Half Greek and half Turkish
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Hi, I’m glad to greet you, I’m Yael Yancelson. If you want your imagination to be captured and live great surprises, close your eyes, breathe and let yourself be guided to Cyprus, let’s start
Cyprus is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey, much more than just a relaxed beach destination; the island has many layers, such as its history, an attractive culture, and a beautiful landscape, look how beautiful! Do you see the pine-clad mountains, the wide valleys, and the dense vineyards?
In addition to having a privileged beach, Paphos is a sacred city founded by the ancient Greeks. See the view of the Mediterranean here from Cano Kouklia, this part invites you to dig into the past to see fascinating relics, from Neolithic dwellings, Bronze Age, and Phoenician tombs, to exquisite Roman mosaics. Let’s walk through the Venetian walls, churches, Byzantine castles, Roman monasteries, and mosques. Kato Pafos is a typical Mediterranean tourist town, with a beach, umbrellas, and cafes that open all day, but you don’t have to go far to find ancient history. The rocky headland north of the harbor is like a huge historical theme park. The ruins of the archaeological zone of Paphos were once the capital of Cyprus, until in the s. IV an earthquake toppled the columns and cracked the arches. The archaeological ruins of Paphos are home to Greco-Roman treasures – columned arches, baths, an amphitheater – but their main attraction lies underfoot. The most outstanding part is the House of Dionysus, a Roman villa with elegant mosaics, try to appreciate the elaborate decoration of the floor that if you look closely covers several themes, from the seasons of the year to representations of Dionysus, Poseidon, Achilles, Theseus, and the Minotaur.
A short walk from the archaeological site stands the Hrysopolitissa Basilica, built in the city’s heyday, before earthquakes and Arab pirates razed Paphos. The current church occupies only a small part of the original basilica, which, like many other churches in Cyprus, has biblical credentials. One of the columns in the enclosure was supposedly used in the torment of the apostle Paul, whose resistance to persecution inspired the Roman governor to convert to Christianity. Nearby are the Tombs of the Kings where the most prominent citizens were buried, these imposing mausoleums followed the Egyptian tradition of building the tombs with the same majesty as the dwellings of the deceased, with wide atriums surrounded by colonnades and niches capable of entire housing families. Do you feel the warm dry wind whispering through the neglected ruins?
Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love is forever associated with Paphos, it is said that she was born right here. It is said that the waves that break against the rock create a column of foam that imitates the shape of a human being.
If you are a bit hungry, I recommend you try the star dish ofto kleftiko (literally, lamb in the well or kebab of the thief), a leg or shoulder of lamb cooked over low heat with lemon juice and cinnamon in a clay oven until the meat falls off the bone. With influences from the Greek and Roman and Ottoman empires, this is the history of Paphos reflected on the plate.
Now, how about we go to the vineyards of the krasohoria (wine villages) that dominate the surrounding hillsides of Omodos. The number of boutique wineries in the region currently amounts to 50, distributed among six or seven towns, with a large selection of wines and vines. The most famous local varieties are derived from mavro (dark red) and xynisteri (white) grapes, along with 10 other varieties.
Did you know that since 1974, sunny Nicosia (Lefkosia) in Cyprus has been divided by an UN-monitored demarcation line, with half Greek and half Turkish living largely in segregation? But lately, interesting cross-community cultural projects have emerged that make the world’s only divided capital, with its curious melting pot of Mediterranean cultures, more captivating than ever. Culturally European, but geographically in the Middle East, Nicosia is a rich and extravagant cocktail of Greek influences. , Turkish, Muslim, and Christian where anything goes.
So many shops, museums, art galleries, plazas, bouzouki blues singing cafe terraces, and candlelit churches with Byzantine icons in the south give way to a time warp of labyrinthine bazaars, mosques, an imposing Ottoman caravanserai, and the decadent terraced houses so typical of the region, what do you think of all this?
They are inviting us to the local kafeneio (cafe) which is the main meeting point. An obligatory stop for those who go after a day of work, to smoke, play tavli, eat haloumi and olives and drink coffee or tea. With the romantic silhouette of the mountains in the background, the leisurely cadence of modern life in North Cyprus reaches its maximum expression in the old port of Kyrenia. Check out its charming buildings and its well-kept warehouses, elegant bars, and restaurants. It is said that the waves breaking against the rock create a column of foam that mimics the shape of a human being. According to legend, this magnificent fortress served as the inspiration for the spectacular animated palace of the evil queen from Walt Disney’s Snow White. Climb up the steep stairs and overgrown gardens and paths to the tower. Wow I feel like I’ve gone back thousands of years in time, right?
To relax we can choose between one of these two beaches, both are beautiful. Perhaps Fig Tree Bay is more accessible, but Konnos Beach is also very worthwhile, and let’s also go to see beautiful rock formations in Kamara Tou Koraka you will hardly see things as beautiful as a sunset from this place. The caves formed by the erosion of the sea are beautiful. Sit there and watch as the sun goes down just behind the sea. But above all what surprised me the most was the turquoise color of the water. I feel like taking a dive, right? The “Bridge of Love” is one of the most beautiful places to see on this route. And although it seems sculpted by man, it is the work of nature! The shape is very beautiful, but again, what is really surprising is the turquoise color of the water. If you feel like it, you can go down by going under this bridge. There is a small space where you can stretch out your towel and enjoy the water.
If you like to cook, I think it’s time to prepare our ingredients to go to the kitchen and make a typical dessert called Mahalabia’, click on the button or if you prefer, keep traveling.
And that is how we leave this beautiful and interesting region of the planet with the desire to return. We will travel every week to another corner of this wonderful world, to discover, enjoy and fly with the imagination, I wait for you every Friday and I ask you if you like to share the content with your friends and give me a like and a review of your comments because with that you help me a lot to raise the ranking of this podcast, ALTERNATIVE REALITY A UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT SPACE THAT CREATES COMMUNITY if you are interested in knowing how the foundation works Include me in the labor and social inclusion of people with different abilities, go to www.inlcuyeme.org
We make a difference. And as I always tell you when helping others, we mainly help ourselves. See you next week and thanks for traveling with me.
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I want to thank Fabiola Ruiz Bedolla, our Mexican Sign Language interpreter, and her entire team of collaborators, as well as a very special thanks to Mercedes Obregón, director of the Pedagogical Institute for Language Problems, IPPLIAP. Thank you for joining this project and all of you for making it possible!
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