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Μια περιδιάβαση στο χωριό Αγρός μπορεί να αναδείξει σημαντικές πτυχές της παράδοσης, της ιστορίας και γενικότερα του πολιτισμού. Ας αρχίσουμε, όμως την περιήγησή μας σ’ ένα από τα ομορφότερα χωριά του νησιού. Περιδιαβαίνοντας κανείς στον Αγρό εντυπωσιάζεται με τον αμφιθεατρικό τρόπο δόμησης του οικισμού, καθώς και με τα κτίσματα λαϊκής αρχιτεκτονικής που διασώζονται κυρίως στην καρδιά του χωριού. Τα σπίτια είναι απόλυτα «εναρμονισμένα με το περιβάλλον», εφ’όσον φτιάχνονταν με τα υλικά που παρείχε η ...
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While wandering in the picturesque roads of Agros one can meet the tradition, history and culture of the island. But let’s now begin our tour in one of the most beautiful village of Cyprus. One of the most remarkable aspects of Agros is the amphitheatrical way it is built. The traveler will be amazed by the beautiful buildings of folklore art which decorate the centre of the village. All the houses are built with local materials and more specifically big and rough stones. The roofs ...
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Kakopetria with a population of approximately 2000 is situated at the southern and highest part of the Solea Valley, 2200-2800 feet above sea level in the evergreen Troodos mountains - a place that makes Kakopetria the ideal spot for all seasons. The Old Kakopetria village is built at the east bank of the Karkotis river which is full of old giant oak trees. The name (Kakopetria) originates from the two words "kaki-petra" which means "bad-stone". According to a legend the village got the name after a big ...
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Brief history of the villageToday the village is known as Platres, without the word "Pano" (Upper) preceding it, in contrast to the neighbouring village Tornaritis that is referred to as "Kato Platres" (Lower Platres). It is a misperception that Platres is a new village founded during the recent years. Platres is a very old village. It is mentioned among the 119 villages of the Limassol district that existed during the Lusignan (Frank Rule, 1192-1489 AD) and the Venetian Era (1489-1571 AD). ...
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Savour the Cypriot Flavour

Savour the Cypriot Flavour


The island’s Mediterranean climate coupled with a lingering influence from over 80 years of UK rule attracts many Brits to retire to Cyprus. These are also the recipe for a relaxing holiday, with plenty of sunshine, and no real language barrier since most inhabitants speak English. However Cyprus is not Britain-on-the-Med, as with a Greek heritage stretching back 10,000 years all sorts of cultures, both West and East, have left their mark. While the city offers such delights as Marks & Spencer and brightly lit pizza places, it only takes a little effort to bypass these and explore the Cypriot way of life. Enjoy an authentic taste of island life in rural Cyprus!

Dining in Cyprus today is a far more diverse experience than in pre-classical times, when the inhabitants existed mainly on bread, oil and wine. These ingredients still play their part in the island’s cuisine, but its position between Europe, Africa and Asia has brought the Cypriots into contact with many civilizations, whether through trade or war. The island is heavily Greek influenced, the cooking contains a unique mix of tastes and techniques. In common with elsewhere in the Mediterranean, there is an appreciation of fresh, seasonal produce, and the knowledge that good food is slow food.

At about 3,500 miles square, the island measures less than Sicily or Sardinia, and perhaps getting used to the constant influx of people in such a small place is what has made the Cypriots so welcoming. A taverna with singing and later on dancing to evocative live music is a fun way to get into the spirit and enjoy the local hospitality.

For a deeper taste of Cyprus’ culture why not explore the island, and visit the land where people produce food as their ancestors did? If you want to leave city stress behind completely and immerse yourself in rural life, agrotourism allows tourists to stay in a restored traditional house, which provides an ideal countryside base and an atmospheric place to refresh at the end of the day with a glass of local wine on the terrace.

To tour round ancient villages, hiring a car is a practical option, it’s not too daunting because they drive on the left. You can pick up a vehicle at the airport, or some firms deliver. The island’s size means everywhere is relatively easy to reach. Alternatively you can travel by taxi or bus service.

Stone villages in the mountains are extremely peaceful, and in some you can stroll around the market buying lace and other local products, or find out what’s inside ornate Orthodox Churches and Byzantine Monasteries with their icons, there is plenty for history buffs to see all over Cyprus. In Omodos you can visit the old wine press too. There is a dedicated Wine Museum at Erimi, and you can visit several vineyards and wineries. Wine is widely produced on the island, as visitors to the countryside, particularly around Limassol, Pafos and Troodos, will see from the vast number of grape vines.

One trail takes in a zivania distillery at Louvaras and a Commandaria factory in Kalo Chorio. Commandaria is the world’s oldest wine, though its name dates from only the 12th century. A sweet, robust red wine, rather like port or sherry, it’s delicious after dinner. Zivania is distilled from the grape skins and remnants of Commandaria production. With its fiery grappa-like consistency, it’s easy to see why peasants used to drink it early in the morning to warm up. You can also watch bread making, visit the mini market or 19th century church or take a nature-watching walk through fruit and nut orchards, escorted by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.

When you have worked up an appetite, meze is a way of dining that enables you to sample many little Cypriot delicacies or mezedhes, although it keeps coming to the table so pace yourself and don’t try to finish everything! Wherever you are at lunchtime it should be easy to find somewhere to eat, because each village has a taverna.

Elies tsakistes are cracked green olives with coriander seeds, lemon and crushed garlic. One place to taste these is the Oleastra organic olive oil mill and Museum in Anogyra. As well as sampling olives in the coffee shop, in autumn visitors can watch the olive pressing, and all year you can enjoy the pretty scented garden and learn about the history of the olive and olive oil production, before visiting the shop.

Once you are ready to move on from olives, freshly baked bread and dips such as tahini or taramosalata, you can enjoy vegetables and pickles like capers, kohlrabi, or kolokasi which is similar to sweet potato, seafood dishes that could include octopus, squid or tiny fish, and meat balls. Tsamarella is pieces of goat rump, salted, dried in the sun, and seasoned with oregano. Local dry red wine and pork are used to make other popular preserved meats, including smoked fillet, leg and bacon, lountza and loukanika, a smoked, rough textured sausage. Family firms such as Kafkalia’s in Agros village still use traditional methods.

Another traditional meze dish is grilled cheese. Cypriots have been making halloumi for hundreds of years from sheep and goat milk. The famous cheese is still produced in individual homes, although now there are also factories like Keses, Pittas and other, producing it for sale around the world. Even in these many of the processes are still done by hand, in the traditional baskets. With a higher than average melting point, it is at its best grilled or fried, but would you think to put it with watermelon? Cypriots eat it this way in summer.

After halloumi might come moussaka, or stifado which is a beef stew, then pork kebabs called souvlakia. Other dishes could include falafel, koupepia or dolmades which are stuffed vine leaves, yemista or stuffed vegetables, beans and chunky fried potato.

To round off a meal, bourekia is a sugar-dusted puff pastry filled with soft cheese, cinnamon and honey. Other sweets include daktyla, pastry fingers with an almond centre, the famous baklava filo pastries that are nutty and covered in very sweet syrup, and loukoumades which are sticky doughnuts. Semolina puddings and cakes are also very tasty. Finally comes thick Cyprus coffee, which should be tried once at least, although don’t drink the sediment at the bottom of the cup, instead you can turn it upside down to tell your fortune. Every village has a coffee shop, though they are a traditionally male domain even today.

The fruits and nuts that grow on the terraces which run round the hillsides provide many delicacies for those with a sweet tooth. Lokoumia is the Cyprus delight, which you can buy in bergamot as well as other citrussy and modern flavours. Fruit from the island’s carob trees is made into pastelli in Anogyra. Each dark brown fruit looks shrivelled and dead, but bite into it for a butterscotch-like taste, don’t eat too much though because it’s laxative! Once picked the fruits are left to soak in baskets, the syrup drips out and is cooked to a dark colour then kneaded over a hook on the wall until it turns gold, before being sliced and wrapped.

Soutzouko makes use of another of Cyprus’ bounty, boiled and set, grape juice becomes a chewy confection. Strings of almonds are repeatedly dipped into the liquid and left to set then chopped into slices with a nutty centre. Another sweet treat is glace fruits, ranging from pumpkins and citrus fruit to walnuts, which look like pickled walnuts but are deliciously sugary not savoury. Fruit is prepared, turned into confectionery and jams and bottled by hand by local workers in workshops such as Niki’s at Agros in the Pitsilia area of Troodos. The owner’s favourite is mandarin jam, but her shop sells many different kinds.

Tsolakis rose workshop is in the same village. Rosewater is used to make traditional sweets too, mahalepi is a creamy pudding rather like blancmange that floats in rosewater syrup. At the workshop you can buy rose leaf tea, liqueur and brandy, as well as rosewater to use as an anti-ageing skin toner and candles. This family business grows damask rose plants, it takes so many of the pink flowers to make essential oil that a litre costs £1,000! They must be picked at their freshest and there is only one day to do so, in May, volunteers can help.

Up in the Troodos mountains, Pedoulas is known for its cherries. There is also the Forest Park Hotel, where Daphne Du Maurier penned Rebecca. Although we think of Cyprus as being warm, you can even ski on the highest peaks in winter, so the island really does pack a lot into a small area.

If you fancy a trip to town, the capital Nicosia has a quaint cobbled pedestrian quarter, Laiki Yitonia, where you can purchase souvenirs and Cypriot products or sip a cold Keo beer at a taverna. Outside of this the visitor will recognise many brands, and there is an observatory on top of Debenhams department store from which you can survey the city.

As the sole remaining divided capital city in Europe, although these days it is possible to cross the border at certain points, Nicosia is the place where the ‘green line’ between the Republic of Cyprus and the occupied and Turkish military controlled northern areas of Cyprus, is most obvious. Beyond the wall at the end of the main shopping street, soldiers still patrol the ghost town, with its buildings and vehicles abandoned after Turkey invaded in July 1974.

Alongside the ancient artefacts in the Archaelogical Museum, this is a living reminder of how different cultures have had a huge impact on Cyprus.

(Source: HomeboyMediaNews)




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