Skinnywench’s one word photo challenge this week was “blue”. Here are some of my blue photos:
Archive for the ‘Cyprus’ Category
Ailsa’s challenge this week was to post a “white” photograph. Here are some of my white photos:
go here to read the complete post about our visit there
The last two are not white but they do depict the doves of peace, in honour of today’s post. Both were taken in Cyprus.
Share something that means “inside” to you.
almost every square inch of wall and ceiling-space is lavishly decorated, in complete contrast to the former cathedral of Famagusta in Cyprus which is now a mosque. Representations of the human body are forbidden in muslim places of worship so the stained glass windows have all been removed, as have the pews and any indication at all that this was a christian building. The building has, however, retained a stark sort of beauty.
Blue. We’ve done red before, but what about blue? What do you associate blue with? The sky, the ocean…and what else? See how creative you can get with blue.
Share a picture that is BLUE with everyone!
Lefkosia (Nicosia) is the capital of Cyprus and is the only divided capital in the European Community. It has been a divided capital since the Turkish invasion of 1974.
We parked our car outside the old city walls and then walked through the pedestrian area, through narrow streets bordered by small cafes and souvenir shops selling anything from jewellery to handmade lace.
We climbed to the top of the Debenhams tower from where you can get a 360 degree view of the whole city. The Turkish part seems to have all the best buildings to visit. In the centre you can see the cathedral which has now been converted into a mosque.
The border crossing still had its Easter decorations.
Crossing into the Turkish side was like stepping into another world – from modern Europe into a city that was still living in the past. We visited the “large” han (inn), which consisted of a colonnaded gallery around a large courtyard with a small shrine in the courtyard. In times gone by it would have provided food and lodgings for lots of people. The upper rooms had fireplaces. It was now an arts and crafts centre with a cafe.
We would have liked to visit the cathedral, now converted into a mosque, but it was prayer time and therefore closed to non-believers.
This is the fountain where worshippers make their ablutions before entering the mosque.
We left the cathedral through this archway, intending to visit the antiques shop on the corner but got distracted
by the art exhibition outside
Originally the cathedral probably had stained glass windows. However these have been replaced with windows of strictly geometrical design.
Rear view of the mosque/cathedral.
We wandered through the side streets,
stopping for refreshments and visiting the market.
It was strange crossing back, from a part of the city where I could understand the language (Turkish) into another where I couldn’t understand a word. It was literally “all Greek to me”.
On our last day we went for a walk along the promenade in Limassol where we saw a variety of interesting trees and sculptures. This is a camel’s foot tree (it also exists in a white variety).
Bottle brush tree
These trees have been pruned in such a way that the centre is open to the sky
These egg sculptures must provide plenty of fun for people to pose for photos hatching eggs.
I think this is a statue to liberty, pity about the graffiti.
On another day we went to Paphos to visit the archeological park and its collection of ancient mosaics. The park area covers the site of ancient Paphos and the mosaics form some of the floors of the ancient houses. Once the capital of Graeco-Roman Cyprus, Nea Paphos has been included in the World Heritage list of UNESCO.
A depiction of the 4 seasons
This mosaic, depicting Scylla, is made of pebbles rather than the usual tesserae.
All that is left of the Byzantine castle in the archeological park, with a view through the arch to modern Paphos
Unfortunately the mosaics were very difficult to photograph but it was still a real thrill to see them. When they were first laid they must have been stunningly beautiful. Although faded it is obvious that there was a great variety of colours used and a high degree of craftmanship.
One day we drove up through the Troodos mountains, where there were still traces of snow on Mt Olympos, to visit the monastery at Kykkos, famous for its (modern) mosaics. The road wound up the mountain through pineforests and panoramic views of hillsides cultivated on terraces could be glimpsed between the trees.
Front and rear entrances to the monastery
This is the last resting place of President Archbishop Makarios. The colonnaded walkways have paintings on the ceilings and walls as well as many modern mosaics depicting biblical scenes.It is forbidden to take photographs in the museum, which houses a magnificent collection of religious artefacts and treasure, and the church (gold everywhere) but you can see a couple of photos here. However, the rest of the monastery which is open to the public provided plenty of photo opportunities.
The ceiling paintings are dedicated to the Virgin of the sea
But it was the mosaics which were the most impressive.
After our visit to the monastery we drove back down the mountains through the cherry orchards
We recently went to stay with a friend who lives in the southern part of Cyprus. The last time we had been was in June when most of the greenery had already been burned dry by the fierce sun. This time however, and after an unusually wet winter, now in Spring time the island was very green and there were masses of wild flowers everywhere.
We arrived on Greek Easter Sunday and were whisked off for lunch with friends of our hostess.
Once the traditional greeting has been exchanged “Christos Anesti,” friends and neighbors exchange the same, saying “Christos Anesti” and, in response, “Alithos Anesti” (truly, He is risen) or “Alithinos o Kyrios” (true is the Lord) we tucked into a hearty lunch which consisted of different barbecued meats (pork, lamb and chicken), roast potatoes, grilled halloumi cheese, homemade ravioli, tahini salad, hummus and cucumber and yoghurt, salads (the best one was made with just coriander and rocket with a lemon and oil dressing). Afterwards we played a game called “tsougrisma” and it involves two players and red eggs (the eggs are usually dyed with onion skins). Each player holds a red egg, and one taps the end of her/his egg lightly against the end of the other player’s egg. The goal is to crack the opponent’s egg. When one end is cracked, the winner uses the same end of her/his egg to try to crack the other end of the opponent’s egg. The player who successfully cracks the eggs of the other players is declared the winner and, it is said, will have good luck during the year.
Most of the Greek Cypriots in the village have spent many years in the UK and have brought up their families there. If you closed your eyes and listened to the conversation going on around you, you could be forgiven for thinking you were back in Birmingham or Glasgow and many of the villagers had returned to celebrate Easter (which is celebrated even more than Christmas). Evidence of this was provided in the form of decorations on roundabouts, roadside verges and in the villages themselves.
After our huge lunch we went for a walk around the village, a wonderful photo opportunity for me.
olive oil tins make excellent containers for geraniums
the prettiest garden in the village
an old cart
two different types of mimosa (wattle) trees
view of the countryside behind the village
a perfect example of the “Serpentine road” if ever I saw one
a stop for more refreshments, a chat, and a sit-down in the late afternoon sun
A skein of geese or maybe some other large birds flew overhead
The next night a huge barbecue was provided for all the villagers, with free food and drink. I have never seen so much meat on a barbecue before!
A dance by firelight in the “square” in front of the church. Are these orbs I have captured in the photo?