Monday, 24 August 2015 13:03

Village Relaxation Mode officially activated

village view village view

Last week, I mused as to where everyone disappears to on the August 15 weekend – but I got to find out first hand! With the arrival of a visitor from Switzerland, a dear Cypriot friend suggested we ‘come up to the village’. Unlike me, my visitor loves driving – driving people mad in her rental car, that is.

“Ja, Schatzilein (darling), you’ll just have to wait ’til I decide where I want to go,” she kept laughing, when those few cars on the road did honk at us.

On our way out of town on August 15, I noticed that several shops and large supermarkets were in fact open and that the roads were fairly busy, presumably with cars which – like ours heading up to the mountain villages. We had detailed directions, telling us about which gate/bin/pergola we’d have to take those sharp, uphill turns and onto which gravel road.

I had been there before, but my visitor found it all very exciting. “Oh, this is so wonderful!” she kept exclaiming as the roads got narrower and narrower and bumpier and bumpier. Even when we finally ended up ‘in nowhere’ she thought it all was ‘so fun’.

I did not really mind either, especially as a very handsome, smiling young man came out of a house to see who had ended up in their narrow, tucked away driveway. It turned out he, too, had come from the city and had to get his father to help us with directions. The father came out and we called my friend – it turned out that they were neighbours and we had just turned one road too early.

My driver managed to find a tiny spot to turn around (basically in the next village) and by the time we passed our helpers’ house again, the father had already picked some figs off his trees for us and asked us to come into the garden.

Cypriot hospitality had my elderly visitor bouncing around like a little child, ‘Oh, this is so wonderful, I will go help him carry the tomatoes!’ she said as she disappeared into his garden, forgetting all about our friends who were waiting for us (and that extra bag of charcoal) for lunch.

And it is wonderful… I have experienced this generosity and kindness before, but obviously still love it every time. And even the ‘city son’ was all amused as he was taking pictures of the two discussing the bountiful harvest in their shaky English.

“And if you don’t find it, just come back!” he laughed as we finally drove off.

We did make it to our nearby final destination; a little, simple house, overlooking the village, and my friends, whom I only know from ‘the city’, seemed transported too.

The peace and quiet, the cooler village breeze and that out-in-nowhere atmosphere, barely an hour’s drive from Limassol… No wonder there’s an exodus in mid-August – especially when, like this year, the hottest day of the year falls on it.

What a privilege to have such a short ‘escape route’ from city life to a peaceful, cooler place.

As published in The Cyprus Weekly of August 14th 2015 

 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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