Just after the Easter break, Labour's Day was a very pleasant day off in an otherwise hectic school term - the last term of 2008-2009 school year. For most people in Europe it is also a long weekend, not for me , though, as I start workearly in the morning tomorrow. So we couldn't get away for the weekend , as Alkis had suggested. Besides, I had a pile of IGCSE compositions to mark. I got up early in the morning and by 11:00 o'clock I had finished my marking and got ready for an outing. We went to the nearby village of Lefkara - home to the finest local embroidery - and had lunch at Iason's Restaurant. The fresh mountain air gve us a huge appetite and had a hearty meal, as per usual when we eat out in the countryside.
Lefkara is situated at an altitude of 750 metres, south west of the Troodos Mountains. You can say that Lefkara lies in the heart of Cyprus, because it is only 50km away from Nicosia, 35km from Larnaca and 55km from Limassol. The dry and healthy climate, the hospitality of the people of Lefkara, the beauty of the landscape and the art of embroidery are only a few reasons to come to Lefkara. Thousands of tourists from all over the world visit Lefkara each year.
And since I am a history lover, here is a very brief historical survey of Lefkara.
The village attributes its name to the surrounding mountains: Lefka Ori, White Mountains.
Historical sources show that the different conquerors of Cyprus have left their tracks behind in Lefkara. In the period of the Franks (the French Kings also known as The Lusignans), Lefkara became the seat of the bishop of Amathus.Under the authority of Venice, Lefkara became a sanctuary for women from Venice. According to the legend these women taught the local population to embroider.During this period the famous Leonardo da Vinci reputedly visited Lefkara and legend says he bought a big table-cloth for the altar of the Milanese cathedral.Around 1570, when the Turks invaded Cyprus, Lefkara offered lodging to a lot of refugees.