A Stroll in Limassol, Cyprus

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Middle East » Cyprus » Limassol » Pissouri
May 11th 2013
Published: May 31st 2013
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We decided to play hookey today and let our excursion go without us. A stroll in Limassol was just what the doctor ordered. We met Tom and Sarah and took a bus to Old Town Limassol. It was very close to the harbor and contained many historic sites, shops and restaurants. We found a sign to the Limassol Medieval Castle and saw it was first on our walk. When we arrived, we found out they would only take Euros so we left to find an ATM. We figured we would continue our walk and circle around and see it on the back end of our stroll.

As we walked toward the Old Town of Limassol, we ran across the "Great Mosque" (Kebir) There was a man tidying up around the mosque and he saw us taking pictures and asked if we would like to see the inside. Yes, we'd love to! We removed our shoes and went inside with him. He told us all about the mosque and made us feel right at home. During an excavation in 1993, the Sewerage Board and the Department of Antiquities made the discovery of two five-sided apses of a double-apsed church from the Middle Byzantine Period (8th Century) under the mosque. This Christian church was abandoned in the 13th century. This church was built on an earlier church from the 5th-7th century. We thanked the gentleman and left to continue our stroll.

The streets were so quiet as we continued to the next site. It was the 19th century Cathedral of Agia Napa. It was being prepared for a wedding and was so beautiful! The inside of the cathedral is covered in icon paintings. We left the cathedral and walked through the shops until we came across the Central Municipal Fruit and Vegetable Market. It was a feast or the eyes! We saw flowers, fruits, vegetables, spices, dried fruits, nuts, olives, fish, octopus, shrimp, snails, olive oil, dried beans and legumes, Ouzo, candies, honey, and kitchen appliances.

Just outside the market, we found an open air lunch area with numerous restaurants serving it. We ate at Famagusta, a kebob house. We had local beer made in Cyprus (Keo) and chicken kebobs with salad and fried potatoes. Delicious! After we left, we walked through an area where the buildings were covered with graffiti. Really good graffiti! People stopped and took pictures of the graffiti.

We turned down a tiny street and found another church, The Holy Bishopric Church of Panagia Katholiki. Once inside, we found it was absolutely beautiful! It was painted a dark blue to look like the night sky and painted on the blue were icon pictures from the bible. What stood out for me were the gold halos against the blue background. In the dome were clerestory windows that helped to light the church inside. The inside of this church has to be one of my favorites.

The last stop on our stroll happened to have also been our first. We finally found an ATM and got some Euros so we could go back to the Castle. The original building was built in 324 A.D. The present building dates back to the Ottoman period in 1590. Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre in the original castle. The present castle houses the Medieval Museum. There was even a medieval suit of armor. On the top floor of the Castle, the views were amazing. You could see to the ocean on one side and to the mountains on the other side. We strolled back to the bus stop and stopped in a shop that sold shells, sponges and loofas. Our stroll ended up being a very nice one! We enjoyed making memories with Tom and Sarah too!

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