Pictured is Maria - standing in the sunshine outside her recently opened souvenir shop, right next to her ice cream parlour and taverna.
Maria has had the shop tastefully fitted, and offers traditional memorabilia of Cyprus, plus bottled preserves, oils and sauces. There is an excellent range of ' gifts to take home' - to suit every pocket, and postcards.
The shop gives an additional dimension to Kouklia, which can boast a temple, a museum, church, many tavernas and a very inviting and uniquely traditional village square, however, now there is somewhere also to stop and 'browse' for a while.
As a ' more recent' in -comer to Kouklia, I still retain clear memory of my first delight at passing through the square - a large contributor to our reason for investing in property here.
There are plans to 'refurbish' the area, which are in fact, very welcome, however will cost a lot of money and due to economic constraints take some time to begin. - This of course is entirely understandable given recent economic events, and recent huge investment in a 'state of the art' football stadium - ????
however In my opinion such a shame, as Kouklia has so much to offer as a real visitor attraction in it's own right. - I see coaches of visitors coming to the temple car park which is only yards from the square, but who don't have time on their tour to venture in, or who ' just don't know what theyr'e missing', so drive away without stopping to enjoy this precious environment.
Maria's initiative is great - ok, clearly - it is her ' business' - but the spin off of this type of venture is to add an additional layer of colour to the picture of Kouklia. Unfortunately at present the Courtyard shop is closed, but to add to the attraction of Kouklia can only be beneficial to all.
Being linked with the Warwickshire and Cotswold villages of UK I have experience of villages such as ' Bourtton on the Water, Stow on the Wold, Moreton in the Marsh, Warwick and Stratford on Avon - - which realise their own worth in tourism currency, market their quaint ' Englishness' and in doing so provide employment, opportunities for local industry and a flowing river of tourists from all over the world. If businesses work together there should be plenty to go around!!
Yes I have ' gone on' a bit about all this, but as I have said, I AM passionate about the placeI don't believe it's my gift to come into other people's cultures and tell them what to do, - I'm here because I enjoy the traditional Cypriot life, but I do applaud Maria's type of initiative - which I wish every success.
I am passionate about Cyprus, and the village of Kouklia in particular. I'm lucky enough to live and work in the area
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