Undiscovered Places in Old Nicosia
I sit in Balthazar Cafe/Restaurant, located in the newly-opened Centre for Visual Arts and Research (CVAR) in Nicosia old city. Of immediate interest is my dish of warm lentils, which turn out to be deliciously cooked in fresh tomato sauce, carrots, peas, plenty of pepper and topped with spicy arugula leaves.
I stumbled on this lovely place by accident while driving around in the old city looking for lunch and spotting it on a side road near Theatro Ena and Melina Mercouri Hall.
After lunch, I put my stuff in a locker next to the gift shop and paid three euros to walk around the museum part of CVAR. What a great journey! There are hundreds of exhibitions, paintings, costumes, books, figures - all dedicated to Cyprus.
I walk into the large first room on the ground floor, full of sketches by travelling artists who passed through the island through the centuries. In the centre of the room are large drawers that you open to discover pristine Cypriot costumes from the Greek-and-Turkish Cypriot traditions.