Kolossi Castle, Kourion, Apsiou, Omodos & Monagri

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Kolossi Castle (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

On Thursday we had our third and most favourite trip.

They call it “Love Cyprus”, and I think that everyone visiting the island for the first time should try to do a trip like this one on the very first day.

Maybe it would have spoiled us, but it gave us a much better understanding of the country, its people and their history.

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Kourion (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

First stop was Kolossi Castle where Richard the Lionheart made one of his strongholds during his 3rd Crusade.

The castle that can be seen on the site now isn’t the Lionheart castle but a later one built after the original was destroyed in an earthquake.

Sadly, by the time this new castle was finished, warfare had changed and it was obsolete as an effective offensive.

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Apsiou (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

After Kolossi, we drove to another ancient city, Kourion. This is quite a nice place as, now the archaeological evidence is all found, the society has used its time and money to build sun canopies to protect  visitors. They still hold classical concerts there in the amphitheatre too.  Then it was off to Apsiou, a quaint village where we were able to sample the wares and the wine in almost every single shop. (hic!)

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Wine press, Apsiou (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Apsiou is a wine-making village, surrounded by vineyards, that used to press its own grapes. The wine press there is no longer in use, but visitors can see it.

As with most of the wine-making centres in Cyprus, Apsiou makes the communion wine the country is famous for: Commandaria. I’m not a wine fan at all, it needs to be sweet and preferably pink, if anything. But the poet tried this (and the local “fire water”) at almost every place we visited, but said it tasted like Sherry. Ugh! (shudder) He wasn’t that keen on the fire water either, or Zivania, which he thought was just like the Italian Grappa.

We had free time in Apsiou, and we bought wine, nuts, nut bars, and carob syrup … we’re going to try and cook something with this instead of sugar.

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Traditional elderly Cypriot man … on his mobile phone … (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Our next stop after Apsiou was Omodos in the mountains, and a glorious lunch. We started with salad, dips and accompaniments, then we had chicken, and then we had pork slow-cooked in a kleftiko oven. The meal was gorgeous, even to finicky ol’me, and only lacked a pudding, and the poet now wants a kleftiko oven …

We had some free time in this teeny, tiny place, where they still managed to build, maintain and attend a lovely little church. Everywhere there is an active church, however small or remote the place.

Afterwards, we drove to another small village, Monagri, where the pudding craving was satisfied: dough balls dipped in syrup (loukoumades) with various jams for dipping on the side. Luvverly.

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Omodos Church (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

In Monagri, again, was the mandatory church – they’re mostly Orthodox in Cyprus – which we were welcome to look around. And then it was back to base for the remainder of our holiday.

On Friday we went into town to buy souvenirs for ourselves and gifts for those at home. It was a very hot day, and when we got back to the hotel we chilled for a few hours on the balcony. Then Saturday, our last full day, was spent on the beach, relaxing.

We didn’t need to check out of our rooms until noon on the Sunday, which was handy as our taxi was due at 1:30pm – 2pm. We had a smooth, trouble-free return home, but the flight took 30 minutes longer than the one going as there was a head wind.

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Omodos, where we had our mountain lunch (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We thoroughly enjoyed our honeymoon – both of them – and had a wonderful time. The perfect way to start married life. I hope you’ve enjoyed this small selection of photographs we’ve shared. The rest can be found on Facebook if you’re a friend of ours, and interested, of course.

Back to now, and I’m delighted to say I finished one of my jobs yesterday evening.

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Monagri Church (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

I was still working when the poet got home from work, and so he kept himself busy bringing in the washing, folding washing on the clothes horse away (bless him), cutting the grass and cooking tea.

He decided it wasn’t pak choi we had at all but some sort of chard. But he wilted it with lemon juice, mashed some sweet potato with the last of the turnips, and cooked the pork steaks in the last of the mushrooms and the onion. And it was all very, very nice.

As I was finishing that job, another came in via email, one of the several I was expecting. So that means I now have enough work for the next 4 weeks. Today I start the first of the new jobs and tonight, while he’s at band practice, I’ll do the weekly shop.

I think Diary of a Scaredy Cat will be back tomorrow, unless something significant happens between then and now. Enjoy the pictures. 😀

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We hope you enjoyed travelling with us.