Hajioannou holds court in Cyprus

The cream of Greece's shipping scene gathered at a remote mountain village in Cyprus this week at the invitation of Safe Bulkers chief executive Polys Hajioannou and his wife Sofia.

Guests were treated to a traditional Cypriot lunch at the couple's home in Pedhoulas, the Hajioannou family's cradle. Celebrations followed with music, dance and a birthday cake for Hajioannou's sister, Maria.

The list of partygoers read like a who's who of Greek shipping: George Procopiou of Dynacom Tankers Management and daughter Ioanna, Petros Pappas of Star Bulk Carriers, Andreas Hadjiyiannis of Cyprus Sea Lines, Simeon Palios of Diana Shipping, Thanassis Martinos of Eastern Mediterranean Maritime and Aristides Pittas of Euroseas.

Also attending were Cyprus transport minister Marios Demetriades and owners George Tsavliris, Nikolas Vafias, Charalambos Mylonas and Nicholas Inglessis.

A sudden downpour of rain did nothing to spoil the relaxed atmosphere. After the showers, guests enjoyed the rare and splendid view of a rainbow spanning the Marathasa Valley, which Pedhoulas straddles.

Several ships in the fleet of Hajioannou's Safe Bulkers are named after Pedhoulas, a village with a rich history going back to Byzantine times.

Perched high on the slopes of Mount Troodos at an altitude of about 1,100 metres, Pedhoulas is a popular resort with a 600-year-old church that is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.