My first real beach holiday
Originally booked as a holiday to Bulgaria in September, it had to be postponed due to my mum having open-heart surgery in the summer of 2009. Instead we ended up in Paphos for a week at the beginning of December, and to be honest it was probably better. The weather wasn't very nice, with thunder storms interupting most trips for a couple of days. But all in all it was quite a nice choice.
I managed to see most of the things on my "to-see" list, and I don't think I would return just to see the things I missed....(I did say I want to see as many countries as possible after all). It is probably better to do this day-by-day, as I'm sure it won't make sense otherwise.
On our first full day we set off just before lunch and walked to the harbour. After stopping a couple of times for a coffee or two I climbed the fort. Ok, so it's not very big, but the views are amazing! We then walked back along a bit and after having a spot of lunch we went to the mosaics. These are so lovely, and there's also an Odien which you can climb up onto and take some pictures. There is also the 40 pillars there, but it started pouring down and it was the first of many thunder storms, so we gave them a miss and headed for the nearest cafe. Our second day the morning was spent with a trip on the bus to the Paphos Market; situated at the top of a hill there are many cafes that overlook the cliffs. In the afternoon we bough tickets for the "hop-on, hop-off" bus and went to the Tombs of the Kings. This place is amazing, and I was running up and down the stairs to take pictures of all the tombs. However, this again was cut short as we suffered a second thunder storm. Having caught the bus back to the harbour, we made our way back to the hotel in time to get ready to go out for tea.
Day three wasn't much better, as my mum wanted her hair doing and it was still thundering outside. I used the 24-hour bus tickets we'd bought and went to a couple of museums while my mum went to the hairdressers. I got back after lunch, and to be honest there wasn't much more we could do with the weather being so bad. We decided to catch a bus up to Coral Bay, but when we got there it was still raining and everything was closed - not good! Day four was pretty much the same; bad weather and not a lot to do in the hotel. Luckily we had made friends with a few people and one of them had hired a car. They offered to take me to see the tree of hankies, and on the way back I asked if we could nip around the back of a department store - someone had said there was a little church and some ruins which were free to look at. It was a pretty good tip, as behind Debenhams in Paphos is a little church which has tombs, mosaics and St Pauls Pillar. I'd been looking for the Pillar since I arrived, and was more than pleased to discover that's where I'd been sent to explore!
Day five was probably one of the best. Despite the weather being fantastic I sat on a coach most of the day to go up to the Troodos Mountains. They are spectacular! It's a long drive, but well worth it. We saw the huge statue of Mikarius, and his tomb, and we visited Kykkos Monestary and another, smaller monestary on the way back down. Kykkos Monestary is huge, and the inside of the church is covered in gold. We had lunch overlooking the mountains, but the tour guide was not very helpful. The only downside to that day trip was driving back down the mountains. It is a very long way, on narrow winding roads with huge drops down the side, and most of the coach fell asleep (and snored!). Day six was another really hot day, and another day that I spent the majority of the time on a coach. We visited Nicosia (my love of capitals shines through!!). It was really lovely, although I didn't really like crossing the border to the Turkish side. We saw the Eleftheria Freedom Monument, Famagusta Gate, the Venetian Walls, and climed the viewing tower in Debenhams to see panoramic views of the City. It was a lovely day trip, and we saw Aphrodites Rock on the way back - just a shame I spent most of my last full day of proper sunshine on a coach.