Days 2 + 3 |
Because I am a freak and apparently don’t like to sleep more than a grand total of 5 minutes on holidays, I woke early, pottered around, used the wifi, and to my great surprise Jane (sleeping beauty, usually) woke up and declared that she was hungry! I had noticed a bakery on our way home last night, so we piled into our cute little Barbie looking FWD and drove to “Zorba’s Bakery” which turned out to be a common yet delicious franchise. After a few wrong turns and Jane driving like an American (on the wrong side of the road) we made it and I felt like I had died and gone to flaky, buttery, Greek pastry heaven.
I ordered a “cocktail Greek cheese pastry” also known as a mini Tiropita. This literally translates to “cheese pita”. My yiayia (grandma) makes them and they are delicious. These were probably better (but don’t tell her that!). I also couldn’t go past ordering a “Boughatsa” which is a giant pastry filled with a creamy, vanilla-ry custard and lots of cinnamon, sugar and general carbs. I then proceeded to eat one of these every day for 4 days. I am surprised I didn’t return home with some kind of diabetes! We took some photos for my dad (because he would cry just looking at the pastry perfection) and I attempted to translate the story on the bag written in Greek. NB: I cannot read or write in Greek. I was improving. The bakery gave us some free almond cake, and we took some and a coffee for Liza and headed back to pick up our navigator and set off for a big day of exploring!!
We began to drive to Asia Napa, past the open-air sculpture museum, and stopped in for a (free) look! It was so interesting, and filled with sculptures and artefacts from around the world. My favourite was a big, empty frame that captured the sea, and also a mini village sculpted into an ancient rock. The way the colours juxtaposed with the azure sea was mesmerising.
Onwards and upwards, we followed the signs to the “sea caves” which turned out to be Cape Greco. As we neared the sign for the caves, both girls started shrieking (I was concentrating on driving) because they noticed a little beat up Kombi filled with watermelons on the side of the road.
The vendor greeted us with us a broken smile and some free watermelon to try. It was delicious, and so we all bought a slice for a Euro. They were bigger than our heads! We asked him to take some photos of us, and he obliged, but then after a bit of confusion and and me nearly choking on my watermelon for reasons that don’t need to be shared, we scurried off to our car and sat in the boot eating the rest of it!
We then drove down the rocky slope to the Sea Caves. It is an awe-inspiring cove of rock surrounding the bluest water I have ever laid eyes on. It also contained lots of surrounding rocks and a cliff face. Naturally a Russian couple with a Go Pro decided to jump in! Then a gaggle of German looking guys followed suit and soon everyone was jumping off this cliff face that was at least a 10m drop! We however, did not. Had the only exit not been to scale a wall of wet, slippery rocks, we might have, though. Maybe if there was a nice boat with some wine on it we might have braved the drop!
Our next stop was Agia Napa beach, which isn’t really a beach at all, just a bunch of rocks with a little concrete platform angled towards the water. It was peaceful save for the party boat that had docked in the bay and was blasting out Calvin Harris at an alarming decibel. This was a win in our books, not only because it provided a great sound track for our swim, but also we enjoyed watching the drunk teenagers play stupid drinking games and make questionable life decisions!
The highlight of my day, was not the shirtless Scandinavian guys diving into the water, but a little pug that was wearing a life jacket and genuinely stoked with his life. He swam out further than I did and barked enthusiastically at all his fellow (human) swimmers. It was so cute!
By this time, Jane was turning a deep shade of tan, and Liza and I had gone from semi- tanned to considerably burnt. It was time for a late lunch, and we drove to the harbour, and had a very fancy and boozy (surprise, surprise) lunch at a fish tavern that was reminiscent of Ariel’s treasure trove in the Little Mermaid. I had squid and a raspberry mojhito! They were both delicious as they were mismatched, palette-wise.
The final stop for the day was Nissi beach, a notorious party area. We found a quiet spot on a very busy beach, and took in the soothing rays of the sun, that was still nowhere close to setting at around 7pm. By this time, we all looked like pieces of bacon that had been left in the pan too long. Crispy, dry, salty and BURNT. So burnt, or so I thought. More on that later!
That evening, I attempted to iron my cheesecloth dress (why I bought such a dress on such a trip, I will never fully understand) and I managed to break a vase and burn myself in the process. Never mind, because at least when we walked to the fish tavern around the corner, I looked like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. Life. Made. Our waiter was very attentive and we ordered some meze and some fish (funny that) and had some wine (really?!) and then after our complimentary shot that comes with every single time you ask for a bill, we went back to our apartment to lie in the apply face masks, sweat out our chips and absorb the healing powers of the magical aircon.
Our third and final full day on the island also began with a trip to the bakery, several coffees and several antihistamines on my part. I had began to develop what I thought to be heat rash, which I had last time I went to Greece. Clearly I am allergic to sun, or fun, or my heritage. Oops.
After our local breakfast delights, we headed through to Limassol for a Frappe, on the way to Paphos. We went to see the birthplace of the mythical goddess Afrodite. We were headed to her beach, where it is said that if you swim around the large rock there, you will be lucky in love and beautiful.
That is how we all ended up swimming against a freezing cold current, in deceptively deep water, in order to secure our romantic futures, of course! Post swim, we reapplied our sunscreen, in the presence of a very involved observer (gross) and then continued the long drive up to the mountains, past wineries and through valleys and small villages, to Afrodite’s pool.
Not quiet as we had pictured, although seeing some wind goats trekking across the hiking path was pretty funny! Afrodite’s beach is lovely, peaceful and clean, and we enjoyed some more sun before the long drive back to Famagusta.
Our last dinner was my favourite. A family owned restaurant, and I chose it based on the vibe (genuine) and the salad (cheap). I was sold when the owners described the difference between a pork souvlaki (no fat) and a “cypriot” souvlaki (all of the fat). You can guess which one I had! I even got the chance to cook my own dinner over the open coals. It was so exciting and delicious!
Our last day, we had more pastry, swam, my skin started to slowly and painfully deteriorate, and we had alcoholic icy poles and moussaka for lunch. Winning at life!
The journey home was painful, and long, and I wound up with staph infection, a whole month off work, a plethora of antibiotics, zero energy and a very small appetite (what?!) and an even smaller amount of self esteem, considering I looked like I had the bubonic plague. That is not an exaggeration!
I don’t want that to taint my posts of my trip, so the next post will have a more personal, life-update kind vibe!
If you haven’ t been to Cyprus, you should add it to your list, immediately!
Safe and healthy travels,