Friday, November 04, 2011

pebble stones

Early mornings and afternoons are bit chilly. Kids started wearing jackets.

We drove to Episkopi Bay on the east side of Akrotiri peninsula, near the old Kouris river, and found a beautiful pebble stone beach at sunset.
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DIY: Crocheted beach stones.

the seasons

When I found fresh potatoes at the local supermarket I was reminded how cool it is that many vegetables and fruits have a second season on Cyprus. Some people say the mild winters here are rather like spring elsewhere and the extremely hot summers more like winter.

On our weekend menu I prefer other root-vegetables though. I'm especially fond of them oven roasted in herbs and garlic and with a glass of red. How do you prefer yours?
fresh potatoes
If you're into growing organic vegetables on Cyprus you might find this site interesting.

Shall we play - θα παίζουμε

I experience playing with other native kids is the best way for our kids to get used to a life in a new country. It's on the playground when things get real and they tend to forget their shyness and lack of vocabulary.

Having a greek speaking friend who is as well a second cousin is therefore something extra precious.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I don't know, it might be genetic. My father loved figs too.

So proud. The fig plant on the veranda has produced small but nice tasting figs. The plant is however starting to loose it's leaves. I should probably re-plant it in a larger pot.

We eat loads of figs as soon as we get our hands on them in the supermarkets. Green, green-red or red. It's been season several months now.
 It is my dream to grow an own fig tree one day.

A special wedding

There're two things about Cypriot weddings. They're a great opportunity to meet with family and friends. And they're typically soaked in tradition, still so highly valued by the young.

Actually there's a third thing. They're highly popular. A wedding in the mountain village Agros probably averages two thousand guests as the whole village is invited. Besides relatives across the island, those abroad don't hesitate long distances for a wedding.
bride descending
This day my cousin son M and his P where the highlight of the village. And since this was the first wedding ever in Cyprus for me I was particularly mesmerised by the procedure.

We joined at my cousins home where the bridegroom was being dressed up by his closest family and friends. This ceremony was accompanied by live music and good food. It was crowded and cheerful. Same thing was happening with the bride on the other side of the village, I was told.
When it was time for the church bells to ring, me and husband hurried to catch a parking lot outside the church. To find the church empty. Apart from a flower decorator who assured it was the right church. For someone like me who grew up in Sweden this was quite a hillarious moment.

Half hour later the processions with musicians at the front started in the direction towards the church. One with the bridegroom and one with the bride, followed by all the closest folks. So beautifully.
Besides the beautiful church wedding the festivties included many familiar faces, interesting talks with dear close ones as well as more distant, and an abundance of local food. I found out later that I took my last photo of my dear uncle Jannos this day. Sadly he passed away just one week later, after many years of suffering. Always dear in my memory.
Uncle Jannos
Sfgirlbybay goes yellow accents, again. Previously here. Makes me smile.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Promenade in an old village

It's bit chillier each morning, but it still reaches about 25 degrees mid day. Today I went with a restless Eddie for a morning walk in the old part of the village with it's small primitive stonehouses. Besides the busy cars and constant chasing after Eddie it was interesting to see the vivid activity at this hour. I managed to snap some photos on our way.
Along the narrow streets in this densely populated area we saw old ladies simply sitting on their verandas. A little boy at his grandparents, who the neighbours so where tenderly spoiling. A busy vietnamese maid wearing a typical conical asian hat on her way to the grocery store. Old men heading for the cafeteria for a chat with their cumpare's. One who stopped talking with us, particularly eager to share about all the houses he had built in this area in his days.
At the church yard Eddie could run freely and play with an ancient piece of a marble column. And on our way home he enjoyed chasing a bunch of hens we saw crossing the road. We also said hello to a little nervous barking mongrel who at first impression seemed so sweet. Back home we where both quite sated with all the impressions.
A breathtakingly beautiful skirt, "box-pant-in-black" by Black Crane.
This wall paper would be so funky in a city villa, by Piet Hein Eek.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Discovering our city

When exploring Limassol city center by foot we discover new things every time. A cozy café, old mudbrick houses, inspiring handicraft boutiques, a field (yes, a field), historical monuments, rough corrugated steele garages with tyres piled up in the sun, magnificent abandoned decayed houses, to mention some. 

A lot of construction work is currently going on in the area. Probably well needed. I assume the city being so vivid and beautiful located by the sea it's also preparing for European Captial of Culture 2017. 

Wandering the other day we discovered the Limassol Municipal Market hall with the adjacent Saripolou Square, a great outdoor plaza with several restaurants and cafés. Loved it, and already regulars at Petros café at the plaza.
inspiring mosaic art Cool guys Dry goods olives, olives Cyprus bananas Figs, I love figs. locelly produced veggies Nikis sweet's, right upper corner Snails in a tray
1. Inspiring mosaic art in a shop window near the market.
2. Cool guys munching grilled σαντουιτς with χαμ and halloumi. How I enjoy those anglo-greek words.
5, Cypriot sweet bananas.
6. I love figs!
7. Lots of locally produced veggies.
8. Oh look, my dear friend Niki's sweets.
9. Cypriots seems to love farming, picking and eating snails.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

High and low

I think October is my favourite month so far. The weather is really fabulous, warm but not too hot. A great reward, when enduring a really slow settling process. It's great that school and kindergarden at least been checked off from the new life in Cyprus list. Otherwise most is about watching the rapid growth of our smallest active little boy, the daugthers progress with greek language and making sure middle kid typically isn't missing our attention. There's also been some large events in the family, both sad and happy, bringing the family together. A funeral, memorial and a large wedding. We've also enjoyed seeing some of my family and friends from Sweden here in Cyprus. But perhaps tomorrow there will be more progress in the settling process, don't you think?
the park
cactus tree
- Pictures above from Limassol Municipal Garden, first by daughter. That tree is a huge cactus, btw.
- Love this and this scarf collection by milleneufcentquatrevingquatre, via Design for Mankind.
- Great collages. via butdoesitfloat.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

No beach bars

Over bumpy roads we went to explore the beaches on the west side of Akrotiri peninsula. Knowing we wouldn't be finding any beach bars, nor shelter we had packed our bags with foods, drinks and sun lotion.

The trip was precisely the level of adventure our small children family would apprechiate. There where sand dunes, desert turquoise beaches and lagoons, beachrock, ship wrecks and turtle nests and more.

Lots of eye candy for me (sorry for all the pics in this post). Not twilight like one previous trip to Akrotiri, just overwhelmingly interesting nature. And not too far home again. Definitely a keeper in terms of cool day trips if in Limassol area.

Perfect summer lunch (or dinner)

When it's warm I think I prefer cold food for lunch. I find it great how it's possible to combine many favourite foods and and make the whole a lot better. Normally I'm not particularly fond of mixing different foods too much. A buffé for example makes me nervous. My favourite cold summer plate probably contains fresh fruits and vegetables, small fishes in oil, a dip like hot cheese salad, few slices of charcuterie, pitta bread and perhaps sliced cheese. Sweet, sour, salt and optionally hot.
Tomorrow 15 August is an important public holiday in Cyprus when most of Cypriots will be escaping the heat to the chillier mountain villages.

Friday, August 05, 2011

The Tale of the Cypriot cats

First time we drove around Akrotiri peninsula was a few weeks ago. It's a quite weird place if I may say, but in a positive way. A twilight positive way.

There's the unusual nature, so fascinating with all the green such as the large pine tree avenues, a huge salt lake, a desert like area used for rally, and the popular Ladys Miles beach. Then, as it is British base area, there's all kinds of impressive military things and a lot of huge planes lifting and landing that are mostly erased from Google earth and forbidden to photograph. So I won't go into detail on these things here.

Also there's some historical stuff, for example the Holy Monastery of St Nicholas of the Cats, which I've been curious to visit for years. Behind it is the tale of the special Cypriot cats Cyprus shorthair.
For me it all started with my uncle in Limassol who always used to attract the neighbour cats through calling for them with a 'ts ts' or tapping with his foot on the ground. From the shadows they immediately emerged and where prancing around him while he was stroking them with his foot.

He called these tiny skinny cats with their characteristic Egyptian style profile 'his cats'. During summers while we where staying with his family they where also 'our cats', especially the kittens.

Eventually I heard the story of how these ravishing cats arrived to the island, brought by some prominent person a long time ago from Egypt. This story has been dwelling in my mind ever since.

So this day we finally got to visit the monastery, which today appeared to be a nunnery with a church containing beautiful icons, fabulous colonades and of course plenty of cats. Nothing spectacular but still interesting.
This afternoon we continued to the popular Lady's Miles Beach where practically every Limassolian seem to be hanging out during weekends. Some people are getting there by boat, some are bringing pavillions and chairs, others are more focused on water sporting. We had a date with my dear cousin with family, the daugther of my cat-loving uncle, and had a lovely time together chilling out.

At sunset we headed to the parking to start our drive back home when this colourful ice-cream car drove to where we where standing. Could we say no to the kids? Well they had some softies while we chatted with this super enthusiastic elderly Brittish man. He was almost surreal. In a twilight way.

Limassol by night

Some evenings it's just nice enjoying sun set strolling along the promenade in Limassol city center. The smell of grilled corncobs spreading in the air evokes childhood memories, from my early summers spent in Cyprus.

Like the sweet fried honey and rosewater scented loukomades, which are best enjoyed hot from one big plate in good company. A popular evening pastime for a rich mix of people, mostly Cypriots of course, while not so many tourists it seems.
Many children are brought by their parents for an evening dip in the sea before bedtime. As the darkness falls it is great to look at the huge boats with hundreds of lamps lit anchored a bit out in the Mediterranean horizon.

It is nice sipping a cold drink at one of the over popular beach bars. But the best thing about the promenade really is just walking, walking and walking. Which I can't get enough of in this car bound city.
  • Over the last months really good friends, always ready to bring clarity in an otherwise bitwise confusing situation, has proven to be the overly awesome google translate and google earth.
  • Kinda inspired by this wall hanging sort of digital style.
  • And this wall clock would be great simply as a clock. Please put in production asap.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Up to no good (ok, not me)

Outside Limassol District Administration Office we found this beautiful memorial which was installed in honour of the 13 Cypriots who lost their lives in the huge blast at Evangelos Florakis Naval Base. Just a few days after the so unnecessary accident that also destroyed 60 % of Cyprus energy supply.
We are affected by the incident, but not worse than can be managed. To avoid getting stuck in the elevator during the approx two daily electricity cuts á 2.5 hours we're carrying the baby trolley as well as the grocery goods up the stairs. And we can't have a frappé whenever we want, but that's about it. What's perhaps worse is the lack of trust in the current regime that we experience among people here unfortunately.

While dwelling in the no good:s subject; farewell to you Amy Winehouse, it was way too soon.
And, wishing you Norway a healthy recovery after the terrorist actions outside Oslo.
Phew, that was a bunch of heavy topics.

Now I'm off for an ice cold drink on the balcony in the warm evening breeze. See ya!