Stories and Traditions
Water, the source of life. Cyprus and its heartland of Legends abounds in myths and stories related to water. Each water spring, river and pond has a story to tell or it is bound to an ancient myth. It could be Regina, the queen of Cyprus, taking her bath or maybe you can discover the water spring that turns you immortal or you can hear the story when dragons cut off the water supply of the village and demanded ransom to release it. There are countless folk-tales and our storytellers not only want to entertain but also to provoke, intrigue and educate us as well.
A Story: Spanos and the forty dragons
Once upon a time, there was a man called Spanos. His name means beardless because he could not grow neither a moustache nor a beard. Spanos always boasted that he was very brave and fearless. One day, his fellow villagers dared him to take on the dragons, who had cut off the water supply of their village. Spanos accepted the challenge and before going to the lair of the dragons took with him some ashes and a half-dry piece of soft white cheese (anari cheese). On the way there, he came across the leader of the dragons and challenged him first to drop to the ground and give out a puff of smoke and second to pick a stone from the ground, squeeze it and wring out its juices. The dragon did not manage to accomplish either of the two challenges. Spanos on the other hand, using his shrewdness, achieved both: he shook the ashes in his pockets as he dropped down forcefully on the ground and then he took the piece of the cheese he was carrying, squeezed it and white liquid came out of it. The dragon was amazed. Believing that Spanos was stronger than him and invited him to live with the dragons in their tower.
The other dragons, forty in total, were afraid of him and dared not speak to him. One day they decided to test his strength and bravery and asked him to go into the woods and kill a boar. Spanos, on hearing their wish, got the shivers but he finally went to the forest. When he saw a pack of wild boars, he clambered up a tree. The largest boar tried to jump up onto the branch Spanos was sitting on but slipped and impaled itself on a protruding branch and died. The dragons went to look for him in the forest and were awestruck when they saw the dead boar.
A few days later, the dragons decided to kill Spanos in his sleep but the young lad overheard them plotting. When the dragons fell asleep, he took a large gourd, filled it with dark red wine and placed it in his bed under the blanket. The dragons woke up and started pounding and pummeling the covers trying to kill him. They hit the gourd, which cracked, spilling the red wine. When they saw the dark liquid seeping onto the floor, the dragons thought they had finally killed him. The next morning, the dragons found Spanos alive. Perplexed they asked him how he survived. Spanos told them he had rubbed himself with a magic salve and nobody could kill him. The dragons asked him to rub them also with this magic salve. Spanos asked them to go into their rooms and wait for him. Spanos instead of rubbing them with a magic salve he doused them with hot resin killing them one by one.
After killing the feared dragons, Spanos went to the river and broke open the barrier the dragons had built and the water flowed freely towards the village. The villagers understood that Spanos had killed the dragons and that he was truly a brave man.
Spanos and his fellow villagers lived happily ever after and we lived happier still.
This route offers you an alternative way to experience the natural beauty of the riparian areas, drink water directly from the source, cool off by the waterfalls of Troodos region, go angling at the water reservoirs and visit fresh water aquaculture units. You will have the chance to meet Cyprus’ heartland through its rivers, water springs and water reservoirs. Walk over Venetian bridges listening to the rustle of the leaves and the murmuring of the waters that slope down from the green hillside. The traveler will discover an island drenched in legends.
The Cyprus Freshwater Angling Association organizes bass angling tournaments and participation is open to all, allowing you to tick-off another item from your bucket list.
You can get your fishing license from any office of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research across the island. Find the full list of the offices here: http://www.moa.gov.cy/moa/dfmr/dfmr.nsf/contact_en/contact_en?OpenDocument
The following link provides the conditions for recreational fishing licenses in reservoirs: http://www.moa.gov.cy/moa/dfmr/dfmr.nsf/All/756E3097B864679C42257DB100322E3C?OpenDocument