Saturday, 30 January 2010

Troodos Mountains

As an event for the GLS program, we went to the Troodos mountains. We were warned that it may be cold but as an Alaskan, I scoff at cold weather. This may have been a mistake in this circumstance.
We went to three different towns. The first two were each pouring rain to the point to when I found out there was a third, I considered staying in the bus. Even though the weather was miserable, Troodos introduced cultural traits of Cypriots that I had not experienced yet. Each town was very small and while there were signs of civilization, the towns were far from busy.
Cyprus is famous for their wine. In the first town, we went to a wine tasting. One of their most famous wines is called Comadaria. It is a thick, syrupy wine. Rather than wine, Comadaria reminded me of a heavy liquor. While it was good, I felt like I was swallowing a balloon.
Cypriots hospitality emphasized in these small towns. Walking through the third town, we came upon a mini supermarket. Pausing outside to take a picture, we were instantly welcomed by an elderly man. My roommate and I were not planning to go inside but he dragged us in. The supermarket was in shambles. It looked like it came out of a horror film but the man could not have been prouder. After taking a lap around the store, we were met by his wife. They questioned us of what we were doing in this small mountain town and we found out that their son studied in America. When we were about to leave, the wife gave us chocolate. Cypriots appreciate giving gifts and will do it often at markets and situations such as this, if one is friendly.
We also met one large language barrier on this trip. My roommate and I were walking through an alley when we were met by a woman who did not speak English. She motioned us to follow her and brought us to a church! Our first impression was that she had noticed the melted, black halo, dripping from our heads. Grabbing Lauren's hand, she led us into the church and showed us fabric. This is when we were really confused. Was she giving us something? After much deliberation, we found out that another GLS student had left the fabric at the church. This was my first struggle with a language barrier.
Each town was beautiful, while they were hidden behind clouds. It was as green as Alaska in the summer. We saw a butcher shop with sausage hanging outside and met a dog named Taz. It was the first dog I met that I could say "okie" to and it meant no! Flowers lined the roads, along with lemon and orange trees. These secluded towns are hidden treasures.

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