It’s Carnival Time!!! Hoorah!!

The Bunting was hanging right down the Coral Bay Strip when we went to dinner last night – WHY I asked, what’s happening I asked Stavros, only to be told it was Carnival Time in Cyprus, and the festivities all related to the Greek Orthodox Easter.

After some research on my faithful laptop it seems that because of Easter falling on April 8, 2018 it is the earliest Orthodox Easter for the last eight years, a date which won’t be equalled again until 2029. Which means in Cyprus we’re about to hit one of the most decadent fortnights of the year… Count back the 40 days of Lent, allow another 14 or so for the upcoming festive period, and – fanfare please – it’s Carnival time!

Shops have been full with thousands of fancy dress costumes, more than I have ever seen in the UK for Hallowe’en, with every costume and mask imaginable.  It seems that Cyprus takes its Carnivals very seriously.

It seems that Limassol is the true home of the Cyprus Carnival; even as far back as the 70s, local revelries were described as “two whole weeks during which the people of Limassol do little else other than party every single day, drinking, dancing and staying up all night. There’s lots of fun, practical jokes, and some love-making: the three elements which the people of Limassol live and breathe during the days of the Carnival.”

These days, little has changed there is 14 days of parades, parties, dances, competitions, exhibitions and serenades enticing thousands to the town. 

Having never been to one of the carnivals it was the ideal opportunity especially when Kate (Phill’s lovely daughter) was visiting and it was right on our doorstep in Coral Bay to get out there amongst the crowds to support all the local businesses that were taking part.  The Coral Bay Strip was closed for the day and the music from the many speakers strategically placed down the strip made for an amazing carnival atmosphere.  

Lots of photographs were being taken by families and friends of the amazing floats that had been created and the atmosphere was buzzing.  It seemed that everyone was participating on one way or another.  Kate and I really enjoyed seeing the kids all dressed up and dancing.

This took my back to my childhood where there was the Carnival in Ayrshire where they had the floats going through the town and they crowned the carnival queen and everyone knew everyone in the community. 

What an amazing day with streamers and spray foam and string!! Who knows we could be on the float next year – keep an eye out !!

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Could it be Scotland?

I could have closed my eyes and been transported back to the west coast of Scotland on one of its few sunny summer days, I couldn’t believe the view, the greenery and the mountains it was like being home in Scotland, but instead it was Cyprus!!  I think it took me back to my camping days (long time ago) in Skye

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Our drive took us to the Asprokremos Reservoir near Kouklia.  We had been talking about going for a drive there for a few weeks so that we could see how much water was in the reservoir.   We also wanted to compare the reservoir from our previous visit in December 2016 to see if the water levels were higher ALAS not.

We have seen a few dams on our travels around the island in the last year but didn’t realise that there were actually 108 dams and reservoirs in Cyprus and we have only ever stopped at two!!   Asprokremos and Mavrokolympos near Coral Bay.

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February 2018 – Water Levels Lower 

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December 2016 

After taking photographs of the reservoir we headed towards the Troodos Mountains through Choletria and then to Nata.

As we headed towards Nata we couldn’t believe how green it was who could believe that we were in Cyprus and also that Cyprus could ever be so green but of course we do get some rain in the cooler seasons and everything starts to grow again, the fields turn green as the grass grows and all around looks beautiful, buds on the trees and flowers opening up and most importantly the grass is green instead of the burnt out dried landscape that we tend to see in the summer months when the temperatures soar.  Nonetheless the weather in the cooler season is still lovely with temperatures reaching an average of 18 degrees most days and Phill is living proof that it is warm as he lives in shorts daily from morning until night 7 days a week.

Our drive through Anarita and down to Timi was very interesting – passing goats, sheep and goat herders on the narrow roads.  We even crossed a bridge where the river flowed under it towards the reservoir.  At this time of year when the snow is on the Troodos Mountains there is quite a lot of water running down the hills from Mount Olympus.

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What an amazing view!!

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Street Art

A few years ago, street art in Cyprus was considered little more than vandalism, frowned upon by most and totally disregarded by many.  Whilst the majority still hesitate to accept the practice, there is no denying that street art is a far bigger deal on the island in recent years especially leading to the Culture year of 2017, with festivals encouraging talented young artists to jazz up public spaces and buildings in need of a colourful revamp, while many derelict and abandoned spaces, parking lots, and empty walls around Paphos have come to life with all sorts of brilliant designs.

With this in mind we took to the streets of Paphos Old Town to find more of the art work mentioned above.   Absolutely amazing display of various colourful paintings on empty walls and car parking spaces.

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A few talents joined forces to create this impressive graffiti in the Makarios Avenue parking lot in Paphos –  as part of the Paphos Street Art Square Festival to add colour to the streets of the seaside town.

The art work below is shown on one of the electricity boxes.  Isn’t it amazing?  We found this one at the start of our walk into the narrow streets of the old town.

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Phill and I probably haven’t found them all yet….do you think you can find some more for us?…..

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