Shepherd Entertainment takes you on a tour of Paphos, the most important religious, cultural and commercial center in Cyprus,
which used to be the capital at one point.
Tags:Visit Paphos in Cyprus Part 2/3,cyprus travel attractions,cyprus travel information,cyprus travel tips,paphos in cyprus,shepherd entertainment,world travel,cyprus travel guide,shepherdfilm
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Cytherea, the Cyprus-born,, I shall sing who gives gentle gifts to mortals and on her lovely face always there are smiles and delightful bloom shines over it, wrote Homer in his hymn to Aphrodite. The goddess of beauty and love emerged from the sea by the shores of Petra Tou Romiou. This romantic tale and the beautifully shaped rocks of the shore entices a lot of people to swim out into the sea and touch the rock of Aphrodite in the hope of eternal youth. I’ve never seen such an island of such female character, never breathed an air that is so dangerous and so full of sweet temptations confessed the greatest neoGreek writer Nikos Kazantzakis. Troodos Mountain lies in the middle of island. Its highest peak, the Olympus is almost 2000m high. Its gentle slopes face southwest. Many people who did not like the heat built their houses or vacation homes here instead of the seashore. The air is always pleasantly cool and balsamic and the trees offer plenty of shade. English bureaucrats also moved here with their families and lived in great colonial style houses with large terraces and took care of their official business from here. As they love to hike in the woods, we have thank them for many tourist trails and paths that lead to wonderful sights. The purpose of the exhibition rooms, the screening room and the pamphlets in the visitors’ center at the gates of the Troodos Mountains is to show visitors the things that are worthwhile seeing on the mountain. This is all the more important as people who visit the mountain in summer have no idea what it is like in winter and vice versa. The documentary film shows the changing of the seasons, the native wildlife, colorful vegetation and offers a glimpse into the traditional life of the people living in the villages on the mountain. This is also good for business because summer vacationers may become winter skiers as a result of watching this film. An interesting fact is that Rimbaud worked here as a headman on the building of the governor’s palace. The then 26 year old French engineer came to Cyprus looking for adventure and found the island to be poetic. We can see mouflans, foxes, and forest animals portrayed on film and also stuffed. There are no snakes on the island today which is allegedly due to a whole shipment of cats being brought in at one point to kill these reptiles. Whether this story is true or not, cats are preferred to dogs on the island as the latter allegedly once spread some sort of infection throughout the island. Maybe this is the reason that there are wild cats in the Troodos Mountains yet not many dogs are kept in the houses. Dogs are only becoming popular pets nowadays. In ancient times and the middle ages, the mountainsides of Cyprus used to be covered with seemingly endless rows of cedar trees. The resistant good quality hardwood was used to build boats so forests became scarce. Luckily, they weren’t destroyed altogether and thanks to methodical replanting, cedar forests can be found in great numbers around the mountains. South of the 1400m Tripoli Mountain in cedar valley, there are some 4000 cedar trees all under strict protection. Several monasteries can be found in the area surrounded by quiet loneliness. Although these are mainly visited by believers, they also welcome tourists these days. As entrance in short skirts or short is forbidden, people are given robes to put on at the gate. In bigger monasteries, this isn’t an act of brotherly love but of business. We can find these rent a robes in bazaars and stalls selling religious articles in front of the gates of the monasteries. Of course we can also get a map of the area in the visitors’ center. If you’re going hiking in the forest make sure you take one of these with you. Where there are tourists, there are good restaurants and where there are mountain springs, there’s trout. And this means that in hotels and restaurants of Troodos, we can eat delicious meals made of trout. If you don’t like fish, you can ask for meat instead. Those with large appetite can eat a meza which is a meal made up of eight to 10 courses. The meal includes the tarama made of pink fish rowe, the – which is baked eggplant in seasoned oil and the tahini, a sesame seed pastry made only in Cyprus. Tsatsiki is known by everyone who’s been to Greece. You can eat dolmades here as well which is minced meat with rice rolled into grape leaves or stuffed into squash, peppers or tomatoes. Olives and bean in sour sauce are also a must in these meals. A whole course is dedicated to the fruits of the sea. Octopus, calamari, crabs, scallops, and fish. Meats are represented by grilled or skewered lamp fillets and meat balls or meat dumplings. Commandaria goes well with the dried fruit and other sweet pastries offered as dessert. It all started with a single icon that the Byzantine emperor, Kamenos gave to the hermit Eselias. The icon is allegedly the work of the evangelist St. Luke and portrays the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus. The monastery founded here, Kykkos became the richest monastery of the orthodox world. It had estates outside of Cyprus even in Russia and Asia. The monastery receives valuable gifts from rulers and clergymen even today. Compared to this, the income they generate from entrance fees is nothing. The wealth is obvious, frescoes decorating the main entrance and the pillared porches of the two inner courtyards are made of solid gold. Visitors can see a small part of their immense treasure in the museum. The most valuable piece though, the icon allegedly made by St. Luke and received by the hermit is exhibited inside the church. Since the icon is covered by a silver plate so that its beauty doesn’t blind the person looking at it, the name Kykkos itself is a type of ebony. The future archbishops and head of state, Makarios was a novice in the Kykkos monastery. The then called Michael Mouskous coordinated the movement to liberate the island from under British rule. The 2km long road that leads to the top of Kykko Mountain begins being the monastery. The scenery is spectacular but it’s not only tourists who visit here. Cypriotes come here to worship at the grave of Makarios buried here according to his will. Swallows’ nests under the archways of the courtyard, their twittering providing a pleasant background to the sound of the bell calling to litany. Believers have tied white ribbons unto the branches of the tree standing behind Makarios’ grave to win the favor of higher powers.