Day 6 - Cyprus

Woke up this morning to cool air and rolling thunder just off the coast. We had a Nescafe and homemade soup for breakfast before Mehmet Emin (a taxi driver who is a relative of a friend) picked us up.

We were headed to the Greek side so we had to have our passports with us when we crossed the border at Morfou. It was about a 2 hour drive, winding through fields and up into the mountains. It was raining on and off, and cool enough to need a jumper. We got to Kykkos monastery and put on the supplied purple robes (as we were wearing shorts) and wandered around including a visit to the museum. Some of the stuff was from 2000BC, super old. It was bucketing down while inside but before long the sun started to peek out.

Then we drove through the mountains, making a stop to pick some wild grapes along the way. We were headed to the village of Philousa which is where Uncle Tony grew up. By now it was sunny and warm so Andy and I left Tony to catch up with people he knew as a kid. We rummaged our way through abandoned houses made of small pieces of stone and grout. The houses were quite simple, a fire in the corner and a room, thatch roofing and that's about it.

We had a Turkish coffee and sat with the old guys for a while and I went for a walk amongst the olive trees and grape vines and took photos. A lot of the 25-30 buildings were very old and only about 10-15 are actually lived in. We walked with Tony and had a look through the very old church, then to his Dad's old place and saw its ruins, he was telling is stories about the village the whole time. The original grapevine was still there so we picked a lot of grapes and then washed them at the communal water source.

As I was eating some, an old guy walked up to me and just picked some grapes off the bunch I had in ny hand and walked off, eating them. That sums up the place, everyone shares and it still is a community even though its population is shrinking with age. I really enjoyed seeing the village though, seeing where someone you have known all your life grew up is a good thing.

On the way home we stopped into Morfou for dinner. Dust, cars and people everywhere, foreign languages, dark alleys, Turkish music on the radio. For the first time I felt like I was actually in the middle east, and was liking it. We had an awesome mixed shish kebab meal for dinner and then went home to bed. We were so tired we didn't even watch Al Jazeera, a nightly routine so far.

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