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Cyprus 3

KourionWhen I travel, I am not one for sitting on a beach, although I love swimming in the warm Mediterranean sea off Cyprus.  Instead you are far more likely to find K and I exploring the cultural sights .  Cyprus has a rich heritage of Greco-Roman sights such as Pathos and Kourion.  With fantastic mosaics, these places are well worth the visit and are so extensive that even on busy days, they do not appear crowded.  Friends of ours who live on the island regularly go to performances music and plays in the restored Greco-Roman amphitheatre at Kourion, with the sea providing a stunning backdrop, unfortunately we have not yet been on the island at the right time to join them.

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Cyprus 2

kykkos2While we were staying in the Troodos mountains last year, we took the opportunity to visit the rather elaborately decorated Kykkos Monastery, renowned as the place where the first President of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III served as a novice.  Unlike in the painted churches, it is possible to photograph the many modern mosaics and paintings that surround the courtyard of the monastery without the risk of causing damage, although out of respect of those present who wished to worship or venerate the icons in the church, we refrained from taking photographs inside.  I do not think in all my travels I have found a church quite so ‘dripping’ in gold, and quite as ‘alien’ to my normal style of worship, but that must just me, as the whole place was swarming with visitors and worshippers! However, I did enjoy all the images surrounding the courtyard although I struggled to identify the story behind some of them.kykkos1

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Linos InnTwice in recent years, we have spent time in Cyprus and have enjoyed exploring the history and culture of this fascinating divided island.  Last year K and I decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary with a few days exploring the region around the Troodos mountains.  We stayed in a slightly quirky inn in old Kakopetria, which was an adventure in itself, although we could not have been looked after better.  We used this as a base to explore many of the painted churches in the area.  The detail and use of colour in these churches was brilliant, although to preserve them, it was not possible to take photographs of the interior.  Many of these churches are now listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites and are thoroughly worth the effort of finding some of the more remote locations.