We took off early in the morning from Larnaca to drive through the Troodos mountains, on our way to the western side of the island. We started by going to Choirokoitia, the ruins of a Neolithic mountainside village. The village is made up of the foundations of dozens of circular houses, which you can see a reconstruction of below. There is a wall that ran straight through the village, which had to expand beyond the borders. We also briefly saw a snake! But the most beautiful part, which became a theme on our trip through Cyprus, was the flowers: poppies were in bloom everywhere.
Next, we drove past Nicosia (the capital city) into the mountains. Throughout the mountain range are Byzantine churches that have elaborate paintings on the walls. Every square inch inside is covered in religious art – it really took our breath away to visit two of them. I was stunned by the detail of some! There were even layers of paint beneath what we could see. Another unique detail was the the rounded domes of the churches had been covered up by the steep pitched wooden roofs that we could see. The churches that we visited were Holy Church of Panagia of Asinou and Church of Saint Nicholas of the Roof.
We ended our mountain journey with a wine tasting overlooking a vineyard – it was a gorgeous view and nice wine, followed by a huge lunch that had us ready to finish the drive to Paphos.