, even the coffee in Cyprus has an identity crisis. Depending on where you sit on the island, you will be expected to say either Cypriot coffee or Turkish coffee to mean the same thing. [The citizens of Greece call it Greek coffee, the citizens of Armenia call it Armenian coffee – go figure.] … More No17. Coffee tales
Actually… not just a few! Tens of them! [They just require a bit of searching to find them. As usual.] I have only seen the Orchis Italica flower while hiking in the northern part of Cyprus during springtime. The flower gets its Naked Man Orchid alias from its obvious appearance. Looking at it more closely, … More No16. A few good (naked) men
– Well, that’s what the name suggests! Penta-dáktylos = (with) five fingers. – Yes, but are they REALLY just five? – Well, if you look at it from the south side, they seem as if they are five. – Yes, but are they REALLY ONLY FIVE? – Weeeeellll…. after 5.5 hours of climbing with bare … More No15. Is it really just 5?
They call it the “Dead Zone”. Yet, it is quite the opposite. It is all alive and well, thank you! This is the strip of land (aka buffer zone, aka ceasefire line) running 180km from the East to the West of Cyprus, dividing the northern from the southern part of the island and regulated by … More No14. Dead or Alive?
It sounds gross, but in fact’s this is one of the best spots for giving your eyes a treat. Where? Well, right up Sotira’s nose!! Not any regular nose, though. Moutti tis Sotiras (Sotira’s nose in word-word translation from Cypriot Greek or Sotira’s Peak to be exact) is the highest spot on the combined Adonis … More No13. Right up Sotira’s nose
Yes, it does! With its height of 1952 meters, the Troodos (pronounced Tró-o-dos) mountain range receives the majority of snow flakes falling on the island between December and March*, with the Pentadaktylos/Besparmak range (of 1024 meters height) receiving a sprinkle (that melts usually within 2 days) if the conditions are right. Chionístra or Ólympos are … More No12. FAQ: Does it snow in Cyprus?
Don’t you just love it when the mothers of your friends are great, open-hearted cooks? And that when you are stopping by with your friend after exploring the countryside they will treat you like royalty by preparing some on-the-spot local food for you to indulge in? 🙂 I hereby present the sádji pan and skills … More No11. Homemade goodness
Most of the times I am on my way from Nicosia to the Troodos mountain range for a hike, I will make a stop at the traditional bakery and local products store called “O Dípiros Ártos” (Ο Δίπυρος Άρτος) in Akaki village. It is right on the side of the main road in a traditional … More No10. Traditional Food Products: Check!
Cyprus grows its own bananas!!? Yes sir, we do!! The story goes – somewhat – like this: When Nature was deciding where to allow the growth of bananas in Cyprus, she opened a map of the island, closed her eyes, and placed her finger on …. the Kissonerga and Peyia villages in Paphos District! That … More No9. Bananas baby! (and other tropical fruit)
Pa – pou – tsó – si – ka! “Shoe figs”, what don’t you get?! 😀 I don’t know about you, but I find it very funny that in Cypriot Greek we call the prickly-pear, Opuntia ficus-Indica cactus plant (of Central-American origins) “papoutsosikiá” (παπουτσοσυκιά). Turkish-speaking Cypriots call it the báboutsa plant. The word for the … More No8. Papouts….what?!
This could be a post about the long-standing rivalry between the Apoel and Omonia football teams (both based in Nicosia) … but it’s not. It’s about the yellow and green colors that dominate the outdoor scenery of the island between January and April every year. This is when Cyprus wears its best costume (the more … More No7. Of Yellows and Greens
Fear not, dear reader! No lives are threatened by this post!!! I want to share with you the excitement I feel every time I am exploring Cyprus countryside and I run into a herd of goats. It might be because I’m a Capricorn, it might also be because the sound of the goats’ bells is … More No6. For whom the bell tolls
Nicosia has been the capital of Cyprus since the 10th century. In case you are wondering, Nicosia is its Latin name. It’s Greek name is Lefkosía and the Turkish equivalent is Lefkósha. Starting from 1958, the medieval-walled city (and the surrounding suburbs) experienced barricades, barbed wire and eventually a UN buffer zone running through its … More No5. Signs of a by-gone era
Who’s there!? While you are wondering around the quaint villages of the Cypriot countryside or in the older parts of the main towns, have a look at the door handles. They come in different shapes and styles and some are heavy enough to …. knock you out of your senses!
Just like many other world travelers, I have been to far-away destinations and have felt admiration and awe at the sight of beautiful sunrises and sunsets. What I keep realizing, however, is that all I have to do sometimes is to just go up the stairs to the roof of my apartment building in Nicosia, … More No3. You don’t always have to travel far…
“What do you see when you look up!?” In Cyprus, it could be the blue sky, it could be the mountains, it could be ancient ruins, it could be beautiful Venetian balconies. Many times I wonder how flowers would respond to this question, if they had a human voice. I try to find answers using … More No2. Looking upwards
I am fortunate to be living very close to Akadimias Park not far from the center of Nicosia, which is a lovely option for spending some relaxing time alone or with friends and family. It’s also a great option for exercising by walking, running or cycling. There’s a picnic area, a kiosk (with wifi) serving … More No1. Spring time in Akadimias Park (Nicosia)