Matching sandstone lines the streets and the buildings of this enchanted little village in the heart of the Troodos Mountains. There is no hotel to be found here, no to-go cups, gas stations, or ATMs. You cannot find a soul who speaks a word of your mother tongue.
But there is a big, beautiful Greek Orthodox church standing proudly in the heart of the village, waving the Cypriot flag, ringing its bells every hour to welcome the town to its steps. They’re all there already, either resting in the shade of the manicured trees or sipping frappes in the coffee shop across the street.
They all stop to stare as you walk past. A foreigner in a place they know so well, a stranger in their home. You smile and offer a greeting for the day and they promptly and rapidly start speaking to you in Greek. They want to spend the day chatting with you.
Walking into the sacred church service, you’re welcomed by elderly women dressed all in black and slightly hunching from the waist with rounded spines. They’ll invite you to sit in the pews and then scold you if your knee peeks out from under the hem of your skirt.
In the night, the silence is musical. You stroll down the hushed streets to pick a fig off the branches hanging low into the road, inviting you to taste their sweetness. You whisper out into the moonlit sky and are answered by an echo of olive trees swaying in the warm breeze.
If you ask for a coffee to go, no one will understand. When you check with the host of your guesthouse about the dysfunctional WiFi, you’ll end up enjoying olives and homemade wine with him and his wife before drifting off to sleep without ever even realizing that the connection wasn’t fixed.
It doesn’t matter anymore. You’ve found a deeper connection.
The most magical old villages in the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus are filled with rustic charm and a slow-paced lifestyle.
Visiting this part of the world, literally feels like traveling back in time. And, now, when life moves too fast, I often time-travel in my own mind back to the slow pace of life in the heart of the island of Aphrodite.
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