Club pride – Kionia 13 Nov.

People join the Cyprus Strollers for all sorts of reasons, astutely summarized by Lydia with these words: ‘I am not here for the exercise, I visit the gym for my exercise’. Wondering what you may be missing? Talk with the cheerful participants for the long hike at Kionia on 13 November. Or join us next on 19 Nov. https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/pedoulas-xylogefyro-19-nov/ and experience a Club with emphasis on culture. Compliments to Antonis for leading the day and to Photini and Nana for the photos.

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Alluring Kourtellorotsos – 5 Nov.

Could it be the allure of the odd name? Or the fact that Kourtellorotsos stands between two churches on the Unesco World heritage list? Its popularity drew a very large gathering of Strollers, who hiked under sun and then clouds, admired long views, the first cyclamen of the season and held spirited conversations. Compliments to Antonis for his caring leadership and to Anna and Nana for the photos. Join us on 13 Nov. at Kionia https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/kionia-prophitis-elias-13-nov/

Smooth blend of 13 Nationalities – Mnimata Piskopon 30 Oct.

In a world filled with division, the spirit of conviviality displayed by the large gathering of Strollers, people of 13 nationalities, including, once more, newcomers, at Platania on 30 October, is exemplary, setting this Club apart. Compliments to Nana and Demetris for the photos. Join us next at Kourtellorotsos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/panagia-araka-kourtellorotsos-option-for-stavros-5-nov/   

When the weather is perfect, the Pleasure factor doubles – Prodromos 22 Oct.

The path to Zoumi and Stavroulia we hiked on 22 October is among the prettiest on this island, with a dense forest of black pine; and the shade and clouds above created a fantastic outing for a large gathering of Strollers, incl. newcomers. The conversations were sparkling, and climaxed over lunch to themes that help one pass a better week ahead, until our next event on 30 Oct. https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/platania-mnimata-piskopon-30-oct/. Compliments to Elena, Anna and Andriana for the photos.

Red autumn landscape – Platania 16 Oct.

The 12 km outing at Platania – Doxa si on 16 October was at times chilly, at another spell windy, and all the way rainy. But within just a few hours, all that was forgotten, and what remained was the magical autumn landscape, in its splendid red colours, the vineyards, the positive vibes among participants, and the interesting conversations over lunch. Definitely a hike to remember. Compliments to Dina for this commentary. Join us on 22 Oct. at Prodromos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/prodromos-zoumi-stavroulia-22-oct/

Persephone marks end of summer – 8 Oct.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the hike that took place in autumn weather, at last, came on 8 Oct. on Troodos; the myth of Persephone, after all, helps explain seasonal change. The cheerful gathering of Cyprus Strollers enjoyed the scenery, the varied flora (we even spotted the first crocus flowers), and a well-deserved gargantuan lunch. Compliments to Nicos for leading the day and to Elena and Andriana for the photos. Join us on 16 Oct. at Platania https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/platania-kyperounda-doxa-si-16-oct/

Artemis, goddess of Honesty?

There was a marvelous display of honesty on 2 October at Artemis trail, high on Troodos; one of us forgot his pair of hiking poles leaning on a tree, at the hike start; 3 hours later, the poles were lying there, intact!

A large gathering of Cyprus Strollers, of 10 different nationalities, and all age groups (we had Elementary school kids, High school kids, University student, young couples and on) welcomed season number 17, in high spirits. Join us on 8 Oct. at Troodos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/troodos-persephone-extended-8-oct/

A Pillar of Stability

At last, what seemed to be a never-ending heatwave over Cyprus, is coming to an end. At the same time, an end does not appear concerning a war involving an entire continent, an escalating cost of living, an environmental crisis and a looming energy shortage. Aspects of life turning anyone mad.

In this climate of uncertainty and anxiety, the Cyprus Strollers emerge as a pillar of stability. This Club is entering its 17th consecutive season, promising participants a breath of fresh air, once a week. Join us to experience the ingredients which set the Cyprus Stroller apart, become part of ‘Hiking made Pleasant’.

Click to download and read the Activities Schedule here https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-schedule/. For any activity that catches your attention, click to download and read a complete set of instructions here https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/. Join us on 2 October on Troodos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/troodos-artemis-reclining-trees-2-oct/

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)