Cyprus 6

Family Holiday Diary 2016


(Photo of our villa.)


We decided to go back to Old Pathos (the place that was completely deserted and inspired the creepy story: I just could not believe the guidebook could be so completely wrong. Only J wanted to come with us, the others all checked where we kept our will and where the passports were, just in case…

It was completely different. The car park was full, there were tourists everywhere. The market was full, lots of lace, leather goods, local wine, fake designer handbags and wine. I bought gifts and had a good look round. Then spent a few hours sitting under a convenient fan while J chose a wallet. Seriously, took hours. Important decision. (Will mainly hold used train tickets, but who am I to judge? Might be a need for them one day if anyone opens a train ticket museum.)

After lunch, we drove to look for a shipwreck I had spied from the hill top. Organised D had done a Google search of “Shipwrecks near Pathos”, found the exact location, and marked it on our map. J then left map on kitchen table. Drove west along coastline, saw lots of sea caves in the white cliffs. Found wreck. Apparently it had hit a rock further out to sea, veered off course, and hit the shore. I cannot imagine how such a huge boat had managed to not see the coast. Perhaps the pilot was looking for Pokemon or something. Interesting for us though. We could walk right up to it, and someone was swimming and climbed up onto the deck.

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There is another wreck, nearer to Pathos. That one is slightly out to sea, and has grounded on some rocks near the surface. It’s a bit of a worry for the hoteliers I should think, as if it breaks up there will be lots of sharp metal shards on the beaches. At present it’s an interesting view. You can see the waves breaking where the rocks are (though obviously the pilot missed those. Or rather, didn’t miss those.) Expensive mistake for someone.


Dinner back at The Old Cinema Tavern in Pegeia. We shared a Mini Meze (nothing mini about it) and D and J shared a Full Meze. This amounted to a lot of food. It’s served in many courses, a bit like Spanish tapas. Meats, olives, pittas, beans with sage, feta, grilled halloumi. The males planned an eating strategy, H and I ignored them and ate what we wanted. J took photos of every course and then every empty plate. To be honest, I think the empty plate photos will all look quite similar…must be a Physics thing.

Finished with grapes and shots, and played charades. H had trouble counting number of words in titles. M had trouble miming “Texas”. Restaurant owner ignored us (which was good.)


A lazy day. They all made sandcastles on the beach (doesn’t seem to be something they’re growing out of. Though they are more sculptures than sandcastles these days.) I walked around a development of new houses near the villa. This area of Cyprus has a LOT of new houses being built, whole streets of them. In some areas they have just built the roads, in preparation, others have whole streets. They tend to be built in order, the walls and roof first, then solar panels and a water heater on the roof, then they plaster the walls, before adding windows, woodwork etc. Lots of streets have one or two finished houses, I guess to entice buyers. They even fill the swimming pool and plant flowers in one garden (a bit strange when it’s in a half built street.) I had noticed that many of the road signs and all the estate agent signs, have writing in Greek, English and Mandarin. It’s unusual to see Mandarin on street signs outside of China. A waiter told me that this is because if you buy a property over €300,00 then Cyprus will issue a European passport. This makes it a good investment place for rich Chinese people.

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It was M and H’s anniversary, and they wanted to cook and eat together at the villa, so the rest of us arranged to eat at Trattoria La Vigna, an Italian restaurant in Coral Bay that we could walk to.

Thank you for reading. On Monday I’ll tell you about our last day and the Tombs of the Kings.



Hidden Faces – a book to make you smile, think, and enjoy. Have you bought your copy yet?




Cyprus 5

Family Holiday Diary 2016


We checked out of Annabel Hotel, Pathos, and drove along the coast to Coral Bay. We had rented a villa for the last week of the holiday. R and S had left to return to work, so it was just M, girlfriend H, J, with me and D. We drove there via a supermarket (parking always stressful, but foreign supermarkets are usually interesting. This one was fairly standard, disappointing.)

The villa, booked through James Villas, was fairly basic, very brown, but will be fine as long as nothing breaks. It has air conditioning (essential) but only in the bedrooms – so I decided pretty quickly that home cooking was not on the menu. Coral Bay is a mix of beautiful coastline and trashy restaurants. We ate in a ‘traditional’ restaurant that wasn’t traditional at all, just over priced and full of ‘Brits Abroad’. Hope we find somewhere nicer tomorrow.


Woke late after a terrible night. Lazed around, swam/read. M worked (still finishing dissertation) then stepped fully clothed into swimming pool. As a suicide attempt it was lame, but I can think of no other reason.

Found washing line (most exciting feature of villa) and hung up classy fluffy expensive beach towels that we bought in the supermarket. (The expensive bit is true.) Ate stale bread for lunch.

Drove to catacombs. Quite interesting, though spoilt by all the litter. One cave had a pool of water (hard to see in the dark) which J washed his muddy shoe in and then worried might be a leaking sewage pipe. Afterwards read guidebook (why does my family always read them after the visit?) and discovered that actually it was miraculous water. All hoped it might improve his rather ugly feet, but no change so far.


Drinks in McDonalds (so nice, mainly because it was cool in there.)

Stopped on way back to villa to photograph banana plantations. This area has lots of them. It was interesting because you could see the various stages, from flower, to tiny beginnings to full bananas – which were then covered in blue plastic bags. Never found out why, so do tell if you know.

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Walked from villa to beach. D claims this is a 7 minute walk. It isn’t. It is 10 minutes of fast walking to the top of the cliff. Beach crowded, sea nice – not cold, wonderfully blue with gentle waves. J looked for fish and saw a mammoth (no alcohol involved, so not sure how he managed that.)

Dinner at The Old Cinema Tavern next to the church in Pegeia square (99380842). It was very nice, traditional Greek food (without the dancing or pervy glass balancing man.) It was recommended by the woman who works in the supermarket. {Top travel tip: Forget guidebooks, just ask the woman who works in the local supermarket for places to eat. They will be better, cheaper, and more traditional than anything you’ll find in tourist guides!} When we finished our meal, they brought us plates of fresh fruit and shots of zivania. This was a little like drinking paint stripper. H was surprisingly proficient at drinking shots…

Drove back to villa. Saw the glasses balancing man doing his act (complete with “hand up volunteers’ skirts” routine) in a different Greek restaurant. Evoked an extremely strong reaction from both boys. This is how wars are started. So glad we hadn’t chosen that particular place to eat.


I read the book of Acts, about Paul visiting Salamis and Pathos 2,000 odd years ago. Pretty cool to read about places we’ve visited ourselves.

Stale bread and cereal for breakfast. D tried to educate everyone in early eighties music and played Alan Parsons Project. Loudly. Not sure everyone appreciated it. I washed my extra expensive quality fluffy towel with tee-shirts. Tee-shirts now covered in fluff.

Bought a selection of pastries for lunch. Olive bread a challenge due to olive stones. One pastry seemed to contain toothpaste, wasn’t popular. Also, we keep having ants in the kitchen. Have designated Dustbin Dave to empty rubbish regularly (he is objecting to name.)

Went for drive. Followed signs saying “Waterfall: Road suitable for all cars”. Followed signs for a long way – until they led off tarmac road onto gravel track with sheer drop on one side. Decided we didn’t want to see waterfall that much. Fantastic views of Pathos and coastline from hills. Walked along deserted hills for a while, then came to some leather chairs under a sunshade. Bizarre.


Dinner in Imogens Tavern in Kathikas (another recommendation from supermarket lady.) Sat at tables with chequered cloths with candles under vines and fig trees. Not bad at all.


If you enjoyed this, you will love my new book: The Sarcastic Mother’s Holiday Diary.
I have always written a diary on holiday, so last Christmas, I decided to find all my old diaries and blogs, and make a book for my children. However, several other people also asked for a copy, so I have written a public version – it’s available on Amazon and has been described as “The Durrells meet Bill Bryson”!

Why not buy a copy today? I think it will make you laugh.

The US link is here:

The India link is here:

The UK link is here:


Strong characters and light humour in an easy read novel – why not buy a copy for the weekend?

Hidden Faces final cover 6 July 2016