From Northern Cyprus we made our way inland to the Troodos mountains in the western part of the island. Here we spent a couple days in the charming village of Kalapanayiotis. It’s got a lot of what you’d expect from a hillside Cypriot village: crooked cobbled streets, old Orthodox churches, tiled rooftops, and lots of winding stairs.
A major draw here, compared with other villages in these mountains, was a unique hotel called Casale Panayiotis Traditional Village Hotel & Spa. The hotel is made up up beautifully renovated houses scattered throughout the central part of the village. We had to go up and down the stone staircases and across the cobbled lanes to get from our apartment to the breakfast spot or the reception desk or the swimming pool. It did feel a tiny bit like living in a village.These mountains are also known for lovely Byzantine churches that were built here in the 11th to 15th centuries. After French Catholics settled in Cyprus and began to run the show, many Orthodox believers and their artists and builders fled up into the mountains where they built these churches and maintained their traditional culture out of reach. The interior walls are painted top to bottom in almost comic-strip fashion with frescoes depicting the lives of Jesus, prophets, and saints, all remarkably preserved for the better part of a millenium.
We didn’t do much more here than hiking in the mountains surrounding this town. We were surprised by just how many types of fruit we saw growing along the pathways: grapes, blackberries, figs, pomegranates, peaches, persimmons. We just kept seeing more and more, as if they were just growing randomly in the wild. Fruit everywhere, often rotting on the ground below the trees.
Not a lot more to report from this quiet spot, except that there were lots of cats here. Lots of cats and lots of fruit. Nothing wrong with that. From here we’ll head to the southern coast of Cyprus to get some beach time. And maybe more cat time.