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On the Trail of Makarios

sunny 23 °C

As Mel Brooks said, “If you've got it, flaunt it,” and Cyprus has taken that motto to heart. It has sun, sand and endless blue seas, so its ragged coastline is a hotchpotch of development, (and over-development), that tries to give everyone a piece of the action.
However, in the mountains, far away from the $7 cappuccinos and constant whiff of sun-tan lotion, there are ancient villages where rural life has changed little over the centuries. Herds of goats forage for leftovers in the olive, carob and citrus groves, while locals flag down passing tourists in the hope of flogging a few figs or a cup of Nescafe. One innovative villager entertained us by feeding his cats cucumbers...
There are hundreds of miles of tortuous mountain roads and gravel tracks and our GPS was determined to keep us on the narrowest and most treacherous of ledges as we climbed six thousand feet, high into the cedar forests, to get spectacular views...
But our goal was the tiny village of Pano Panayia, birthplace of Archbishop Makarios. This is the room in which he was born...
One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist, so opinions of Archbishop Makarios and his attempts to shake off the yoke of colonialism are varied. The British eventually exiled him but, following independence in 1960, he returned and was elected President. He then found himself at war with Greek nationalists. After four failed assassination attempts by the Greeks, Makarios was ousted in a coup in 1974. The Turks invaded almost immediately, the Greeks retreated and Makarios found himself back in power in the Greek area. Following his death in 1977 Makarios was entombed on a mountain peak near the monastery of Kykkos where he had spent his early life...
Our time on Cyprus is coming to an end and we are still ambivalent about its virtues. For sun-worshippers who enjoy the nightlife and the razzmatazz of holiday theme parks, this is certainly the place for you...
It is also an easy place for English speakers and those used to British roads – they still have Belisha Beacons at pedestrian crossings...
There are also places for those seeking a quiet seaside holiday in relatively quaint towns like Polis on the north coast...
This is the pristine undeveloped beach at Polis...
Polis is also the place where legend says that the beautiful goddess Aphrodite used to bathe naked in this spring-fed pool...
And that, dear blog reader, is a most romantic notion on which to end our Eastern European odyssey through fifteen countries from Estonia to the very edge of the Middle East. Next stop - London - where we will be cooling off in preparation for our return home. Thanks for coming along for the ride and we hope you will join us next time on our Blissful Adventures. For now, Avrio from sunny Cyprus

Posted by Hawkson 07:14 Archived in Cyprus

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Enjoy your wading, Jim. The beach at Sandwell looks a bit like that but no way is it bare feet and pants rolled up right now. Across on the Sunshine Coast, there's snow at 6000 feet.

by R and B

Thank you Jim and Sheila for your posts. Safe journey to London and back home.

by Janet Vickers

Hold on to that sunshine and warmth. Have a safe journey home. Thanks for all the twists and turns, providing us with spectacular views on this remarkable journey.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Ah, Jim, I understand why you were wading in this water, waiting for the goddess, right?? And thank you for taking us on your journey, as always, educational and a pleasure!
Looking forward to have you back..

by Gottfried Mitteregger

this has been a very interesting trip for you. The furthest I got was Portland last week and came home with over 100 emails. See you after you get back

by Jean McLaren

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