Friday, March 29, 2013


At The Nicosia Archaeological Museum

Spring has arrived in Cyprus not in full swing but with a financial market nightmare, instead! The island's rich historical and archaeological past as a cultural crossroad had turned it into a major tourist destination. 
Kyrenia, with its pictureques harbour and adjacent castle is called the Jewel of  North Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus, the lion’s share of the island, joined the EU in 2007, while its Northern region under the helm of Turkish Cypriots, had remained faithful to the Turkish Lira. The economic boom was a reality, though the reunification could not be achieved.

The Old City Walls date from the Venetian occupation in the 16th century and thus they are called Venetian Walls. They are located in Nicosia.

At Limassol (2nd largest city)

Paphos - the mythical birhplace of Aphrodite - and its Castle, originally a Byzantine fortress erected to protect the harbour, was rebuilt by the Lusignans in the 13th century, dismantled by the Venetians in 1570 during the Ottoman invasion and rebuilt by the Ottomans after they captured the island in the 16th century. During its long history, it has seen use as a fortress, a prison and even a warehouse for salt under British colonial rule. A landmark symbol of the Paphos region, it was declared an ancient monument in 1935. The Castle acts as a dramatic backdrop for cultural events staged in the square in front. These include the Paphos Aphrodite Festival which each September presents international opera with world famous artists.

The sea around Cyprus is always calm and there are plenty of safe swimming areas, like the one you see below - the Aphrodite resort.

LEFKARA is a very interesting village on the island


LARNACA -The 3rd largest city on the island

The Hala Sultan Tekke is the grave of Umm Haram who was the wife of Ouvadas Ibn who led the invasion on the island of Larnaca in 649 B.C. Overlooking the Salt Lake, the Hala Sultan Tekke is built on the place where she died. The simple grave has now been transformed into a beautiful mosque. An extremely sacred shrine, it is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year.

Real estate business brought great opportunities of development with the consequent rise in the living standards of the population. Formerly, a country of emigrants, Cyprus was for many years a burgeoning destination for Europeans from poor countries who settled over there in search of better living conditions. In stark contrast, wealthy aged people from EU had chosen it for a pleasant daily life with a mild climate.

The outbreak of the recent crisis has put at risk all the hopes and dreams… once again, a Southern European country falls in disgrace… will its people be strong enough to keep enduring the trauma of these days? How longer can they bear such a situation???

~~ May you have an Easter time filled with many blessings ~~

Saturday, March 23, 2013


This year, like in 2011, spring seems to be delaying its arrival in this country. Has spring got lazy? Has spring taken another destination?

How I have been missing those strolls along the beach, inhaling the refreshing smell of the sea and being delighted with the shimmering waters!

The rain that does not stop making us company wiping out my hope in being embraced by the warmth of sunshine and get rid of winter clothes...

Best wishes for a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Zadar, in Croatia, was called Zara in the ancient times. Its history is closely related to a continuous and continued struggle.

The rectangular street plan that had been left by the Roman in the XIV century was occupied by the Venetians and the Turkish. However, the Italian influence is noticeable. 

The interconnection between the city and the Mediterranean Sea gives an amazing sequence of views of boats and buildings in an appropriate scale. 

The street pavements and quays are made out of white limestone and sometimes of white marble.

Zadar water organ facing Zadar channel is a fantastic new achievement. Simple and elegant steps, carved in white stone, underneath which there are 35 musically tuned tubes with whistle openings on the sidewalk. As the boats sail by, the movement of the sea pushes the air through and, depending on the size and velocity of the wave, musical chords are played. The waves create random harmonic sounds. 

People wait for the boats sailing and so hear the sound of this world’s first musical pipe organ that is played by the sea.

I leave you with this last photo - a small marina - of my today's series. Hope you have enjoyed travelling with me!

Thank you!

Friday, March 15, 2013


"To wake up every morning in various points of the immense desert… To exit from a tent and behold the splendour of a new day: to distend arms, to iron oneself in the cold and pure air, to be filled with light and space, to know, upon awakening, the extraordinary inebriation of breath alone, of just living...", PIERRE LOTI

A journey through the desert is an unforgetable experience and the desert of Lybia offers a very special atmosphere. It's one of the last stunning places in the world. The 'erg' of sand is a mesmerizing vision in its facets of colour.
The country offers a couple of the longest treks of sand desert in the world and as I headed out into the Ubari Sand Sea, I could get the perfect desert landscape. Right there in the middle of the soft dunes, lakes emerge as the true miracles they are. There are at least 11 lakes in this area, deep out into the softest and largest sandy desert. The salt levels are extremely high and can be compared with the Dead Sea.

Below, you see Mavo Lake that is reknown for changing colour (from blue, green.. even red). It's rimmed with lucky vegetation. Unfortunately, I was not as lucky as the vegatation and saw it in no other colour but blue, only.

Near one bank of Lake Gaberoun (below) lies a ruined town, fittingly called Old Gaberoun. I saw a lot of wrecked houses.

A necklace whose beads are made out of the desert sand. I bought it from the above man

The Lake Umm el-Maa (below) is still water reflecting the surrounding landscape

By the lake there were not many but a few natives selling handicrafts, all  were very colourful.

In the silence and emptiness of the desert, the beauty of nature exists... undisturbed!

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Hindu pilgrims converge for a holy dip in the Holy Pushkar Lake to 'wash away the sins of  a lifetime'.

Today, I would like to give you a glimpse of an unparallelled and unforgettable experience I had when I visited Pushkar, a town in the state of Rajasthan (India). I happened to have been there at the time of a fair that is held every November, at the time of the full moon. 

I think I can say it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the colour, spectacle and carnival of one of the great traditional markets, which brings villagers, farmers, livestock, camels, natural colours, handcrafts, from all over Rajathan.

It was a wonderful time, a great place, a terrific event.