A bad moment, a slip of the leg, on a downhill, a fractured fibula. It could happen to anyone. We are so sorry it happened to you today, 5th March, Dear Natalie, near the Grigoris Afxentiou place of sacrifice. Please accept our sincere wishes for a speedy recovery. And, we will be very happy to welcome you back.
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Falling water level – Lefkara lake 25 Feb.
The consequence of a poor rainfall this season came vividly alive on the hike of 25 Feb. along Lefkara lake. The pictures show the lake has receded up to 3 m from year ago. Notwithstanding this harsh reality, the very large gathering of Strollers displayed the usual high spirits, on the hike and over lunch. Compliments to Antonis for leading the day and to Heidi for the photos. Join us next on 5 March https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/pedieos-gorge-5-march/
Daring, like Eagles – Aetomoutti 14 Jan. 2023
They say luck accompanies those who dare. The weather odds were negative on 14 January, yet a good number of Strollers chose to hike for a full 3 hours and climb up to Aetomoutti (Greek for summit of eagles): as if by miracle, there was light rain only for a few minutes, then fog. The reward was the rich meal and the sharing of the Club’s Vasilopita, which came with 3 prizes, for the 3 lucky winners. Compliments to all participants, for the unparalleled spirit of camaraderie, adeptly summarized by Martin with these words: ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, there is only inappropriate clothing’. Compliments to Lydia and Janet for contributing the prizes. Compliments to Anna, Christos, Maria and Janet for the photos. Join us next here https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/mandra-kampiou-circle-21-jan/
Arsonists the prime threat to our forests!
This website predominantly features positive news, which promote the well-being of the Club’s members on our hikes. Permit me this exception, because news just released by the Government’s Forestry Department is simply shocking.
Out of 1327 fires in Cyprus over the 20-year period 2000 – 2021 25 % (337) were the result of arson! Further, a large proportion of the balance was the result of human negligence. About 14 % (180) were the consequence of natural causes (typically lightning strikes).
It is important to draw attention to the realization that as we go about our ordinary, law-abiding lives, our paths cross those of arsonists, in various forms of disguise. Stricter penalties from legislation is only part of the solution to the problem. Every sane, forest-loving individual has an obligation to react and speak out at every instance of compromising behaviour coming to our attention. Our hesitation to take the correct stance, our inclination to remain silent in such situations provide the excuses arsonists are looking for, to justify their crime.
Still unconvinced about the perils of silence and indifference? Read on.
In 1953 the well-known German playwright Max Frisch wrote The Arsonists (Biedermann und die Brandstifter) (in Greek Μπίτερμαν και οι Εμπρηστές), in which Biedermann, the protagonist, lets two arsonists into his house. He feeds them and lets them sleep in the attic, where they store gasoline canisters. Although the two terrorists actually tell Biedermann the truth about themselves, he does not believe them, and when they become overly demanding, he is too much of a coward to throw them out of his house. When asked, he even gives them matches with which they ignite the canisters and burn down not only Biedermann’s house but the whole town, setting in motion an armageddon.
Biedermann does not want to see the truth, although it is literally driven home to him, and in that he is reminiscent of the German attitude toward Adolf Hitler, who clearly laid out his intentions to wipe out the Jews in Mein Kampf and in his speeches. Hitler’s contemporaries did not take him and his threats against the Jews seriously; their naive disregard ultimately led to the Holocaust, which even the intellectuals did not foresee.
Reassuringly, the chorus in the play speaks out, informing that the happenings are not inevitable fate, but brought on by the people themselves: “For arson, once kindled, kills many, leaves few, and accomplishes nothing… Fate—so they call it!”.
Our forests need each one of us, and let this be your call to action! Thank you. The play was performed in Nicosia in the early 70’s and earlier this year in Athens. (Commentary about the play from an essay by Gerd K. Schneider). The photo above shows a sculpture in the village of Vavla, in memory of a large fire in 2000.
Glacier breaks off, 10 hikers dead
On Sunday 3 July 2022, in the early afternoon, a glacier in the Italian Dolomites broke off, causing the loss of the lives of 10 hikers. The incident was one more outcome of the ongoing phenomenon of global warming. This Club deplores the general lack of determination by the world powers, to reach consensus on an urgent corrective plan. We need actions, not declarations, from those in power.
The glacier had progressively become unstable, and the poor snow season last winter precipitated its collapse. Italian authorities had measured the loss of about 30% of the volume of glaciers, over a period of 10 years. The emerging picture is that glaciers have become too dangerous to explore on foot.
To help through the intense, often unlivable summer heat, here is a recommended relevant reading; a 2016 book by Italian Paolo Cognetti, titled Le otto montagne (The eight mountains). It is available also in Greek, from Patakis publishing firm. (Photo from The Guardian)
Good Friday Stroll: 8 Epitaphios in Old Nicosia
There was a flood of young people and people of other ages visiting the churches of Nicosia Within-the-Walls during the afternoon of Good Friday 22 April. Reviving an old custom, we venerated the Epitaphios in 8 churches: Chrysaliniotissa, Agios Kassianos, Phaneromeni, Trypiotis, Agios Savvas, Agios Philoumenos, Agios Antonios, Agios Varnavas (Cathedral). Enjoy the photos, compliments of Nicos. Best wishes for a Happy Easter.
Ukraine invaded by Russia – scratching the surface
Living in multinational Cyprus, I have Ukrainian friends and I have Russian friends. Several of them join me in my hiking outings regularly. Read this opinion here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ukraine-invaded-russia-scratching-surface-xenophon-hasapis/ If you care, you may leave a comment right below this space.
A Hike to send one to sleep – Platania–Spilia 5 Feb.
A large and multinational group of Strollers brought their positive attitude and turned the hike along a rather unexciting path at Platania to a memorable experience, sufficient to help everyone sail through our ordinary week. Compliments to Anna for the beautiful photos. Don’t miss our cultural and romantic day out on 13 Feb. https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/galata-cultural-romantic-stroll-sunday-13-feb/
Contact with nature reduces loneliness, study shows
Read this interesting piece of research from The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/dec/20/contact-with-nature-cities-reduces-loneliness-study-mental-health. I quote one finding: “when people were able to see trees or the sky, or hear birds, feelings of loneliness fell by 28%. Feelings of social inclusion also cut loneliness by 21%, and when these feelings coincided with contact with nature the beneficial effect was boosted by a further 18%”. Faithful of The Cyprus Strollers know about these positive outcomes very well.
Hiking can be Curative
Just as we prepare for the new Oct.-Dec. season of hiking with The Cyprus Strollers, the real life story of a remarkable woman makes one appreciate the multi-faceted goodness of this sport. Read this fight-for-life piece here https://www.yesmagazine.org/opinion/2021/07/23/hiking-as-medicine