Kritou Tera - A stroll in the village

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

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Where I stayed
Aphrodite Beach Hotel Latchi
Read my review - 5/5 stars

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Last Day at the Baths of Aphrodite

My last day here and I plan to spend most of the time down the beach and around the beautiful premises. I return to the hotel for a light snack and some coffee at lunch time, sort out photos and get in touch with friends and relatives out at the porch overlooking the beach and Aphrodite's Bath rock. It is great relief for me to have a free internet connection any time I feel like it. I relax in my room for a few hours when the sun is really burning hot, and I am back to the beach early in the afternoon.

I had the chance to talk with several locals while swimming this morning, trying to spot a nearby village with a traditional style of architecture. Out of three I pick Kritou Tera which is the closest.    

I have invited my cousin Costa for dinner tonight at the hotel. He is taking me to Latchi for some pictures and I will ask him to drive me to Kritou Tera which is just 4 or 5 Kms from the latter, thus adding another interesting village in my list.

The Village of Kritou Tera

The small village of Kritou Tera I am visiting today is found on a hill and there is a river crossing it actually dividing it in two halves. In the past, before the Turkish invasion in 1974, Greeks used to live on the one side and Turkish on the other half. Turks left their houses after the war and the village remained empty for years. Locals try to keep the traditional style in the village with the stone built houses and paved courtyards as much as possible. Of course the village is not totally restored as in other villages like Tochni, Pano Lefkara or Lofou.  What really brings life in the village is the fact that the Centre of Environmental Studies is found here so the village has many young people who not only stay but study here, thus bringing a new sense of hope and excitement at the prospects of the future. Locals of course have become aware about the natural resources and heritage and promote Agro tourism.

When we come to the village Costa lets me stroll around and he tells me that I will find him at the only coffee shop of the village. I don't want to delay so I am out taking photos and walking rather fast. In reality I know nothing of what I photograph until I come across Mr. Kannaouris. As I was walking I could hear people talking inside their houses but nobody was out in the street.  Chris is out in his garden busily working when I greet him and tell him the intention of my trip. He, being a chartered architect is excited when I tell him that I am there to take photos and write about the village.  

Chris leaves behind what he was previously doing in the garden and he offers to show me around. With Chris along being a good guide I now know what each building is, and he is doing this with much pleasure which I honestly appreciate.  He shows me the first casino of Cyprus which incidentally is here in this village and then we move on to the old restored school, now the Environmental Study centre. When I walked passed the casino before I had no idea what the building was. With Chris along all my queries are answered.

When we come to the washing holes we climb down the narrow path and we take a few pictures.  Womenfolk used to come here and wash in ancient times.  Chris then shows me the old water mill where there are plans for its restoration, and he also tells me that Kritou Tera was identified by Dragoman Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios who lived here the 19th century. A man with great influence and strong personality and urges me to go and see Kornesio’s old house before leaving.

I cannot find words to thank Chris whose help and kindness is immense. I greet him goodbye and go to find Costa where I ask if I have time to walk to Kornesio’s house before leaving. The house is really very close to the coffee shop so I hurry out there. To my disappointment I find it closed. An old lady and neighbour, tells me that the door is always closed so I return to the coffee shop. There are some friends playing cards and I tease them asking them if they play for money.

In reality the playing of cards at this coffee shop is an alternative way for some amusement between male friends. I am offered an orange juice, thank the owner and off we go leaving behind Kritou Tera and the company of friends still playing.

The Environmental Study Centre.

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