I developed a somewhat unexpected interest of hiking while spending some holidays at a mountain in south of Peloponnese a few years ago. But, never would I have thought that the next time I would find myself down a trail would be along the ‘UNIC September’ program. ‘UNIC September’ is the orientation program of the University of Nicosia, designed to introduce new students to the UNIC environment and enjoy the experience of being a UNIC student. Apart from learning and social activities one of the ‘UNIC September’ events is a day trip to the Troodos Mountain! And surely enough, I was assigned to this event by Mediazone.
Student assistants in Mediazone are given opportunities to attend and work on various events and projects around Cyprus (and sometimes abroad -yep!) throughout the semesters. Meaning wherever the University goes we follow. Some projects are much more challenging than others but at the end of the day we always feel rewarded as we could have not gained any of the professional experience, precious moments nor develop our selves so early on, during our college years. And all of that is possible only because of Mediazone…
The day of the event came quickly. The bus ride to Troodos Mountain was pretty fun and all freshmen were anticipating the hike. Once we were up the mountain, we noticed the temperature falling – which was a nice escape from the September heat of Nicosia. Soon enough, we were at the beginning of our trail; the Caledonia Waterfalls…
The trail seemed simple at first, with a single trip distance of 3 km. But don’t let the short distance fool you… as the path can be very slippery and steep at some points. At first, we started descending as the trail went downhill but after a few hundred meters the trail was going through river line, tree roots, rocks and hills. However, there are lots of nature trail signs to help you navigate easily, which makes it perfect for anyone – whether it is their first time hiking or their 20th.
There was running water all along the trail (Cold River is only one of a few rivers in Cyprus that always has running water!) which leads to the beautiful Caledonian waterfalls, where we took our first rest stop. Even though many students were tired at that point, the fresh environment of the waterfall rejuvenated everyone and suddenly people started jumping in the waterfalls! Of course, Mediazone was there all along the way to record all the happy faces and activities! After the waterfalls we quickly reached the other end of the trail and had a lovely lunch at Psilo Dendro, over the village of Ano Platres and after an hour we departed for Nicosia.
As a Mediazone crew member, this trip was my first big project and needless to say it was a good one. Being in the dense forest (and especially its stunning biodiversity), the running water, the waterfall, the company of new friends made it a wonderful environment not only to film but also assist with the production. And that is what I believe Mediazone is about, the people. Everyone was so happy to be present at that moment that made it easy and enjoyable for us to find magical moments to include in our production!
Lastly, some tips for anyone wanting to go hiking in Troodos, would be to wear hiking trainers or boots (unlike me, who wore sandals…), stay very hydrated by keeping a bottle (or two) of water in your backpack. Also, don’t forget to bring a long sleeve with you because it gets chilly from all the shade of the forest.
This trip was a worthwhile experience (and adventure) that exposed us to the natural treasures of Cyprus. And at the end of the day new students connected with other new students and made a very positive beginning for the new semester and got an idea of how their UNIC years are going to be like!