We are currently living in difficult and stressful times, feeling worried whether we have enough toilet paper or not for the next month.
Everyone knows by now that many countries all over Europe are locked down so many travellers are stuck outside of their own homes or are stuck in their small hometowns feeling suffocated and miserable. I know a lot of people around the world have been complaining about the situation but honestly, it is the best solution for defeating the coronavirus. So, please do stay home for your safety as well as for everyones’ safety.
However, when you have the travelling bug it’s very hard to isolate yourself at home and do nothing. So, for those who still want to travel, explore and discover new places, then it is the perfect time to rediscover your hometown!
Travelling is not only about going to other countries or cities, travelling is about exploring new places and learning new things and that can easily be done even in our own hometowns.
So, today I am going to introduce you to my hometown, a small town outside of the capital of Cyprus, Geri. Geri has a long history of thousands of years and that can be seen through our beautiful myths, legends and historical sites.
Geri or Γέρι took its name from the word ageri (αγέρι) which means windy. The reason being that Geri is located at a breezy hill. The most famous sight in Geri is the little church of Panagia Chrysogeriotissa (Virgin Mary the Chysogeriotissa). The church is located on the highest hill of the town and today it serves as the symbol of Geri. It was first built in the 10th century and was a monastery. The current building of the church dates back in the 16th century.
The church itself is not an extraordinary building. It is only a small and simple medieval church however the story of its establishment makes the little church extraordinary.
A little over a thousand years ago, an ancient painting of Mother Mary holding little Jesus on her lap was found by farmers in a wheat field. Thinking of this event as a miracle the villagers decided to build a church honouring Virgin Mary. However, every new morning after working countless on the construction of the church they would find the church in ruins. This left the villagers baffled thinking only the worst. But, one night a lady dreamed of Virgin Mary talking to her. She instructed her to get on a carriage led by two bulls and let the bulls decide where the church should be built. The starting point was the field where the painting was found. In the end the bulls stopped at the highest hill of the village. And until today the church of Virgin Mary is standing tall above all the buildings in Geri.
Frankly, my town is not a famous town with beautiful scenery or extraordinary areas. However, I believe we all feel like that for our hometowns. We all take our hometown as something simple, common and not interesting. We feel that we know our area the best and there is no point in exploring and learning the history of our home. But you never know what you might learn while exploring or talking with the elders at a local cafe. My hometown has been around for thousands of years, and that’s hundreds of thousands of people’s history. Can you imagine the diversity of people, culture, language and even religion of these people that passed through my little town.
So, if you still want to travel but cannot then just take a little trip around your town, area or neighbourhood and I’m sure you’ll encounter something different and new.
Is there something interesting in your hometown? Or is there something that you absolutely love about your neighbourhood? Let me know in the comments!