The Club kicked off its 9th season of activities on Troodos; a very large gathering of Strollers, including many newcomers, walked Artemis, the highest trail in Cyprus on 7 October, under ambient weather conditions, away from the heat of the cities, and under the shade of friendly clouds for most of the time. A superb buffet lunch followed, which elevated the spirits even higher. All diners sang their birthday wishes to Eleni, and enjoyed her cake. Compliments to George for leading this event and Taline for the photos. Join us on 13 Oct. on Prodromos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/prodromos-zoumi-stavroulia-13-oct/.
To wrap up the season that started January, in which we realised 20 excursions and covered a total of 206 km in 75 hours of hiking, a well-deserved celebration was held during lunch on 27 May. This was a time for reflection, for thanking and for giving. George contributed a delicious chocolate gateau, with a lit candle on top. Then Ian H (who turned out to be camera shy) followed with surprise gifts to the club’s Founder and Director. There was a greetings card, signed by dozens of members, bearing the central message “Thank you for your organisation and your inspiration” and other touching messages from all. A second gift was a large 94X64 cm frame bearing a selection of past photographs from our hikes; this now adorns a wall in Xenophon’s apartment. Yet a third gift was an album bearing many colour 30X21 cm printouts of photographs from past activities.
Xenophon was for once lost for words, immersed in a sea of warm sentiments. The feeling now is that this club has grown enough, to be an important part of the leisure and creative life of so many wonderful persons, past, present and new members, from all Continents! Have a nice summer and join us again in October for the next season. Compliments to Ian H and George. Compliments also to Koula, Christos and Clara for the photos.
A large, cheerful group of Strollers, including newcomers, walked the 2 trails at Almyrolivado on Sunday 27 May, under a sky which offered us only the shade of clouds, but no rain. The outing offered many memorable experiences. Among them a stream which we liked to claim was a mini waterfall; a lizard/ kourkoutas, some 30 cm long, which rapidly crossed our path, making us grateful that dinosaurs are extinct; barber’s brush, Cypriot slang for the flower of the day; a 500-years-old Juniper tree; the artificial lake in Amiantos; and a seesaw which younger members enjoyed in action. There has been also a remarkable initiative in play, Sheri’s efforts to pick up litter found along our path. Such are the delights of hiking with your favourite club! Compliments to Christos and Clara for the photos.
A large group, made up of Strollers from ten different nationalities* and once more including several newcomers, walked Atalanti trail, high up on Troodos on Saturday 19 May. On our way we encountered eagles flying above, heard the rare cuckoo song and were accompanied by harmless swarms of coleoptera of two sorts, for several kilometres. Compliments to Clara and Maria for the photos. Join us at Almyrolivado on 27 May for a joyful finale to this long season https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/troodos-almyrolivado-2-hikes-27-may/ *England, USA, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Greece and Cyprus
It was a fresh Spring day on Saturday 17 March, the hike up along Kryos Potamos, past Caledonian waterfall, then round and down the slopes of Pouziaris offered many thrills, and the buffet lunch that followed, with its special herbal tea offering at the end made the outing feel twice as nice. Compliments to Laurent for his leadership, and to Maria and Clara for the photos. Join us on 25 March at Prophitis Elias https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/prophitis-elias-monastery-kionia-hike-25-march/
A large group of Strollers, many newcomers among us, gathered at Selladi Karamanli on Sunday 7 January, determined to hike and hike and hike with their favourite club in 2018; can you think of a healthier new year’s resolution? Compliments to Clara for the photos. Join us on 14 Jan. in Lythrodontas https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/lythrodontas-2-hikes-14-jan/.
A truly international group, including new friends from Japan, Egypt and Syria, gathered for the hike to Agios Onoufrios on the Mahairas mountains. And what a fitting celebration of International Mountain Day this was!
As Xenophon reminded us mountains are under threat. He informed us of a global meeting in Rome taking place this week to consider the problem, and of our response and responsibilities to the sustainability of mountains.
There are no easy solutions. Yet our being on this hike and similar walks, enjoying the fresh air and the centuries-old trees, marvelling at the fecundity of nature, its abundance of plant and animal life, is in itself a way of ensuring sustainability. The more we love the mountains and the more time we spend in them, the more we are likely to protect them.
We delighted in the views of mountain peaks, autumnal colours, in finding wild mushrooms and mosfila. We were also saddened to see discarded plastic rubbish and hunters’ cartridges.
Our small international group at least is fully aware of the benefits and challenges. Mountains live long after us. Let’s continue to treasure them and do our part to preserve them. A small first step is to get out there, rejoice and be uplifted by their unrivalled beauty and majesty. Compliments to Mary for this write-up, and to Patrick and Clara for the photos. Join us on 16 Dec. at Pedieos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/pedieos-river-banks-walk-16-dec/.
The largest gathering of Strollers since 29 January, participated in the excursion to Troodos on Sunday 12 November. Artemis is the highest trail in Cyprus, the day was bright and the walk leader delivered on his promise to add a bonus to the hike when, with about one kilometre left from finish, he led a large group up a quite steep slope, thus reaching the big ball at the radar on Hionistra, which is the point with the highest altitude on the island. Compliments to Christos for leading this outing and to Christine and Clara for the photos. Join us on 18 Nov. at Kyparissia https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/kyparissia-nature-trail-18-nov/.
Atalanti North, a section of the 14km circular Atalanti trail, was the Cyprus Strollers’ choice for October 15. Over 40 Strollers (and two dogs) gathered at Troodos square and walked anti-clockwise just under 5km and back, for 9.5km worth of Troodos mountain rambling.
The route was a formula for stroller satisfaction – not too long, but not too short, not too steep and not too flat. But make no mistake: while it could be labeled as a one-size-fits-all trail, Atalanti North is far from monotonous. Gentle ups and downs took us through shady forest patches, as well as under the open skies or along sun-dappled paths, some smooth and wide, others bumpy and narrow.
This is a terrain that tells many silent stories. Moss covered tree trunks give evidence of the clean air. Hanging branches report the snowfall of many winters. Rock formations that burst out of nowhere are the stuff of geologists’ dreams. But you need absolutely no science to delight in the carpets of pine cones, the colours of wild apple trees and the therapeutic views to the summit of Olympus or the valleys below. And if it were possible to look into the Strollers’ minds, chances are, many were flirting with plans to complete the longer, but equally smooth and satisfying full Atalanti circle.
The variety then shifted from the trail to the table with a buffet lunch to end the hike and announce the next one. Compliments to Dina for creating this summary and to Koula, Nana and Clara for the photos. Join us on 21 Oct. at Kakopetria https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/kakopetria-agios-nicolaos-platania-hike-21-oct/
The 2nd walk of the 7th season followed a favourite route through the timeless pine forest of Troodos, with views of mountain villages waiting to be identified.
Over 40 Strollers across generations, from elementary school children to the age-is-just-a-number category, started off in Prodromos, in front of the summer camp area.
Going uphill, downhill, repeat, and back, this was the kind of trail that engages all the senses and stimulates an appetite for more. In fact, looking back, it is surprising how easily we covered a distance of just under 12km along a route rated difficulty level 2+ (on a scale of 1 to 3), based on its length and the slope, which at two points was not negligible. The secret? Good company, good mood, perfect weather and effortless interaction (plus regular mini-breaks) among Strollers from different parts of the world, from China to India to Iceland and many countries in between.
The elaborate taverna meal that followed was a great opportunity to get to know new members better. Compliments to Dina for this summary, and to Stella for the photos. Join us on 15 October at Atalanti https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/troodos-atalanti-north-walk-15-oct/