In the Vineyards of Paphos

Our walk of Saturday 9 March took us further from Nicosia than we usually go, to the hills above Panagia village, in Paphos, a car journey of two hours. And we were thoroughly rewarded, by a stroll in splendid weather, among acres of vineyards of Xynisteri and other Cypriot varieties of grapes; no wonder that this region produces some of the best wines in the country. We saw the vines being pruned, which is done nowadays with machines powered by compressed air. To get to them we had to slog and gasp up a trail as steep as a capital A. When we reached the peak, we found that the Prophet Elijah had got there a few thousand years before us, and someone had built a little church right at the top to remember him. Along the way, as usual, we passed the time by chatting in many languages – one could hear Greek, English, French, Arabic, Icelandic, Swedish, Hindustani.

The highlight of the day came as a surprise over lunch, in the tune of Á Sprengisandi, a song from Iceland, graciously sang by our members from Iceland. Here is part of the lyrics, in translation:

Let’s ride, ride, ride over the sand

the sun is setting behind Arnarfell,

around these parts there’s many an unclean spirit

because the shade is starting to fall on the glacier ice.

The Lord lead my steed,

the last leg of the journey will be difficult.

Let’s ride, ride, ride over the sand,

the darkness is falling on Herðubreið.

The Queen of Elves is harnessing her staff,

it’s not good to end up in her way.

I’d give my best horse in order to

arrive in Kiðagil.

Do you have a song to share? Bring it along next time and add to the unique cultural character of your favourite club. Compliments to Deborah and Jackie for leading this excursion, to Ian for contributing to this summary, and to Mangesh, Stathis and Koula for sharing their photos. Join us on 17 March to celebrate the International Day of Forests on Mahairas


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