Friday, 5 July 2013

Explore the traditional village of Vouni...with your dog

A walk around Vouni in the evening 
A couple of weeks ago we arranged a quick getaway to the relative cool of the mountain villages north of Lemesos. We stayed at the gorgeous Vouni Lodge (see my previous post 24/6/2013), and spent a couple of days exploring the neighbouring villages, and nearby Troodos mountains.

I loved the village of Vouni. It's just really pretty. We arrived quite late in the afternoon, took a stroll through the village until we came to a kind of unintentional view point, and took this photo, which doesn't do it justice. There was a really warm glow coming from almost every window, the houses ranged up and around the hill seemed 'protected', unlike the big square blocks that seem to me to be randomly placed onto the land elsewhere in Cyprus, with no reference to the environment around them. I loved the narrow streets disappearing off right and left from the 'main' street that runs down to the tiny village plateia, or square. Not to mention the fairly spectacular views of the mountainous landscape that separates these villages from Lemesos and the coast.

The first evening we stayed home and enjoyed the perfect quiet of the village from our terrace. Sage was going crazy with all the new interesting sounds (owls, crickets, unidentified), and smells. It was cooler than down on the coast at Larnaca too.

A small side street in Vouni
We explored the village more thoroughly the next morning. Together with Sage, we wandered through some of the narrow streets, peering into abandoned houses, enjoying the plants that were spilling over walls and balconies out into the streets - vines, fig trees, jasmine.

After a short walk we found the Vouni Womens Association cafe, and stopped for a coffee and homemade baklava. I hadn't realised it was a cooperative when I sat down, I was just attracted to the brightly coloured chairs and tables, the overhanging vines and coloured flower pots. I have tried to find out online what the group does, but didn't have much success.

Anyway, they were fine about Sage coming in and spilling her water all over the floor, although they did say something about 'fine, since it was outside' - so I'm not sure this would be such a good winter place. We paid 7E for a Cypriot coffee, a lemonade, and a slice of baklava.

That evening, we wanted to sample the Vouni nightlife...

Well, not really. We had in mind to try the well-known Takis Taverna, which has excellent reviews, and had looked nice and welcoming the previous night (Friday), but it was closed when we went by at 9 on a Saturday evening. Takis Taverna seemed a bit enclosed, there was an attractive courtyard space but it was quite narrow, so I don't know how they would have responded to Sage coming in with us.

So instead we went to the lively Alexandros Taverna, which seemed to have attracted all the residents of the village out for a Saturday night eating, drinking and socialising. It was noisy and bustley, in a good way, with lots of groups laughing and talking.

There was a 'NO DOGS' sign on the door to the Taverna, so again, this might be a problem if you wanted to sit inside during the winter. We sat outside, however, with Sage, and nobody minded. One or two of the locals even complimented us on our 'beautiful dog'.

Alexandros Taverna, Vouni
Here we tried some of the locally made wine (Vouni is one of the group of Krasochoria - wine-making villages - of this district). We also ate a small, basic meze of olives, cheese and cold meats. All this came to just 8E between us.

The village has a webpage, which describes some of the highlights: Although in my opinion, it's not really about going to see something in particular, but rather just wandering through and enjoying that there is not very much to do.

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