Abandoned Villages: Zacharia
Nestled on the side of the Stavros tis Psokas valley, it is easy to miss Zacharia. To get to it you have to drive through the nearby ghost village of Melandra, and you might be tempted to end your adventure there. But if you persevere, you will find another abandoned village waiting to tell its tale...
Distant Agios Charalambos
Don't worry too much about how to get here at the moment. I include a map at the end of the blog. You will be journeying near to Melandra though, and Agios Charalambos, which you can see here in the distance. It has a nice little grotto behind it, and we have blogged about both locations in the past (see links below).
As you approach Zacharia (assuming you are coming from Melandra), the first building you see will be on your right. This is actually very unusual for abandoned villages, as it appears to have an intact outhouse.
Anyway, Elephant in the room time. Why is Zacharia abandoned? It was orginally a Turkish Cypriot village but the inhabitants were escorted to the North in 1975. Since then it has been abandoned. More information can be found on the PRIO database.
I parked the car by the side of the road and made my way down the slope to reach this building. The dried weeds and grasses are incredibly slippery here. It is almost like walking on glass. If you slip up, at best you will get lots of spikes from the unforgiving vegetation. At worst you will twist an ankle on a concealed rock. So do take care.
I think this building might have been an old school room. I can imagine a blackboard being mounted on the wall where that grey splodge is now. The only thing that casts doubt on this idea is PRIO, which puts the population at around 100. This means it was quite a small village. But perhaps they took in pupils from Melandra as well?
In Happier Times...
An old school report of mine has a telling quote from my old French teacher:
"Dominic has lovely blue eyes. It is just a shame that I only notice them because he is gazing out of the window."
Had I been at this school, my French would not have improved. Mais non. The view is lovely.