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Thursday, 13 December 2012

Project Cyprus



I know that I haven’t posted in a while, but I had a good reason. I was on another trip, a short and special one: a surprise getaway for my birthday. I turned 30 in Cyprus, I did it with style, and I still don’t feel a day older than 16 in my heart. :D
Do you want to know how it was?

Project Cyprus:
  • Day 1:
-          16:05 – 18:30: flight from Bucharest Otopeni to Larnaca
-          Got our car from the airport and headed into town. Word of advice! DO NOT BOOK YOUR CAR WITH http://www.cypruscarrental.net/!! It is a scam, because they charge you 20% of your booking fee and only act as intermediaries. At the airport, we were greeted by the representative of another company, who charged us the full price (24 EUR for 2 days), plus the airport tax (5 EUR) which isn’t specified anywhere on the first website. You should try and book directly with http://en.larnacacarrentals.com/!
-          Checked in at easyHotel Larnaca: 41 EUR/room/2 nights [http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g190379-d1450355-r147107845-EasyHotel_Larnaca-Larnaca_Larnaca_District.html]; parked the car in the parking next to the café adjoining the hotel, it was free of charge.  
-          Headed out to eat and had dinner at Ocean Basket, which was a truly wonderful idea [see here why: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g190379-d2207117-r147108845-Ocean_basket-Larnaca_Larnaca_District.html]; I recommend the dozen prince prawns and the seafood platter for one [for sea food lovers] and the Greek village salad, the avocado sushi, the kateifi, and the Snickers cake [for vegetarians].  :)  
  • Day 2:
-          As our sea kayaking got cancelled because of the high winds and waves, we decided to enjoy the Cypriot sites and attractions as much as we could on this day!
The wonderful pink flamingos in the morning light
-          Left around 7 o’clock to Larnaca Salt Lake, home to flocks of pink flamingos from November to March, and were delighted at the sight of these wonderful creatures and their morning rituals. [I suggest a morning visit, as there are fewer flamingos on the lake in the evenings.]
-          Started driving to Paphos, but made stops at:
-          Pano Lefkara, traditional Cypriot village, famous for its handmade lace and silver items and for the almond trees found on the hills nearby. [I recommend a stroll up and down the steep and narrow streets of this beautiful village, in order for you to take in the energy and peacefulness of this place.]  
The Church of the Holy Cross in Lefkara
-          Choirokoitia Neolithic Settlement (opening hours (daily, November 1st – March 31st): 8-17): 1.70 EUR, free admission for students; you will be impressed by the 6800 year-old dwellings found following archaeological diggings.
-          Petra tou Romiou (the birthplace of Aphrodite), an impressive collection of whitish rocks swept by the foamy waves. [Be sure to buy an ice cream and savour it while watching the sea.]
-          Paphos Archaeological Museum, home to some amazing mosaics almost 2000 years old (opening hours (daily, November 1st – March 31st): 8-17): 3.40 EUR, no deductions for students. [Note that taking pictures is not allowed here.]
-          Had dinner at a traditional fish tavern, Kingfisher Restaurant, Tombs of the Kings Road, blue sign right before Lidl.       
  • Day 3:
-          Arrived at 08:30 at Viking Divers [http://www.viking-divers.com] for our ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ Session (48 EUR/person), which ended (dive included) a little bit after 13:30. The entire experience was amazing, an extraordinary gift from Marcel on my birthday [be sure to book ahead]! Minna and Tasos were kind and professional [http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g190379-d3617507-r147109827-Viking_Divers-Larnaca_Larnaca_District.html] and Minna even sent me the swimming apparel Marcel and I forgot there and did not ask any money for the postage stamps! All my appreciation goes out to them!
-          Headed out to lunch, again at Ocean Basket!
My birthday lunch at Ocean Basket
-          Ended the day on Mackenzie Beach and then hurried to return the car. The total amount spent on gas was 31 EUR, which is good value and enables one to see the island within a short time.

The thing with ‘commercial’ destinations is that it’s better – in my opinion – to try them out off season. The weather’s not that hot and humid and you can really enjoy certain regions (that would normally be swarming with tourists) all by yourself!
        

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