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?