In my grandmother’s home
Content submitted by – Lili
Submited Date : 28/06/2018
Katie Charalambous in front of her family house

My name is Katie Charalambous, and this is my story… ‘Kalosorisate’, Welcome! This is Vasilion, which means Kingdom. Here is where my grandmother and her sisters lived. In those times, Polis Chrysochous was the center town of the small villages in the Akamas area. Nowadays, the Polis area became one of the main touristic resorts in Cyprus. As a child I used to visit my grandmother to spend my Easter and Summer vacations. Life was slow in those years, I was the first grandchild and I had all the attention, I was spoiled but in a good way. I feel nostalgic of those days. I remember the afternoon walks with ‘giagia’ (grandmother) Katerina. The sea is very near to our property and I used to love this promenade. I think of the August nights, listening to aunty Persa’s parables. She used to tell us that the sky opens during the August nights and the stars fall so we could make our wishes – but we must be very careful what we wish for, as our wishes always come true. As I grew older, I used to wish to have my own business. I never thought that my wish would come true – that my vacation childhood house would be converted into my own accommodation business. It all started suddenly when I was working for many years with our local airline. I left the airline when an early retirement scheme was offered. My grandmother’s house was already mine. I inherited it, but it was nearly a ruin. I needed a huge budget in order to restore it. At that time, I was lucky as there were some European structural funds and that was the beginning. Since the property was listed, I needed to go through many formalities, rules and regulations, especially as we found Archaeological remains of three eras in our garden. The more I did, the more the urge of completing the project grew stronger day by day. I was so excited that ideas and dreams grew bigger. This is a traditional Cypriot accommodation business. This business is all about relaxation, a retreat back to our roots. Through this business I am transferring to our guests warm sentiments of my past world. We live in a modern world. It has become so fast, so much pressure. For this reason, technology and comfort is a must. Every little detail had and has to be taken care of, to make it possible to rest, but still feel in control. Since most of us live a daily hectic life, I thought of an escape, a return to our grandmother’s house which for me means a warm protected place, a garden full of roses, home grown vegetables, fruit trees, and of course a homemade orange cake. Whatever I do is with pleasure. When you are dealing with traditional houses, you need to have strong sentiments and most of all a big heart to be able to stand by any difficulty. I love being in the garden taking care of my roses; this brings me peace and I do enjoy our guests’ positive reaction to the flowers and the scents from my garden. I also love cooking. The houses are self-catered, but when our guests want to taste and experience the Cypriot gastronomy I gladly cook with them. I mostly prefer to let them relax; privacy is all that matters when you enter Vasilion. For me it is my business but also it is my refuge, I cannot imagine doing anything else as this is what I enjoy most. Vasilion is part of my history, is part of my life; we two are bonded together. I continue to dream… and to make wishes during the August nights.