The village of Drynia in the Mountains of Paphos

Trip Start Mar 03, 2010
Trip End Feb 06, 2011

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Flag of Cyprus  ,
Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just opposite Costa's house it is the 'kafenio’ of the village. The word kafenio is actually Greek and it is a meeting spot for men only, for some chat, a drink or playing a game of cards or backgammon. It is not long when I hear Agelo calling me to meet her at the kafenio.

The locals welcome me with a wide smile, and it is one of the things I really enjoy doing. There is one who hurries to leave but I ask him to stay and I introduce myself.  They ask me to have a sit and the owner of the café asks me if I wish to have some coffee or tea.  Seeing a glass of ‘soumada’ on the table I ask for this drink.

‘Soumada’ is syrup created by the splendid combination of almonds, rose water, sucrose and orange-flower water. Usually diluted in warm water and I believe it softens the throat.

Back in those years we had a lot of this Cypriot drink, and I have seen it in the market in some Greek islands. Unfortunately I cannot find it in the place where I live so now I have the chance to have some.

It is a very cold day and these people are sitting in this little shop with windows all around without something to keep them warm.  Not even a fireplace or gas fire.  Of course they are used to cold weather out here, but still I believe somebody who can afford it, should bring at least a gas fire unit to keep them warm.  It is so pity seeing them sitting and rubbing their hands, and it is unbelievable how they can stand sitting in here for longer than 10 minutes.

On the wall behind I can see several old photos.  Dimitri who is a lawyer living in Nicosia tells me that the photos are really old.  One of the photos that stands out shows locals posing in front of the old kafenio. Those days it was on the other side of the road next to Costa’s house. The photo I have taken today is very  similar to the old one. Dimitri suggests that I send them the photo where they are all posing - including me, so they will have it enlarged and post it on the wall next to the old one to show the Past and the Present.

Dimitri insists that he shows us his country-house which he has recently restored so we follow him on foot since it is in a short distance.  It is really huge and beautiful.  I like the way these houses are being restored keeping the same architecture and style.  We take some photos and he insists that he offers us a drink.  We are in a hurry to leave for today’s excursion and it is already late.

Seeing that we want to leave without getting something from him, he cuts two roses from the garden and gives one to me and one to my cousin, even though I keep telling him that I prefer roses on the plant. This is the Cypriot hospitality that I am talking about in my entries.  I mean the way you are welcomed in ones house, and how they insist on a treat!

I am already 2 nights in the village of Drynia but I have not seen the so called ‘lake’. I am curious and wonder why haven’t I seen the lake yet and Costa tells me that we can walk there. As we approach I see that it is not a lake at all but just a big fount. Costa smiles and tells me that this is how the locals call it.  A couple of months earlier this fount had been cleaned and my cousins held the reception party of their son in front of this so called ‘lake’.  The scenery from up here is beautiful, overlooking the whole valley with its so many colors and a pleasant walk if you wish to fill up your batteries, listen to the gurgling of the water and the singing of birds.

The village of Drynia has about 40 permanent residents during the winter months most of them old people and pensioners.  The younger have left the village to seek work in the big cities but with every opportunity they are back here with their families bringing life to their little village. I believe summers should be cool up here since the village is in an altitude of 500 metres above sea level.

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