Saturday, October 31, 2015

Kykkos and Kakopetria Tour, Cyprus

©Lonely Planet
On Thursday we had an 8,5 hour bus tour to visit Kykkos and Kakopetria.  We rode through the Troodos Mountains which is the longest mountain range in Cyprus.

At Throni Hill is the tomb of Archbishop Makarios III who was the first president of Cyprus.  At the entrance there's a massive statue of him.  Apparently it used to be at the Archbishop's Palace in Nicosia but some felt it was too large for there so it was moved here in 2008.

The actual tomb is in a guarded cave at the top of the hill.

There are nice views of the mountains and pine forest.  

The Holy Monastery of the Virgin of Kykkos is 3 km (about 2 miles) east of the tomb.  The monastery was founded in 1092 by the Byzantines.  This is where Archbishop Makarios III began his ecclesiastical career as a monk in 1926.

The monastery is the richest on the island and possesses one of the three surviving icons from Saint Luke.

The orthodox church is very ornate and well worth a visit to see all of the icons.  The icon of the Virgin Mary is the main attraction.  There's no photography allowed inside but I managed to sneak a quick pic.

Our next visit was to the small town of Kakopetria which is about 55 km (34 miles) from Nicosia.  It is home to about 1200 people.

The Stone of the Couple is kind of an odd landmark.  According to local legend, newlyweds are supposed to walk around and then sit on the rock.  This is supposed to bring a happy marriage.  However, the stone actually crushed a couple who were performing the traditional ritual. 

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