2 in 1, short story about Cyprus [Cyprus 1/4]

After half a year of being Erasmus and trip to Morocco, it was necessary to return to Poland and what’s worse – to become an adult, working person. As it happens as a working adult, the length of vacations is quite limited by the length of the holiday (which doesn’t knock down, especially at the beginning of the ‘career’). Where to go, so it won’t be boring, it will be warm and one could visit most of the important points in 9 days? In combination with a favorable flight offer from Ukraine International Airlines, Cyprus has become answer to these questions.

.Beginning

We arrive at the airport at dawn. We are flying to Kiev, we change there and fly to Larnaka. We are around 13 of local time on the spot. A hot wave hits us immediately. Well, we wanted warmth, we have it. Only after buying the tickets we read in various internet guides that the worst month to visit Cyprus because of the incredible heat is August … But we can do it!

We catch a ride to Limassol in less than 5 minutes. Standing on the other side of the road is a bit strange (left-hand traffic). Ilja, a nice young Russian guy, takes us to the very center. We are a bit tired of the journey, so although the local beach is not the most beautiful, we decide to take a horizontal position for a moment. After a short rest we go to a meeting with our Couchsurfing host. We stay with Anna and Vlad, a pair of Ukrainians who ‘caught’ by Cypriot recruiters moved there for work. That day we walk, visit the ‘old town’ and try not to die of heat at night. The town itself is not the most beautiful, but it is a good starting point to other places.

The next day we have a plan to see the famous Blue Lagoon. It’s not easy to get there, we are ready for the possibility of a long walk through the brushwood. Fortunately, hitchhiking doesn’t disappoint us. The first ride is just 5 km, but in the next car we meet Elena and Marinos, who just happened to going on a trip to the Blue Lagoon that day. Marinos is a sailor (he didn’t have another choice with a name like that :D) and soon he is going for a half-year cruise again, so he and Elena want to use the time they have together before separation. Fortunately, they probably thought that our presence would not ruin their date completely and we would spend a very nice day together. Elena tells us a bit how it is with Greeks and Turks in Cyprus. Surprisingly, Turks are not allowed to cross the border. Greeks are, but they don’t do it anyway. To quote Elena, “We don’t want to go there, no one wants to see his home from which he was thrown, now inhabited by some Turks.

On the way to Blue Lagoon we visit the Agios Georgios basilica and the Lara beach, where the sea turtles lay their eggs. Unfortunately we don’t see any turtles nor eggs, but it’s still awesome.

Agios Giorgios basilica
Blue Lagoon is really blue!

Blue Lagoon makes an impression on us despite the crowd of people and cruise ships. And the opportunity to cool yourself in the water is sooo grat… what to say. Without Elena, Marinos, and their 4×4, we would rather not be able to do it. You can get here from the Baths of Aphrodite with a taxi (water or land), or on foot about 5 km one way (map at the bottom of the post). Initially, this was our plan, it didn’t seem to be that hard, but on the spot it turned out that the pollinated and bushy road, in the 40-degree heat, somehow does not encourage walks. And thanks to our new friends, we drove comfortably to the beach. Lucky us! Coming back from Blue Lagoon, we passed by previously mentioned Baths of Aphrodite, which in all guidebooks are an absolute ‘must see’. However, they didn’t appear very special to us.

The next day, with backpacks, we’re going to the Troodos mountains. Again we are lucky – Anna and Vlad rent a car and go on a trip, taking us with them. We walk in the mountains, eat delicious grapes and specialties from the bakery passed along the way. We also find several abandoned tunnels, but we decide not to visit them this time.

Will it collapse?

In the afternoon we say goodbye to Anna and Vlad, they return to Limassol and we stay at the camping in the mountains. Camping is quite pleasant and in the evening it turns into a big party. There are a lot of people and bonfires there. It is also the first night for us, when we don’t wake up from the heat, and it’s even a bit chilly (!).

The next morning we leave the mountains and head north to Nicosia to cross the border and get to the Turkish part of Cyprus. This time we ride with Anna and Mohammed with a small dog Simona. Mohammed is a funny talker, so we have a bright day. On the way we stop in the small town of Kakopetria for food and walk. In the bar we meet a Romanian waiter who is even more funny. Our day turned out to e even happier 🙂 The town is very charming, we highly recommend it for a short stop.

We reach Nicosia and cross the border without major problems. We have only a moment to see the world’s only divided capital. The border crossing is in the middle of the street, barricades and walls across roads and houses in the middle of the city create an interesting landscape.

Kakopetria’s streets
Mosque in Kakopetria
One building, two countries
Our way from this post.

About what we saw on the Turkish side of Cyprus and about a very unusual Couchsurfing you will read in the next post [click].

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