Over the last week we have settled into quite a routine in our Cypriot villa. Surface about 9.00am (Steve frequently up earlier to fit in his 6-8 mile run), lounge by the pool for a while, fruit, yoghurt and granola for breakfast, more pool lounging with at least 50 laps of the pool fitted in at some point, lunch of local breads, homous, olives, cheeses and tomatoes, even more pool lounging … and then we scrub up for the evening festivities. “Where’s Tom?” Is quite a well used question – he seems to live in a different time zone to these pensioners he has chosen to holiday with. He’s really taken to the night life here and as a result sleeps most of the day. Last Sunday evening, we all met up with friends in a bar in Protaras and then left Tom there about 10.30pm – when Steve got up at 7.30am Tom’s bed was empty – by 8.15am we got a little worried (well, madly panicking really) so Steve and I set off to walk to Protaras scanning every hotel and beach sunbed, every stretch of sand and rocks, all the promenade benches, even the sea … no sign … we got home 2 hours later to find Tom sound asleep in bed, a bag of wet clothes by the back door. When he finally surfaced, a little woolly to say the least, he explained about his pub crawl home including a pool party. A couple of nights later he ventured out again and found himself amongst a gathering of tribute acts from Cyprus Rocks – enjoyed a drinking session with ‘Robert Plant’ and ‘Mick Fleetwood’ lookalikes who were acting like primadonnas, signing autographs etc. Now our considerate son has taken to leaving us a message outside his bedroom door!
We have actually had some variations to the daily routines – yes, we have got off those sun beds from time to time!! Spent a day on the beach and did some more ‘bobbing around’ in the salty sea. The sea is much warmer than our pool so makes for a good alternative. We enjoyed a fabulous boat trip along the coast to Famagusta and then back to Cape Greco where we were able to jump off for a swim – the water was so warm and crystal clear. The trip turns into a bit of a party boat as the 70s and 80s tracks entertain us along the way – couldn’t help but bring out those John Travolta moves from time to time!
Took a late afternoon trip to Paralimni on Wednesday. Where we are staying the shops are crammed with tourist souvenirs – if you’re looking for stuffed donkeys, inflatables, shells, fridge magnets you’ll be spoilt for choice … also sailor hats and speedos a-plenty (catering for our Russian friends!). Paralimni promised to offer us more upmarket shopping opportunities. Headed off by bus, once again it was crammed to the hilt and we were literally hanging onto the poles around the driver’s cab … but arrived in one piece. And guess what, it was half-day closing – no shops open. Pretty little town though with stunning churches and quaint tavernas – naturally had to stop for a couple of vinos!
Yesterday we actually headed out on a bus trip – yes, all 5 of us, Tom came too! We met up with Andy, Steve, Cath and Cath’s Mum and set off in George’s minibus to Famagusta. George was so incredibly knowledgeable about Cyprus’ history – ancient and modern – and delivered it so interestingly with lots of humour thrown in – made the journey so enjoyable. We were able to visit the Ghost Town of Famagusta – the abandoned buildings – which remain trapped in a time-lock since the Turkish invasion in 1974. Then we spent time wandering around the beautiful old town centre with its old Venetian walls and gothic churches. All a bit scary with rules for this and rules for that. We had to go through a strict border control as we passed into Turkey and we had to learn about the restrictions for what we could bring back in – no fake designer handbags, no gold and no drugs – spoil sports!! We were not allowed to take photographs near any of the military areas or the ‘ghost town’ and there were regular posters of armed military personnel with this warning.
Our days here are coming to an end … for now … we head off tomorrow afternoon. We have absolutely loved Cyprus and boy have we partied hard!! There’s still life in the old folks yet!! And Wendy has discovered facebook big-time (as well as olives!) – she now loves to ‘post’ and ‘like’ as well as to receive ‘likes’ … and is positively ecstatic at the thought of going VIRAL.
And so we prepare for our ‘last night’s’ G&T with a freshly picked grapefruit from the garden.