Cyprus in sixty seconds

An island of two halves, we just spent 10 days in the half (well, 65%) which is Greek Cyprus. We were hosted by Greek Cypriot and firm friend Stavros and his lovely wife Maroulla in Larnaca but with a loaned Honda plus a free beach villa we got to see a lot from the glamorous Anassa hotel in Latchi in the West to the listening posts of Cape Grecko and fleshpots of Agia Napa in the East via the Turkish front line in Nicosia.

Looking towards Kythrea from bunker in Nicosia

Sharing a holiday in Cyprus with a native is a unique experience.  One is as obliged to learn the history. Stav fought for independence and was wounded in 1974 and we saw his village (Kythrea) from the border as we stood on a bunker in Nicosia to view it. We felt his pain.

Cypriots are friendly; each citizen has a thousand cousins all of whom will invite you to dinner.  A barby for a Cypriot involves a whole sheep and a Fish Meze will feed a small platoon for a week. Eating is obligatory at all times.

The Venetians got thirsty too

Cloudless blue skies bore a fierce sun and running conditions were not ideal as midday temp was around 40 degrees every day but I managed one early morning sortie (temp a cool 27 degrees at 6.30am) which took in a Venetian aqueduct and a bamboo forest skirting a massive salt lake. http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/132811263

There was much talk of property and many Cypriots (those that can) buy or inherit plots for themselves or their children.  Land and property prices have soared since the troubles but the rental market is in the doldrums.  Cyprus has some amazing beaches (many of the best ones in the Turkish North) and if you take the trouble to go inland to the mountains you can ski in winter on Troodos Mountain or pick cherries there in spring.

Shrimpers on the salt lake

When you’ve explored a little history inland check out top hotels Anassa in Latchi and Grecian Park at Konnos Beach near Protaras. Shop in Nicosia but never at midday.  Eat Koulouri bread and fish meze at Zephyros in Larnaca. Drink Keo beer followed by Zivania and party till dawn at Agia Napa.  Smile and say “Yasas” a lot.

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