NOTE: If you are seeing this through e-mail or in a feed reader, you may not see all the photos. Due to the large number of photos in this post, i have put many of them in flash slideshows which don’t show up on feeds.
The snow trek is a yearly routine which happens every jan/feb whenever we have a sunny weekend following a week of good snowfall. We had decided to go to troodos last Monday (Monday was a day off for us) as there had been good snow the week before and the snow was visible on the mountains even from Limassol. I checked the weather forecast for the weekend and it showed…
I went WOW! A snow trek during a snow shower. All were ready for it and this is the first time (in my 7+ years in Cyprus) that i decided to go to troodos when the weather was supposed to be “bad”.
We were not disappointed. What started off as a slight snowfall turned into a heavy shower and we loved it!Click on the photos below to see bigger versions (No new windows opened!)
Driving the car on some stretches was a bit scary, but we managed to reach until the artemis trail and return safely (with only a little push needed at one point).
Our original plan was to do the Kalidonia waterfalls trek starting from the top. When we got out of the car at the start of the trail, it was freezing! We had to get as much as cover as possible before we could start. It was also snowing lightly which added to the fun. This year, Anith was the new person on the trek (we make sure that we introduce a new person to this trek every year). But, the depth of the snow wasn’t as much as the previous years. So, it was like walking on a thin layer of snow, not the usual buried-until-the-knee kind of snow. After some distance, there was ice/water layer on the trail which made it difficult for the people who weren’t wearing the waterproof boots. So, we turned back and decided to try another trail. Some photos from this trail. Click on the images to get a bigger version.
Our next stop was the Persephone trail. From the roundabout at the troodos square, take the exit towards the troodos police station. The first walking trail you will come across is the Pouzarides trail. A little further, you will see the start of the Persephone trail. We have walked this trail few years back in summer but that is for another post! This is a one-way trail around 2 kms long offering good views of the open mine. The snow was fresh and extremely soft. So, our attempts at sliding were futile. We didn’t go a long distance on this trail as it started snowing heavily. After a few customary photos, we headed on to our next stop, the artemis trail.
We weren’t sure whether we would make it upto the artemis trail. After the troodos square, the road wasn’t cleared much and it was white in many places with the final climb to the trail almost entirely on snow and ice. But, it was fun trying to park near the trail. We had to take u-turn and that is very challenging with ice all over the place. The snow was fresh as it could be with no signs of human activity on them.
Vidhya wanted me to take photographs of the snow which flies out when one walks across the fresh surface. The photos weren’t upto the mark, but there were ok.
Artemis trail is highest walking/trekking trail in Cyprus and is 7 kms long. It is a circular trail which runs around Mount Olympus. This trail offers impressive views of the surroundings of Troodos, including the Prodromos dam. I have been on this trail a couple of times, not more because it is difficult to convince people to walk for 7 kms. But, there was no sign of the trail now because of the snow. But, we knew where it started. There, we saw a sign pointing the direction of the trail.
It was ironical that the signs were pointing in a direction where the only thing that the eye could see was snow.
We had already been 2-3 hours in the snow and we were not in a mood to walk 7 kms in knee-deep fresh snow. So, we decided to save the artemis trail snow trek for later and attempted out usual stunts on the snow. We tried to slide and the only thing that slid down the mountain side was the plastic thing that we had. It turned out to be a big effort for harish to go and retrieve it! Since the snow was soft, we had a downhill race and you can see the results in the flash slideshow below. On the whole, it was a super-fun day and it was the heaviest snowfall that i had ever seen