15.04.2016 – TIME TO GO BACK…

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IT WAS NECESSARY TO GET UP EARLY AGAIN. WE EAT A GOODBYE BREAKFAST IN OUR HOTEL AND WE ARE ON THE WAY TO LARNACA ABOUT 9 a.m. WITH MINUTES. DURING THE RIDE, THE GIRLS STUDYING THE GUIDES, LOOKING FOR SOME EASY TO REACH PLACES. WE ARE DECIDING TO GO TO THE KOLOSSI CASTLE NEAR LIMASSOL.

JUST BEFORE ENTERING THE CASTLE AREA – ON THE LEFT – THERE IS A SOUVENIR SHOP, WHERE YOU CAN ALSO GET SOMETHING TO DRINK. THEY ARE SERVING HERE – AMONG OTHERS ONES – LOCAL, VERY SWEET, 15%’s WINE, SIMILAR IN THE FLAVOUR TO THE PORT. THIS IS A FAMOUS COMMANDARIA, BEING PRODUCED BY THE KNIGHTS OF THE ORDER OF THE HOSPITAL OF ST JOHN OF JERUSALEM FROM MIDDLE AGES.

THE KOLOSSI FORTRESS IS NOT BIG. HOWEVER, IT IS INTERESTING AND FAST TO TOURING. IN PRINCIPLE, THESE ARE THE WALLS THEMSELVES. EVERYTHING HAS BEEN BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED. HIGH STAIRS, WHICH ARE VERY MUCH HERE, CAN CREATED A PROBLEM FOR SOME TOURISTS. THERE IS A NICE VIEW FROM THE ROOF TERRACE. APART FROM THE STRONGHOLD, THERE ARE ALSO REMAINS OF ANCIENT UTILITY ROOMS (SUGAR REFINERY). ADMISSION € 2.5 / PP. (65 YEARS OLD – 50% DISCOUNT). VISITING TIME 30 min.
THERE IS ALSO A RESTAURANT – NEXT TO A SMALL CAR PARK – SERVING FRESH JUICE FROM LOCAL ORANGES. DELICIOUS (€ 3,0 GLASS).
200 m AWAY IS THE TINY OLD CHURCH – AGIOS ANTONIOS. WORTH WATCHING INSIDE AND OUTSIDE.

WE’RE STARTING OFF. THIS TIME, THE GIRLS CHOSE THE TOWN FAMOUS FOR ITS LACE – LEFKARA. APPARENTLY STILL OVER 900 WOMEN ARE WORKING HERE IN THIS PROFESSION. WE ARE ARRIVING AT THE CENTRE OF LITTLE KATO LEFKARA. AT THE VERY ENTRANCE, NEXT TO A LARGE PARKING LOT, THERE IS A 12TH CENTURY BYZANTINE CHURCH DEDICATED TO MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL. GOING FURTHER, WE ARE PASSING A TAVERN CONNECTED WITH A LACE SHOP AND A FEW OTHER POINTS, SELLING MAINLY THE FAMOUS “LEFKARITIKA” LACE. SETTLEMENT – BECAUSE IT IS HARD TO CALL IT THE SMALL TOWN – CERTAINLY ISN’T A VILLAGE.

STROLLING THROUGH THE NARROW STREETS WE ENCOUNTERING A GROUP OF TOURISTS FROM POLAND. WHILE ADMIRING THESE FEW STREETS, WE COME TO THE CHURCH, IN FRONT OF WHICH THERE IS A HUGE ACACIA (?). IT IS SO LARGE THAT IT HAD TO BE SUPPORTED BY A BRICK WALL. THE CHURCH IS UNFORTUNATELY CLOSED, BUT IT STILL MAKING A COLOSSAL IMPRESSION. IT IS CAUSED BY THE COLOUR OF THE DOOR. THEY ARE ALL SAPPHIRE BLUE.
OUR STAY IN THE TOWN COMPLETES THE REFILLING OF LIQUIDS IN THE STRATEGICALLY LOCATED “STAFILARIS COFFEE SHOP“. THEY HAVE A GREAT COFFEE AND A HOME-MADE WINE HERE.

WE ARE GOING TO KITI.

THE 11TH-CENTURY BYZANTINE CHURCH OF PANAGIA TIS AGGELOKTISTIS IS LOCATED IN THE VILLAGE OF KITI, 12 km FROM LARNACA. ACCORDING TO THE FOLK TRADITION, THE INHABITANTS OF KITION, FLEEING FROM THE ARAB INVASIONS, MOVED TO KITI AND DECIDED TO BUILD A CHURCH HERE IN HONOUR OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (PANAGIA). ON THE SECOND DAY OF THE WORK, THEY FOUND THAT AT NIGHT THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE CHURCH WERE MOVED TO ANOTHER PLACE. THEY BELIEVED THAT AN ARMY OF ANGELS DID IT – HENCE THE NAME “AGGELOKTISTI” (“BUILT BY ANGELS”).
THE CHURCH IS REALLY BEAUTIFUL. IN ADDITION TO THE TWELFTH AND FOURTEENTH CENTURIES MURALS, THERE ARE MAGNIFICENT, BYZANTINE MOSAICS FROM THE 6-th CENTURY IN IT. SIGHTSEEING TIME – 30 MINUTES +; ADMISSION FREE.

WE STILL HAVE SOME TIME AND WE CAN STILL SEE SOMETHING OUTSIDE THE CENTER OF LARNACA. WE DECIDE ON HALA SULTAN TEKKE – A MUSLIM TEMPLE, IN WHICH MAHOMET’S AUNT WAS REPORTEDLY BURIED. IT CONSISTS OF A MOSQUE, MAUSOLEUM, MINARET AND CEMETERY. IT LIES NEAR THE AIRPORT ON THE SHORE OF THE SALT LAKE. BY VISITING THIS PLACE, WE ARE AGAIN COMING ACROSS THE POLISH GROUP ENCOUNTERED IN KATO LEFKARA. THE TOUR TAKES 20 MINUTES. FREE ADMISSION.

WE ARE RETURNING TO THE CENTER OF LARNACA. HERE, TOO, THERE ARE SEVERAL THINGS TO SEE. ABOVE ALL, THE CHURCH OF AGIOS I (AYIOS) LAZAROS AND FORT.
THE MOST IMPORTANT MONUMENT OF THE CITY IS AGIOS LAZAROS FROM THE NINTH CENTURY – PLACED ABOVE THE CATACOMBS OF THE TOMB OF ST. LAZARUS. IT WAS ERECTED BY EMPEROR LEO IV. THE TEMPLE IS ONE OF THE MOST MAGNIFICENT MONUMENTS OF BYZANTINE ARCHITECTURE. REBUILT IN THE 17TH CENTURY HAS AN ICONOSTASIS THAT IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WOODCUTTING. IN THE CHURCH YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE SARCOPHAGUS OF ST. LAZARUS AND HIS GRAVE IN THE VAULTS. DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THE LARGE, SILVER CHEST IN THE MAIN PASSAGE. THEY ARE THERE, AS I UNDERSTAND THE REMAINS OF THE WORLDLY RELICS OF THE SAINT.

WE PASSED THE SMALL STREET CONNECTING THE CHURCH WITH THE SEA AND THE PIER EXTENDING IT. FROM ITS END YOU CAN SEE IN ALL ITS GLORY THE FORT BUILT IN 1625 BY THE TURKS. UNFORTUNATELY IT WAS TOO LATE TO VISIT THE MUSEUM LOCATED IN THE FORT AND OTHER INTERESTING PLACES IN LARNACA.

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TINY OLD CHURCH – AGIOS ANTONIOS. SEE YOU …

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OUR STAY IN CYPRUS ENDED WITH LUNCH AT A RESTAURANT ON PAVLOU VALSAMAKI STREET. UNFORTUNATELY, WE DID NOT CHOSE THE BEST PLACE. EATING SO-SO. THE OCTOPUS HAD SOME CHEWY PARTS. THERE WAS A PIECE OF PAPER IN THE SQUID. AFTER THE COMPLAINT, THE SAME DISH WAS BROUGHT WITH ONE FRESHLY ADDED CALAMARI. AS A RESULT, THE REST OF THE DISH GOT COLD AND AWFUL. AFTER ANOTHER COMPLAINT, NOT VERY SATISFIED WAITRESS (OWNER?), FINALLY GAVE BACK A GOOD DISH. SERVED WHITE WINE WAS NICE.
UNFORTUNATELY, WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS THE NAME OF THIS PLACE (SPECIAL KEBAB HOUSE. CYPRUS FOOD?). IT IS LOCATED ON PAVLOU VALSAMAKI STREET AT A QUITE CHARACTERISTIC POINT, BECAUSE IT IS THE LAST DINER IN THE ROW OF RESTAURANTS, AND THE PERPENDICULAR WALL OF SOME BUILDING. USES LARGE, BLUE UMBRELLAS TO ADVERTISE KYKKOS WATER.
WE STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST ???

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