Summer Update

4 Aug

Hello one and all. Please forgive me for I have sinned. Having mentioned I wouldn’t leave updating my blog for so long, I appear to have done that in spectacular fashion.

The world of Education PR moves so rapidly that I’m thinking ahead to next year already and all the days seem to fly past before I know it.

Since my last post I’ve celebrated my birthday (a low-key affair compared to last year), been a graduate for a year, went on holiday to Cyprus and became a Godmother. I’d like to use this post to share my holiday with you and to look back on it in a few years with fond memories.

Cyprus – The Island of Love

It was my first time to Cyprus this year as I fancied a change of scene from my usual exploits in Spain and the Spanish Islands.  Cyprus guarantees good weather and I’ve heard great things from people who have visited it. Before you ask, no I didn’t rave it up in Ayia Napa, but went to Paphos on the West Coast of the island with my mother.

The hotel I stayed in was lovely – huge pool with water coming off rocks waterfall style and a lazy river. Sadly, due to a fire at the main power station, air-con was few and far between so for a paleton like me, it wasn’t great. Still, I’d much rather that then the crap weather we have here.

As I found my bearings, the first day was spent by the pool followed by learning some Cypriot dancing. Next, was more relaxing and meeting our rep where we booked a Blue Lagoon boat trip. This sounded lovely but with reference to my pale skin I was a little worried about burning, and, yep, you’ve guessed it, I burnt spectacularly. Whilst I religiously slapped on the Hawaiian Tropic, and swam in the gorgeous clear blue sea, I returned to find the middle part of my forehead had formed a lump like a klingon. Burnt red and soft, I did actually think it would burst into a huge blister. I had visions of returning with a permanently bright red forehead or soft lump that would never go away.

Fortunately, I’d booked a Jeep trip to the mountains which was the day after so I could recover. The jeep was pretty rickety and shared with a Flemish family as our East End boy Terry, the driver for the day, made the ascent a great experience. I learnt so much about the island and had no idea of the sad history involved. In short, the Turkish invaded the North of the island, the wealthy Cypriots who lived there fled to shacks in the South of the island and the Turkish took over their homes. They are still refusing to move so any mention of Turkey is frowned upon. There is even a border across the island which you need your passoport to cross. Famagusta, one of the places invaded, is a ghost town. Houses stand empty with possessions garnering dust. Cars remain where they were left and there is no sign of any soul who has been in the area for years.

As we continued our ascent, we learnt that the villages are steeped in deep tradition where there are men only cafes, couples aren’t allowed to even hold hands, and if a woman’s husband dies, she must always wear black and not marry or date another man.

Lunch was in a gorgeous taverna and we stopped off at various photo opportunity locations, which came after a hardcore drive on a dirt track and a stop at a river with magic ice cream. Once we had reached the viewpoint of the mountains, we began our descent and stopped off in a village to buy some traditional Cypriot products and look at Aphrodite’s Rock.

In the evening we went to the harbour for some cocktails and to sample the relaxed lifestyle away from the neon lights of Bar Street (the main party street). We did this for about three evenings and spent the rest of the days chilling by the pool,  a trip to the waterpark and explored the harbour in daylight.

For anyone thinking of going to Cyprus, I would recommend it highly. The food is gorgeous, the locals are welcoming and there is so much to see and do. If you’re into culture, history and geography, then you will fall in love with it.

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