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To the Western European mind, this might seem totally bizarre, but I assure you it's true. As I've mentioned elsewhere in my pages, my ex-girlfriend was Greek Cypriot, although she has lived in London since being made a refugee by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, and she still abides by this. I have also seen it when I've visited Cyprus. I have no idea what the ideological basis of it is, and nobody sems to be able to enlighten me.
Tradition demands that oil, that is cooking oil (specifically olive oil in Cyprus) is not brought into the house after dark. Returning from a recent trip to Greece, where we had been given some lovely olive oil as a gift, my ex-girlfriend insisted on leaving it outside the front door until the morning.
Don't ask me why, but if you're there, and happen to be in the position of having oil with you at midnight (an odd situation, I'll grant you), leave it on the doorstep - everyone will be a lot happier, belive me.
Updated Jun 13, 2012
If you happen to be in the island of Cyprus during Easter, go to a bakery or a confectionery shop and buy some flaounes.
Flaounes can be bought only during Easter. Taste them. I am sure you will love them.
Flaounes are traditional Easter breads which have been served in Cyprus for generations.
These breads are filled with a mixture of traditional cheeses and eggs for a rich treat which is served when the Lenten fast is broken. In Cyprus, flaounes are readily available at bakeries during the Easter season, and many households make up batches and distribute them to friends. It is not uncommon to see families carrying large trays of these traditional treats down the street on Easter Sunday.
Written Apr 13, 2011
Cyprus is an island and this might be the reason for many vintage-cars still beeing used or at least not thrown away, when they dont work anymore.
In the Troodos-mountains I saw the old Bedford vintage-bus standing next to one of the buildings along the main road through Pedhoulas and I was able to get some great photos from a short distance. It is a pity that it is in no better condition, but when driving around Cyprus you will still find a lot of such buses also in a perfect condition, like I saw one that was used for a wedding in Larnaca (see it in my last photo here!
Even the driver was dressed in a great tradional costume and I was able to take some nice photos there.
99 623 796
that number was written on the backside of the car and it might be their telephone-number, just in case that you want to rent such a car !
Updated Apr 9, 2011
Phone: 99 623 796
In the turque part of Cyprus you will see this giant flag on a hill, when you approach Nicosia from the greek part of the island and this flag is even eluminated all night as a permanent provocation. The EU lists the entire island of Cyprus as an EU-member and will certainly never accept turkey as a member as long as Cyprus is still divided in 2 parts.
I am sorry for the bad quality of this picture, you will see it best when you enlarge it.Unfortunately I had to take that photo through a dirty window.
Updated Apr 8, 2011
Hundreds of hearts arranged by lovers can be seen on the beach of Petra tou Romiou, that is also called "the birthplace of Aphrodite"
It is fun to walk through there and take a look at these great works of art !
Petra tou Romiou is close to Pissouri, about 30 min to drive to from Paphos, it is situated east of Pafos / Paphos.
Written Apr 7, 2011
Stray cats are all over Cyprus and in the hotel Akteon they had mainly been on the lower terraces but thank-heavens neighter around the pool nor in the restaurants etc.
In case that you are allergic against them (like I am) you should ask for a room on 1st floor, because the cats normally cannot reach these balconies.
In the Larco-Hotel and the Sveltos-hotel in Larnaca cats had been fed by the staff, at one time even inside the breakfastroom.
I saw a signpost, that guests are not allowed to bring their pets to the area around the pool, BUT nobody in the Larco cared about the stray-cats taking a nap there in the easy-chairs !
From personal experiences in the various hotels where I was working I know that you can teach any cat to avoid going to any area, where you dont want to have them. You just have to be nice to them in other places and push them away from certain other areas, where they should not go.
And they will remember very well, that they are not accepted there, when Michael is on duty,and will stay away. And when the boss came, kitty knew, she is accepted also at the reception even when Michael is on duty. And in such an occasion she did take a seat on top of the reception-bar and take a look at me like smiling and saying "Ha, Michael, NOW that the boss is around, you certainly wont mind that I have a seat here ! " ;-)))
Updated Apr 6, 2011
All of Cyprus is officially a member of the EU and a part of the Schengen-treaty, BUT of course at the moment all of these rules apply only to the greek part of the island and you need a turkish visa in order to enter the northern part.
For the ordinary tourists crossing the border between the 2 parts of Cyprus is quite easy - at least when you want to walk from the greek part to the Turkish part of Nicosia by foot, like I did:
At first the greek authorities will check your passport, then you go across the so-called "Green Line" that includes a road where the UN-cars will make their partols on a regular basis.
Then you come to the turkish border, you hand over your passport, they put your dates into the computer, add a piece of paper to your passport, and that was it. When you return they check everything again, take back that paper and that was it !
Officers had been very friendly on both sides !
This is the procedure for short visits and maybe it will be more complicated when you do it with a car and for a longer time, but I dont know !
My car-rental-contract ruled that I was not allowed to drive into the northern part of Cyprus !
Updated Apr 6, 2011
Electricity in Cyprus has 220 Volt, but the plug might be different from the one that you use in your homecountry and so it will be the best to take an adaptor-plug with you, because even the big hotels obviously dont have a single plug in the rooms for the ordinary plugs of Europe.
Charging your batteries etc. will only be possible when you have the right adaptor like in my photo.
b.t.w. I got this plug from the Larco-Hotel, they took a deposit of 3 euros for it and told me, I could just as well keep it at the end of my stay. That was a good idea, because it works fine also for places like Malta and others !
Updated Apr 4, 2011
When coming to one of the smaller monasteries in Cyprus you might still find some special hospitality. This certainly will never happen in larger monasteries like Kykkos, but in the more remote places it might also happen to you : It was a big surprise for us on that hot day in the monastery of Orounda : a non offered us some self-made juice, a mixture of lemons and other fruits, a bit sour, but much more refreshing than a sweet drink, plus this kind of sweets, that you see in my main photo, it is made of honey, sugar and some maizena to bind it.
This is obviously a part of the local hospitality and so I did not offer any payment directely to the non, but I put some money into the donation-box next to the church.
Mostly you will see it written in the brochures and travel-guidebooks: Monasteries dont charge an entrancefee, but Donations are always wellcome !
Updated Apr 4, 2011
It is very traditional all over Cyprus,you got to have a cup of Turkish coffee when you go visiting friends and relatives.
So here Am I enjoying a cup of hot coffee on a hot day in my cousins enchanting garden.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
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The majority of customs and traditions stem from Greek culture. One of the first aspects of the Cyprus culture experienced by foreigners to Cyprus is the warm welcome. Cypriots are known...
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