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The Troodos mountains, Kykko monastery

Home -> Europe -> Cyprus -> Travelogue Cyprus -> 18 February 2001

Sunday 18 February, the Troodos mountains, Kykko monastery

The Caledonian Falls, almost dried up The Caledonian Falls, almost dried upWe decide to stay in the neighbourhood today and have a look at Platres and the Troodos mountains. Platres is a village with enormous differences in height, up to a few hundred meters within this one village; and our legs notice it when we walk around! The environment is great and very quiet at this time of year.
There are many nice footpaths, for example to the Caledonian Falls. But, as you can see on the picture, the falls are quite dry when we walk up there. But even then the walk makes it all worthwhile.
Mount OlympusThe Troodos mountain range covers quite a large area of Cyprus and can be seen from almost every place of the island. The highest mountain in this area (and of Cyprus) is Mount Olympus (1.952 meters high). Villages are hidden everywhere and, of course, snow covers the peaks.
Teije on Mount Olympus Elisabeth on Mount OlympusHundreds of Cypriot families are present on this sunday and that confirms the remark in our tour guide that the Troodos is an attractive excursion area for the locals also. We are lucky it isn't high season with all the tourists... Tourists come here for the view and the warmth; Cypriots love to come here to cool down a bit, away from the heat on the plains and near the coast.
Entrance Kykko monasteryAfter 'climbing' Mount Olympus (a long walk on a paved road), we drive gradually towards Kykko monastery, a well-known Greek-orthodox monastery, founded about 1100. It was used as headquarters by the guerilla's for communications and as transportation center during the war for independance against the British.
Patio Kykko monastery Kykko monasteryThe monastery won't go bankrupt soon: gold shines everywhere, but it used to be much richer with possessions in Asia Minor and even Russia. A highlight is a golden icon of the Virgin Mary.
The view from the monastery over Kykko valley is very nice. We tried to make a panoramic view from several pictures, but we are not that good yet with the manipulation of pictures.
Cedar valley Next we go looking for Cedar Valley. It is quite an adventure, driving for more than an hour on a narrow sandy path, close to a ravine. We meet 2 oncoming cars and they ask us how long it will take to reach a paved road. They look very anxious and tell us they have been driving for hours, coming from the other side. But the scenery certainly makes the trip worthwhile, as long as you aren't afraid of narrow roads next to a steep ravine.
Cedar valley Cedar valley The cedars are endemic to Cyprus and can become quite tall. They grow mainly on heights between 1000 and 1400 meter.
PedoulasAt last, after more than 2½ hours, we arrive on a paved road. With the map on our knees we look for some more small (paved) roads and drive around the area for a few more hours. Pictures to the right: view on Pedoulas and the environment of Platres. There are many small villages with Byzantine churches in this area, hidden in the valleys.
PlatresThis picture is also made in the neighbourhood of Platres. The village is a favorite holiday resort for the Cypriots themselves, especially during the summer, to flee the heat of Nicosia. In February it is quiet, though. We walk around a bit, but the temperature drops quickly, so we return to the hotel when the sun sets and warm ourselves in the bar, which isn't so bad, after all.


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