Thursday, July 10, 2008

Passion for Travel: Cyprus by Phivos Nicolaides

Very serendipitously (and happily, I might add) I have made acquaintances with a gentleman named Phivos (Philip) Nicolaides who lives in Cyprus of all things.  A blogger, like myself, he would be considered a true modern day Renaissance man:  author, traveler, playwright....he amazes me with all he has done.  The crazy thing.....I feel as though I have known he and his family my whole life and we have never met.  We found one another because of our blogs relating to travel and the story continues.  I asked Philip if he would be so kind as to put together a post about Cyprus that I could share with you.  Since I have not been there myself, we all will learn a great deal from this wonderful travelogue he has penned.  Efharisto, Philip!

Ayia Napa, Cyprus
by Phivos Nicolaides

Ayia Napa, one of Cyprus' most popular beach resorts, well known over all of Europe, is located southeast of the island's coast.  Ayia Napa's famous golden beaches are awesome with thin, fine sand, hidden among a chain of rocky boulders that form many small and cozy bays.  

The original small fishing harbor was the main area of what was once a small fishing village.  Around the harbor, several nice restaurants and tavernas offer special sea food.  All boat trips start from here.  Just outside of Ayia Napa, there is the site of the water park.   There are also go-carts and helicopter rides.  

Ayia Napa has become synonymous with clubbing on the island.  In particular, it has become popular during the summer when crowded with tourists (British tourists are far more prevalent here, as elsewhere on Cyprus).  

Aiya Napa attracts thousands of tourists world-wide on account of its fun-loving outlook by night and its sandy, Mediterranean beaches by day.  Macronissos beach is a sandy beach with crystal waters.  

Nissi beach is another beautiful, sandy beach.

At the beach of Grecian Bay, visitors among other activities can also enjoy an unforgettable experience of all kinds of water sports that are offered on an organized basis.  

In the these two pictures, Pericles Nicolaides enjoys water skiing sports.

Beautiful nature is one of the biggest assets of Ayia Napa.  You could combine your stay here with a bit of walking (n summer early morning or late in the afternoon) especially towards Cape Greko Park, the ragged coastline and the collection of coves and sea caves.  

Among other elegant hotels, apartment rentals and holiday resorts in the area, there are beautiful private houses and luxury villas like the one below belonging to Nicholas and Sophia.  This charming building designed in the spirit of Greek island architecture, was erected very recently. 

For more information on Ayia Napa beaches, as well as other natural attractions, go to:

Visit Philip and see more fabulous photos at his blog:  Taxidiaris

P.S. from Kim:  OK, so we are all a little bit crazy if we don't get ourselves to Cyprus, sooner than later.  And we are seriously going to have to play paper, rock, scissors to see who gets the amazing house to stay in.  Finally, just for the record, I could not love the name Pericles more!! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Illustrating A Point

Some of my own personal experiences that raise the question of fitness in antiquity:

The top two gentlemen can be found hanging out at the Louvre.  Three and four make their home at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.  I wonder if they are from the same neighborhood from way back when?

Photo credit:  personal collection

Monday, July 7, 2008

Off The Beaten Path in Rome

Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning.
-Giotto di Bondone

Rome, the eternal city.  I have only been once, which is not enough as far as I am concerned.  I do believe it is time for a little refresher course and am working on spending Christmas there with my family.  While doing some personal research I came across a site that I had to share in the event that some of you are thinking about heading that way.  

iDC Rome or Institute of Design and Culture is a site like none other I have discovered.  Bottom line, it is a company based in Rome that offers courses ranging from wine tasting, garden tours and in-depth museum studies for tourists who have 2 hours to spare or a whole day to immerse themselves in a cultural topic.  Think of it as Rome with a twist.  For instance, I am always amazed at the physiques of Roman statues from antiquity and the question begs to be asked, and I always ask it, "Did the ancient Romans work out?"  Funny, but a course is offered on just that topic called Body Buildings with visits to spectacular ancient bath complexes where the Romans pampered themselves. Honestly, I am so signing up for that tour!! 

The site goes beyond just its course offerings and is laid out in a most entertaining way.  There is a city shop, city library, study hall and a fabulous blog that is going on my list of favorite places to visit each day.  Whether you are planning a trip to Rome or not, you do yourself a huge disservice if you don't check it out.  You might just be convinced to go get yourself a ticket and head on over!!

Photo credit:  T.SC@flickr 

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Passion For Art: Ingres

I am a lover of art and while living in Paris, took advantage of the Louvre, the d'Orsay and countless other exhibitions that quenched my thirst for taking as much of it in as I could.  I found myself at the Metropolitan Museum of Art yesterday, my first visit, and had a wonderful experience.  I was looking for some specific works that have been favorites of mine over the years while being surprised by breadth of the collections.  At times, I felt I was right back in my favorite museums in Paris as our fascination with French art was evident by the amount displayed.  

The painting above is Odalisque in Grisaille by Ingres.   This work is an unfinished repetition of the original that is displayed in the Louvre in front of which I have spent much time being inexplicably drawn into. For some reason, seeing it done in these muted gray tones was really moving--as though I was being witness to something I shouldn't.  It really took my breath away.  Maybe because I didn't know of its existence and was surprised to come across it stripped of all its color and several final elements.   

I love them both!

Photo credit:  personal collection, wikipedia