Cyprus Greece, From My Breakfast Table

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Welcome – come on in! When I am in Cyprus,Greece this is my office.

Breakfast in Cyprus

Spending more than six months of every year in Cyprus was never really in the game plan until we stood sliding into the ruts on a crumbling cliffside outside the tiny village of Peyia.

The agent was convincing; this spot, apparently, was just crying out for a house. So one rash decision later (the heart ruled) we had agreed to the building of a Mediterranean villa on this hard-baked plot of earth.

Have we regretted it? Sometimes, yes. It all comes down to mindset. The most important piece of advice I could offer on becoming an expat (of sorts) is that it’s vital to adapt. Do not fight the system.

And really – why should the locals change their ways for you?

Trying to impose your lifestyle from your native country in your new home is a recipe for disaster. Within reason embrace the culture and if your destination is the Mediterranean then adjust your idea of time.

“Tomorrow” may indeed mean just that – but it can equally mean “next week” or “soon”. Incredibly frustrating if you’re clinging on to your own inbuilt ideals of efficiency.

We, of course, learnt the hard way. With rages and occasional tears as we struggled to understand “the way things were done”. The biggest problems seemed to stem from the fact we never really knew when anything would happen. If we’d arranged for a workman to call, or a furniture delivery – who knew when…?

I seem to remember (see – it’s fading already!) that our most frustrating experiences arose with frequent water and power cuts. Once we relented and decided to go with the flow, we began to enjoy ourselves and could appreciate that there are, in fact, many acceptable ways of reaching the same goal.

Water cuts? No problem – let’s bathe in the sea instead!

Having said that, there’s so much to like. I could write a book about it. From the sharing nature of the Cypriots (if you’re passing, you’ll be invited to share their food) to the trusting nature of the car mechanic who fixed my car and waved me on saying “pay me when you’re ready”.

A visit into my tiny, local village sees me return laden with extra “freebies” from the baker and a gifts of hair tonic and sun protector from Christoferos, the friendly pharmacist. High levels of stress eventually respond to the slower pace of life and almost imperceptibly, ebb away.

And the views from my village and home are nothing short of spectacular. Let me share them with you.

Take a seat, grab some breakfast and let me share the delights tucked away in the vista before you. For a better view, let’s go up to the balcony.

A tour of Cyprus, Greece

Breakfast on the balcony

Peyia view

Aphrodite’s Baths

Cast your eyes to the far right. Just tucked away around the South Western tip of the Island is the Akamas peninsula. Delightfully undeveloped (largely due to the British commando’s unsociable habit of using it as a firing range) it’s a fabulous spot for a bit of hiking.

A crystal clear pool and bubbling spring here mark where Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love used to bathe.

In true Hollywood style the Greek god Adonis stumbled upon the bathing goddess whilst out hunting. He was instantly bewitched.

A beautiful story spoilt only by the insistence of the locals that Aphrodite was in fact a huge tease and loved nothing more than to pit the gods against each other in a battle for her favours.

A perhaps kinder appraisal states that “Aphrodite was known more for lustful love than romantic love.”

Lara Bay

Moving eastwards along the coastline our eyes alight upon Lara Bay. This is a protected area for loggerhead turtles which return every summer to lay their eggs.

Fortunately, access is via a cratered, rough track which deters a huge flood of vehicles. However, the turtles are having a hard time of it. They are increasingly confused by the glaring lights in nearby Paphos town and often struggle to stay on course for their nesting bay. I could cry.

Next up is the tiny harbour of Agios Georgios

It’s the sheer serenity that strikes you here. A clutch of fishing boats, a taverna to immediately get to work as the catch is hauled in, and a typical Cypriot church.

Agios Georgios

Overlooking Agios Georgios

My children were always highly amused by the antics of the lone ice cream man parked here who only switches the engine on in his van as potential customers appear. This of course ensures that his produce is more runny cream than ice cream. No one minds. This is Cyprus.

Church of Agios Georgios

Taverna, Agios Georgios, Cyprus

Sea Caves

Sweeping our eyes along we reach the rocky shoreline of the Paphos Sea Caves and the unlikely recent tourist attraction of the wreck of the Edro III.

This ship ran aground in stormy weather on 8th December 2011 en route from Limassol to Rhodes. The crew were rescued, leaving the Captain and chief engineer on board to prevent the Cypriot’s from claiming salvage.

ship

Although the ship looks incredibly close to the shore, it was still far enough away to prevent me lobbing over a few mince pies to the stranded crew on Christmas Day.

It’s not clear how the ship will be removed from the rocks but there is talk that it could be repaired and re-floated.

This is not far from Paphos’ other shipwreck, the MV Demetrios II which even has its own facebook page!

Swing your gaze further eastwards now.

Tombs of The Kings

The Tombs of the Kings are an early burial site carved out of solid rock and dating from 300 BC. Bodies were buried with goodies such as jewelry and cosmetic boxes. However these have long gone due to persistent looting over the years.

Tombs of the Kings, Paphos, Cyprus2

Do not be misled by the name – no kings are buried here. Simply the VIPs of Paphos.

Tombs of the Kings, Paphos2

Paphos mosaics

As happens very often in the islands of the Mediterranean, a farmer made an accidental discovery while he was ploughing his field. He unearthed the Paphos Mosaics which would have originally been the floors of Roman noblesmen’s villas.

Paphos mosaics

Here you will find superb mosaics including one showing the God of wine, Dionysus giving Ikarios the King of Athens the secret of viticulture. Nothing much changes!

Aphrodites Rock

Just tucked around the headland at the eastern extreme of our view is Aphrodite’s rock, one of the most photographed rocks in the world.

Aphrodite's Rock

A whole host of rumours surround this mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, mainly involving the bonuses to be gained from swimming around the rock.

These range from increased fertility to lashings of good luck and the one that particularly appeals to me – that if you swim around this rock at midnight during the full moon, Aphrodite will make you ten years younger. Readers, I shall attempt and report back.

Now, who fancies a sundowner?

sundowner

Bio: Karen Guttridge is Ladyhiker. Fueled by wanderlust and the odd cake, she likes nothing better than donning boots and rucksack, noseying around the UK and Europe and getting up to endless mischief. Read about her exploits at Lady Hiker or join in the fun on TwitterΒ  and Facebook.

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Have you enjoyed your tour of Cyprus?

33 thoughts on “Cyprus Greece, From My Breakfast Table”

  1. Wow – what a great spot for an office! Could be tough to get some work done! Stunning photos. I can’t get over the water hitting the ship – that is insane!

    1. Thanks Anita – I do get regularly distracted! Regarding the ship I was just really lucky to be there – right place, right time. I wouldn’t have liked to be in the Captain’s shoes – stuck onboard – but I guess he’s used to rough seas! Karen πŸ™‚

  2. Hi,

    Just discover your website….Love it. Your pictures are very great and for sure I will plan to stop at Cyprus on my next Rtw trip. I learned myself in a tough way the concept of “tomorrow” or in a “few hours” when I stayed in Palestine for 3 months last year. I am Canadian and for me tomorrow means really “tomorrow” but in arabic tomorrow inchallah it is more if they have time, if the family is not coming if……if…. In the end of the day you learn but not before struggling a couple of time Hahahaha πŸ™‚ Irene

    1. Hi Irene. I think that getting things done “if they have time” is very true and yes you learn eventually but what a hard lesson it is! Sometimes it’s good to question why things are so important to you – I remember once waiting for a mirror to be delivered and realising that – in fact – it didn’t really matter when! πŸ™‚ Karen

  3. Hi Ayelet. Cyprus does have snow! During the winter there is skiing in the Troodos mountains – in fact Cyprus is one of the only places I know where you can go skiing in the morning in the mountains, then spend the afternoon lazing on the beach! And you’re right about the peace and quiet – glorious πŸ™‚

  4. Mykonos Accommodation

    Greece is the heaven on the earth. But have you visited Mykonos? I had visited Mykonos in last summer vacation with my family and had get great experience. Thanks for sharing some awesome photos which are really so Stunning.

    1. Thank you! I have visited Mykonos and nearly all of the Greek islands. All so beautiful. I particularly remember my donkey transport up the hillside in Santorini! πŸ™‚ Karen

  5. Wow, that’s an amazing view you have there. Greece looks like a really amazing place to visit, unfortunately I have never been. Nice photos of that ship, sucks to be the captain.

    1. Hi Lawrence. Yes I never tire of the view. And it’s so peaceful tucked away in a Cypriot village. Good news – I hear the Captain is finally off the ship. I bet he’s finding it hard to walk on land! πŸ™‚ Karen

    2. Hi Lawrence. Yes I never tire of the view. And it’s so peaceful tucked away in our Cypriot village. Good news – I hear the Captain is finally off the ship. Bet he’s finding it hard to walk on dry land! πŸ™‚ Karen

  6. Wow, what a view! Enjoyed the story and love the pics too. But it’s a wonder you manage to get any work done with such a speccy vista at your tablefront πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Johanna. Getting work done can be…very difficult! My little trick is to set a timer for around 45 minutes and promise myself I’ll write non stop til it goes off! πŸ™‚ Karen

  7. How cool to learn more about Cyprus from a person who knows the place well. Glad to know you are enjoying the island with your family. I once met a Cypriot family in Argentina. The gave me their contact info and told me to contact them if I wanted to stop by Cyprus one day. This post reminds me of their hospitality.

    1. Hi Ruth. Yes I finally feel I know Cyprus well! The Greek word for hospitality is filoxenia whixh actually translates as “love of strangers”. Isn’t that lovely? πŸ™‚ Karen

  8. Aphrodite’s Baths looks amazing – so beautiful! As does Agios Georgios – I could do with lounging on those rocks overlooking the sea right about now. I’ve been reading a lot about Cyprus lately – maybe it’s a sign?

    1. Hi Tom. Yes – come on over! The best times are probably spring and autumn. In spring there’s an abundance of wild flowers and in autumn the sea is deliciously warm after the long, hot summer! As a Brit I still can’t get used to BBQs and swimming pools on Christmas Day πŸ™‚ Karen

  9. Really enjoyed reading about Cyprus Karen, as I have never been there.
    But what impressed me most was your decision to live there for sizable chunks of time.
    I want to do that – get away from the UK during the dark months.
    Thanks for the excellent advice about going with the flow and not asserting UK procedures in a Mediterranean village!

  10. Hi Chloe. I’m very much in believer in “just go for it and things will work out”. In the end! I always ask myself “What’s the worst that can happen? And if that does happen, could I handle it?” If the answer is ‘yes’ (and it usually is) then it’s all systems go! Even though I expected to experience a completely different lifestyle in Cyprus, I did find it hard to immediately slot in to new ways of doing things. I think adapting is a gradual process which happens in stages and can’t really be rushed πŸ™‚ Karen

  11. Fabulous photographs reminding me of a lovely holiday in Cyprus a couple of years ago. Determined to get back there one day. Two weeks were not long enough. Spending 6 months at time there must be glorious. Enjoy it! Kit πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Kit. So glad to hear you enjoyed Cyprus – I have just arrived back here today! Beautifully sunny and warm so must be very disciplined with myself if I’m to get lots of writing done! πŸ™‚ Karen

  12. Fabulous photographs reminding me of a lovely holiday in Cyprus a couple of years ago. Determined to get back there one day. Two weeks were not long enough. Spending 6 months at time there must be glorious. Enjoy it! Kit

  13. I have a conference to attend at THE PALM BEACH HOTEL & BUNGALOWS Larnaca Dekelia Road . I have an extra free day. I would like to see Nicosia. What is the nearest point to the Hotel to take your bus to Nicosia? What are the places I should see in Nicosia?

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