A brave group of Strollers defied once more all adverse weather warnings; and climbed above Germasogeia on 31 March, to enjoy the views of an overfilled dam; the weather rewarded us with only spells of light rain, which did not subtract at all from our pleasure. We also welcomed new members and shared our spirited conversations over lunch. Compliments to George for taking over as leader in place of incapacitated Ian, and to Maria, Thalis and Stathis for sending photos. Join us on 6 April at Trimiklini https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/trimiklini-zalakas-6-april/
The Cyprus Strollers recorded the largest attendance ever, at Cape Greco on Saturday 23 March. We extend a warm thank you to each participant, and a special thank you to our student members. Compliments to George for leading the outing and to Stathis for the photos. Join us on 31 March at Kyparissia https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/kyparissia-nature-trail-31-march/
Our excursion in the forest above Kapedes on Sunday 17 March produced a broad and inspired exchange of ideas and contributions from many Strollers, in celebration of the International Day of Forests (on 21 March). It was particularly touching to hear the poem recited by 12 year old Samruddhi, in English as well as in Greek, wonderfully on target, given this year’s theme of ‘Forests and Education’
A forest is a place, where peace is found in the flowers.
Where violence is lost in the air.
Where love is found in the leaves.
Where hatred is lost in the roots.
A forest is a place where a soul can forget about the world, and live its life.
Compliments to Koula, Nana, Maria and Stathis for sharing their photos. Join us on 23 March at Cape Greco https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/cape-greco-konnos-bay-23-march/
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 https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/kapedes-agios-onoufrios-17-march/
Our hike of Sunday 3 March took us to the slopes of Delikipos. Ignoring alarming weather forecasts of thunderstorms and high winds, an impressively large group of Strollers were rewarded with a rain-free day out, and not a breath of wind, so we gradually discarded layers of insulation and waterproofing as we walked.
And what a walk it was! We wandered freely beneath the pine trees, keeping close to one of the many streams in the valley as it threaded its way through gorges, its gurgles harmonising with the croaking of frogs and the warbling of birds. Feeling sometimes like the first settlers of thousands of years ago, we picked our way among the first flowers of spring, scrambled up rocky slopes to commanding ridgeways, then down again to search for the easiest way to cross yet another stream. The only clues that we were not in the Stone Age were the fields of barley we passed and the plastic bottles. Ah yes, the litter. Tin cans, gun cartridges and bottles large and small, we collected as much as we could carry.
For much of the year the streams disappear, of course, but the magical valley is waiting for our return. Compliments to Ian for leading the excursion and writing this summary. Special mention must go to Sasha, who fearlessly got his own feet wet to create stepping stones and give a helping hand to everyone, to keep their feet dry crossing the eight or so streams we crossed: a true display of Strollership.Compliments also to Thalis, Maria, Daniela, Nicoletta, Jessica and Stathis for the photos. Join us on 9 March in Paphos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/panagia-9-march/
Jackie’s and Deborah’s hike at Akapnou offered Strollers many thrills. We welcomed several newcomers, among them students from abroad on a semester in Cyprus; we hiked on dirt roads and on tarmac; we crossed streams and enjoyed the sight of a small waterfall, a consequence of the rainy season; we visited a venetian bridge and a few churches; walked past flowering lavenders and purple rock cress; experienced a 15-min shower and then ample sunshine. But what shone most was the example of a few members who chose to retreat at the onset of the shower, yet lingered around and showed up at the lunch, to which they had committed! Compliments to Nicoletta and Thalis for the photos. Join us on 3 Feb. at Delikipos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/delikipos-hike-3-march/
The excursion to Xyliatos on Sunday 17 Feb. was a multi-faceted display of the invigorating power of water. Despite the ominous weather warnings, a wonderful large number of Strollers, among us a few first timers, carrying proper rain wear, turned up cheerful; one could say we had come close to becoming lovers of the rain. Yet, miraculously, there was no rain, and that helped. It helped us take notice of a humble stream (named ’tis elias’) to our right, which this time had a good flow; it helped our passionate fb photographer climb rocks for some shots; it helped us even accept an unlikely leader for part of the walk; and it helped Satu fill-up two bags of shopping. The dam at Xyliatos, which on 27 Jan. was less than half full, now was overflowing. The meal was a rewarding experience and as if all this was not enough, we offered ourselves the after-lunch bonus of a visit to a mine lake, a five-minute drive from Ochtos taverna. Compliments to Sevag and Nicoletta for the photos. Join us on 23 Feb at Akapnou https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/akapnou-23-feb/