As you may have noticed I was completely absent from the blog for the whole last week. But I have a good explanation and excuse for that – I was away in Cyprus, and since there was no free WiFi in my hotel room and getting any kind of internet on the premises was a real nuisance (I had to get a cable from the reception every time and plug it in at the bar), I limited my use of internet to checking emails. But now, that I’m finally back in my crib in Athens I can give you a report on my Cyprus adventure. Overall I had a great time: shopping and sightseeing during day – which was made easy by the central location on our hotel, going for a swim in the pool and a workout in the hotel gym in the late afternoon, and going out with friends for dinner and drinks every night. Moreover, we even managed to get away to Cyprus seaside in the end of our stay – thanks to a cordial invitation of my man’s temporary Cyprus boss. I would even say that this trip turned out to be the best unplanned vacation I’ve ever had…
This was taken in the beautiful park in the center of Nicosia – the capital of Cyprus where I spent 5 days of my stay. The park runs along the ancient Venetian wall that was once built for the city fortification.
I loved this small arch (you may spot a white cat lying next to it on the left) and this ancient looking fountain.
In general Cyprus impresses with its feel of a resort town, which, nonetheless, lives an active life all year long. British influence is seen in many things and clearly works to Cyprus’ benefit. Nicosia is quite small yet it’s a major commercial center, full of various businesses, banks, shops – from the most luxurious to mid-range and restaurants for any taste – the selection here is much wider than in the much bigger Athens. Clearly Cypriots, unlike Greeks, like variety when it comes to food – just as much as I do. Also, despite the fact that most local residents own cars, traffic is quite mild and spacious parking lots can be found anywhere.
Some of you may not know this, but Nicosia is a divided capital, split between the Greek Cypriot side and Turkish Republic of Nothern Cyprus – a state, recognized only by Turkey. Naturally the only tourists visiting this side come in from Cyprus – all you need is show a passport to go through “the looking glass.”
In reality there is not much to be found there – apart from a couple of decent looking squares and mosques, the rest is made up of living areas which pretty much a duplicate Cypriot Nicosia’s old town, however the buildings on the Turkish side look much more worn and semi-destroyed in some cases. In general the Turkish part gives a strong feeling of stagnation and desolation.
Here I’m taking a little rest in front of an ancient city gate. Please forgive the imperfect photos – I was mostly sightseeing on my own, so all pictures of myself are taken by me and I was too exhausted from the heat (it was up to 40 degrees that day!) to do many takes.
Finally my last 24 hours in Cyprus were spent on the seaside – we stayed in Protaras, a proper resort town which pretty much dies out during the colder months, but is currently buzzing with tourists and Cypriots, who rent or own houses in town. The snapshot above is from another resort town – Agiya Napa, which is also a major port and the party capital of the island.
This ship is quite literally the Black Pearl – that’s exactly what it says on the side of it anyway. Basically it’s a cruise ship which I spotted the night before anchored at Agiya Napa, and the next day watched it sail with a bunch of tourists on board.