Lazy Days

We have mentioned already that we are indeed very lazy people. So this time we cannot present any cycle tour, in spite of that Heidi once had the urge to rent bikes around the next corner which would work for an acceptable price. But once bedded on the sunlounger at the pool I am not able to arise again.

So let us talk about the pool. In the morning the sunloungers are all free, the annoying reservations by bath towels before breakfast is not common hereabout and so it is not necessary. Before you enjoy the sun you should use a good suntan and then wait for 30 minutes, so it is to be read on the wrapping. After "Would you creme my backside?" we can only await 5 minutes, then we leave our room and go down to look for a proper sun shade or fan palm. If available you choose the place of the day before: then you feel quite at home. Than we watch the balcony of our room until the cleaning ladies have done their work. And when the curtains are closed from inside we know: we can solve our metabolic problems discreetly. Of course there is another toilet downstairs for emergency operations.

Then we read for a while. Heidi chases some murderers, I am "Down Under" or on the Appalachian Trail. Now and then we must jump in the waters and be careful not to scratch with the knees on the flat ground while swimming. Until the early afternoon there are only few guests around, may be the sun is too strong? But we got no sunburn at all because we mostly prefer the shade. "You are so brown, that looks like artificial!" Serafina once says to us. About Serafina let us talk later.

After 3pm the sun is not so hot yet and this or that woodlouse (Kellerassel) come along. It seems that they do not master the driver license for the wheeled sunloungers because there is much noise until they have arranged everything for the right position concerning the position of the sun or group-dynamical aspects. Thereafter they all fall asleep or have a conversation. My dear wife loves to listen to neighboured discussions and so once I am obliged to ask her: "Shall I better stake your chin?".

As some readers have critisized that we like to make fun of other people's behaviour we now start with the following mysterium: it sometimes happens to us or other people that at a sneeze or cough another unwilling noise from the other bodyside comes out. And now we introduce a gentleman of the Anglistic sphere whose nickname could be Kinkong or Buddha. In spite of his swelling body characteristics he is deeply brown and really able to sit on a narrow bar chair for one or more pints of beer. Or he is on the move somewhere. Then - may be - a phone call from the universe or the Anglistic sphere may melodically activate any mobile around his spouse must regret: "Charly is not here, he is in the pub!".

Excuse me for a moment, I just have to tie up the lower jaw of my wife again.

Special Evenings

At Friday and Saturday - so twice the week we have some special events in the hotel restaurant. On Friday it is named "Cyprus Nights". They rearrange tables and chairs to be able to welcome a full house. In the garden there is a barbecue and since the afternoon they roast delicious meat on a spit. As usual we are in time at 7 pm awaiting our dinner. This time we have to wait for a while but are promised to have a better buffet than ever before. And we are ensured that this special offer is fully included in the half-board contract.

Let us talk about the chief cook with his white and high cooking hat who likes to look if everything is alright. So he shuffles around and it may happen, that you just resign to consume a so called Kalamares Goulasz where you can admire full grown tentacles and suckers altogether. And if you feel your stomache turning our chief cook shuffles contentedly along peering for other observations.

So let us now introduce Serafina. She is extraordinary by her energetic and stamping style to walk around, and occasionly she speaks in German language. And if you ask her what's about it, she will harshly give the answer: "I am from Austria, but you cannot see it from my beauty". And if you reply "But it is to be heard by your dialect" this would not be so very chivalrous - may be. This is Serafina, and someone told us, that she lived on this island since 20 years and meanwhile has a couple of grandchildren. If you ask her for the kind of fish which the fishermen bring along, she will give the answer: "Those are all Cyprus fishes, but sometimes there is an Octopus, as large as from the floor to the tip of the chin". So we are always delighted when Serafina is on duty. Another employee is a woman of Sweden to present an appropriate service for the guests from Scandinavia.

Let us return to the buffet. If you dismantle any fish you will not guess what kind of fish this would be, may be one of the Cypriotic, as Serafina proposed. But it is delicious. But the Octopusses resp. Kalamaris are more like a sort of gum. Meanwhile there are 4 persons clothed by traditional costumes who walk to and fro or around each other attended by a special Sirtaki music or so. At last the two maidens with headscarf and a clay jug on their shoulders swing their hips according to any Buzouki music or so and this looks really like Greek folklore or whatever you may imagine.

The next performance is more special - may be a characteristic custom of the Cypriots? One of the boys now starts to pile up filled ouzo glasses on the top of his head. At last he accomplishes to carry more than ten alarmingly toddling glasses up above. Meanwhile someone of the audience is animated to do the same and they manage to carry three or four glasses. But the show is upstaged by an older very gentle gentleman from Russia who stands up wih his beer glass on his bare head and at once there is a great applause and the cameras do their work. His wife is in spirit as well and shakes "Give mi Five" with her neighbours and sings "Ras Dwa Tri" ore more multi lingual "One Two Three".

As the polonaise hard along the edge of the swimming pool starts we at last have paid our beer and watch the presentation from a secure distance at our balcony decanting our red vine out of the Tetra Pack. So you may realize: we are real grumblers.

The second special evening is at Sunday. A good singer presents Greek songs which are mostly unknown to us and are nice to listen. After we and the other guests have finished their dinner we listen from our balcony again and now we hear songs of West Virginia, Rivers of Babylon, My Delilah, we twist again or sing Obladi Oblada with Desmond and Molly Joe.

The Island Tour

Certainly, this tour is not quite cheap, about 66 EUR p.P. But what to do if you are just here and don't forget, it is my birthday today. At 7.70 am the bus comes along and two other couples of our hotel come with us. The first hour of the tour is not so enjoyable because the other guests must be collected from the various hotels on the way to Larnaca. But we still wait for the tour guide and at last we may be near enough to her home at Larnaca and a kind woman comes in, so we learn that the bus driver is Kyriakos and her name is Eva.

At first we go north and soon will reach the last divided metropolis of the world: Nikosia resp. Levkosia. As we pass the fertile Mesaoria Plane with red and mineral bearing earth we learn a lot about the population of Cyprus. They seem to be amazingly wealthy what is underlined by statistics about the gross national product, the number of unemployed people, lodging charges and finally the average income. Excuse me that I cannot name the numbers, those are to be read elsewhere. They are all related to the "free" part of the island. As well we cannot present the whole older and younger diversified history of this island. The actual situation is, that the Englishmen have released the nation from its function as colony of the Common Wealth in 1960 and thereafter for security will stay over 100 years in some military bases. These will then end in the year 2060. "When the Englishmen then will have left the island we should have a celebration" some greyhaired folks joke.

Other topic: the island is to present itself again a daily as wooded as possible. In addition in the dry and rocky regions terraces are put on and cultivated there Zypressen or Aleppo Kiefern. Some are to probably strike roots. If the island more water had, it would be a Paradies - it means. That can quite introduce oneself one. If one would not have to build so much wood since the antique one in the Mediterranean area struck around thereby Galeeren and lead important wars, the paradise would be today perhaps quite still present.

Another topic: at some day the island should present itself as a forested paradise again. So in the dry and rocky regions terraces are built and they plant Cypress or Aleppo Pine colonies. May be this or that of the poor little trees will get roots. If the island would have more waters it really would be a paradise. If during the Roman era and later the medieval ages they would not have destroyed the expanded forest regions to build galleys or support important war activities we still would have the paradise today.

Meanwhile we arrive at Nikosia. From the bus we see beautiful so called orchid trees and fields of nice snapdragons (Löwenmäulchen). We leave the bus for one hour and we all march in lockstep downtown to enter a department store which is the highest building around. On the top there is a cafeteria and we have a beautiful view up there.

Down on the ground again we head to the exasperating frontier of this divided town. This may be controlled by the military of South Cyprus, North Cyprus, the Turks, The Englishmen and the blue helmet delegations of the UNO and moreover the Greeks? May be the main work is to control each other. Any photographic activities are strictly forbidden though sandsack barriers with loopholes (Schiessscharte) in any backyard would be a proper motive. I cannot avoid to get a white-blue striped border cabin on one of the pictures (it is hard to be seen anyway - just aside the white van).

The lanes of the city of Lefkosia (the Greek name) do not present the usual Mediterranian flair. May be we have strolled along the wrong regions. So the ladies (Heidi and Rosemarie) cannot resign to buy some shoes in a shop around the corner. Meanwhile I enter a chapel around another corner but it is not recommended to go inside with short pants. May be there were lots of candelabra (Kronleuchter), icons and candles, which one can buy here as elewhere for one's own salvation.

At last we find some peculiar fruits from a special tree, they name it Bell Tree (Paulownia Tomentosa, Empress Tree, Princess Tree or Foxglove Tree, Glockenbaum). These hulls are very decorative for any flower arrangement and the plastic bags from the shoe shop soon are filled with this stuff instead. And so we return to the bus in last-minute, they are waiting already. But we are in time corresponding to the wrist watch.

We now continue along other fertile areas where the local farmfolks have a good living. The villages (Akaki, Peristerona or Astromeritis) are clean and pretty but not so romantic because the most buildings are newly built. It is a strange thing that our kind of romantic mostly is to be found around areas where the population is more poor and not able to arrange everything properly. So we finally stop at the village named Kakopetria.

At this village they have successed not to renew every building and property but to let the old village lane in its original state. And soon the tourist masses come along to take a view, a walk and spend some money there in a shop, restaurant or elsewhere. Unfortunately my wife has to examine the just bought new shoes and so fails to climb up the little hill to the center of the village. So I hurry along the village lane to take some photos and get some impressions. It is really picturesque.

Because I was so in hurry we are not the last ones this time at the bus. Some other persons seem to have got lost anywhere in the Troodos mountains or in the toilets nearby. As they finally appear at the horizon the driver of the bus got lost, because he has gone to look for the missing guests. At last we are all together again and somewhat out of time.

The next station is a restaurant in the Troodos Mountains (mentioned above). Here they will present a fine dinner, and this is the traditional Meze Meal, a special characteristic kind of food at Cyprus. Our leader Eva specifies the various components of the meal and I now will try to list them up (with intensive use of the dictionary).

The Meze meal is a tradtional Cypriotic meal and they try to combine as many as possible typical Cypriotic foods in small portions. So there are: salad, tomatoes with dressing, tzaziki, a soup of shrimps, olives, baked goat cheese, spinach omelett, grilled chicken, this or that unknown fish, millet pie, sausages, a kind of goulash, pork from the barbecue and finally as dessert thin slices of oranges. And all the time red vine and the decanters(!) are soon empty. At the end is a special liquor is presented named Zivania with 45% Alc.

At any time I remember my birthday and with a filled glas I invite all neighbours at the table to call me Martin and moreover we get friends to our Hotel Limanaki companions Rosemarie and Hans. Of course we will not meet again the other guests with various coloured All Inclusive amuletts from the other hotels.

As we finally get out in the open air again, generating various sounds like "Oops" or so, we can admire a colony of nearly a hundred swallow nests up above under the roof. I success to take a photo of some flying swallows as well as of our new friends Rosemarie and Hans who live in the area of Heidelberg.

Back in the bus on the ride over the mountains (mentioned above) it is hard to follow the enumeration of the manifold of forest species around this area. Let us summarize this matter as mixed forest. At last we find our face gliding down the window pane. But then you must be awake as the name Olymp comes by. But this is not the devine mountain of Greece but hereabout the highest mountain as well with 6000 ft (2000 m). The top of it is characterized by a white spherical building with a radar station in it. This may be important to ensure any universal peace.

The penultimate destination is a village which is said to be the most beautiful of Cyprus. It is named Omodos and naturally there is a large parking site for the tourist busses. We walk to the nice central place with souvenir shops, restaurants and a cloister. We choose different attractions, the women stroll around the shops and finally Heidi buys a little crochet umbrella for our granddaughter Pauline (13 months). Meanwhile I surround the monastery and have a glance inside the chapel with golden icons etc. again. On the backside of the building there is an adventurous toilet and we can be happy not to be forced to use it now.

But there are some other highlights: the old wooden vine sqeezing machine and the Sokrates house. We success to find them and take some photos. Then the time is over and we can say, that this kind of tourism is rather superficially. The real attractions may be found where no tourist busses come along. May be it would be better to cycle around in such country or so...

Back in the bus we hear a joke from Eva to prevent that erverybody falls asleep again. The joke is:

The Grandpa sends his grandson to the pharmacy to buy some Viagra and spends a Cypr. pound as gratification. The grandson does his work satisfactorily. The next day the grandson comes again to his grandfather and shows 3 pounds which should be added to his bankbook. "From where did you get the other two pounds?" the grandpa asks. "These are from the grandma!" is the answer.

After we have laughed enough we are nearly at the last station for today. This is an antique archeologic excavation named Apollon Ylatis. They tell us this and that and gradually we learn in which of the ruins there was the cold, the warm and the hot room of a Roman bath institution, a kind of ancient sauna. We talk to another older couple who wearily sit on a wall. The man suffers from his spinal discs (Bandscheibe) as he willingly declares. They have seen so much of the world from Minos to Yucatan, so they are not so impressed. We cannot keep up with this matter, only murmur Festos or something like that.

We then return along the promenade of Limassol but can only see it out of the windows of the bus. We better figure out, if we are in time for the supper and for a tetra pack red vine from the shop. We are in time and finally sit on the balcony until Heidi is soon tired and then produces sounds like the swoosh of the sea out of the back of the room. My birthday is over and I sum up my birthday gifts which are not tie and stockings but some books of Bill Bryson, two secateurs (Gartenschere) and two shirts from Quelle of Kingkong size and so will have to be sent back.

Walk to Cape Gkrecko, Story from the Past, Plants and Animals etc.
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