Cyprus 7

Family Holiday Diary 2016



We went to The Tombs of the Kings. The guidebook said the best time to visit is early morning. It probably is. We went at midday. (We all have to go out every day, otherwise we distract M, who is finishing his Masters.) Unbelievably hot. Wasted some time looking at some interesting rocks with holes in them. By the time we found the actual tombs, we were too hot to be interested. Which was a shame, because actually they were pretty amazing. Great underground caverns with pillars and courtyards. But hot. When the family declared they would pay me the admission fee just to be allowed to leave, I figured they’d had enough. We left and went to McDonalds (it pains me to write those words. But it was wonderfully cool. Plus they have coffee milkshakes in Cyprus.)

IMG_5095 Tomb of the Kings. Even though, they were not built for kings.

Swam/read. J did some kind of physics experiment involving an empty cola bottle suspended mid way in pool. Something to do with pressure. Absolutely no idea why. M worked. Weather clouded over, so D began a Google search for “Holidays in Sahara” (he will be going alone.)

Dressed for dinner. J tried to push H into pool, so I pushed him in. Boys then pushed H in. Were late for dinner. Went back to the Chinese restaurant in Pathos.


Our last day. Feel rather fond of villa now, despite the uncomfortable bed and sofa and the brown furnishings. M wanted to work for the morning, so we all went to a museum that showed the struggle of Eoka – the fight for Cyprus to be independent of the Brits in the 1950’s. It’s when Grandpa was doing his National Service here (as one of the ‘baddies’, according to the museum. There weren’t any photos of him though.) It was hot and not especially interesting, mainly a few photos and notebooks copied and enlarged several times and displayed in different ways. But it used up about an hour. One feature that was extremely interesting was the dragon’s nest. Until the early 1950’s, dragons were still wild in Cyprus and they have preserved one of the nests next to the museum.


D and I walked in the hill town of Pegeia. Lots of signs of ‘normal’ Cypriot life, away from the tourists. Fruit trees, families eating outside, gardens with urns of flowers, steep roads, battered cars, and amazing views down to the sea.

Returned to villa to find H had swam FOUR lengths underwater. Males in awe.

Last dinner at Old Cinema Tavern. Good food, relaxed atmosphere, friendly service. The owner gave us a bottle of wine as a leaving gift.

It has been a lovely two weeks. Everyone is seems contented. Packing always awful. My slightly too tight shorts that I brought to wear at the end of the holiday, after I’d lost weight swimming, never left the suitcase. Instead my ‘baggy’ shorts are quite snug! Might do some exercise next week.

Cyprus is a mix of very old remains and extremely new builds. I do hope the rate of growth is sustainable. The people are mostly friendly and helpful (though beware anyone who balances glasses on their heads.) The weather is hot. In August, it’s very hot.

IMG_5108 IMG_5112 IMG_5109


Thank you for reading. Next Monday I’ll write another letter to my sister, explaining why I might never see my boys again…


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.

IMG_5054 IMG_5056

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.

IMG_5117 IMG_5116

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 4

Family Holiday Diary 2016


Pathos has a beach front full of shops and restaurants designed for tourists. Most of them seem to be English. We ate in Bacchus, a Bistro overlooking the sea. They were very friendly (the old man who enticed us in gave us his home-grown cucumbers to try). Food was a bit rough.

Drank cocktails in bar.


Breakfast at 9. Everyone surprisingly awake. Apparently, if you have a room overlooking the restaurant, it gets noisy from 7am. Breakfast was busy, but had a huge variety of food to choose from.

M worked (beware, gentle reader, if one does a Masters course for one year from September, it can somewhat eat into your holiday.) Rest of us considered sitting in silence to support him, then swam/read/sunbathed instead.

Nice lunch in cafe opposite hotel (a fraction of hotel prices.)

Swam in sea, which was cold and had big rocks near the surface, so you had to be careful. Played ‘netball’ in the pool and didn’t get shouted at by attendant (we sometimes have rather unhappy relationships with pool attendants on holiday.) S swam a length underwater. H didn’t, which was tactful of her.

Chinese for dinner. Very nice, though slightly strange being in a Chinese restaurant where no one at all was Chinese. Perhaps the cooks were.


Breakfast a bit ‘old’ – had been there a while I fear. Not everyone made it to breakfast due to extensive clubbing the night before (will remain nameless, but they know who they are…)

Swam/read on balcony. Pleasant.

Lunch at La Place Royal opposite hotel again. M dropped a chip and a whole deluge of ants arrived (waitress swept them away with a broom.) Big telly was showing Olympics.

D and S played table tennis (obviously inspired by Olympics.)

Drove to Pathos old town. Guide book showed bustling markets, interesting churches and mosques, historical sites. Hmm, not what we saw. Firstly, we got lost trying to leave town, as there were random one-way streets and closed roads not marked on the map (apparently – J was map reading.) Found some ruins, with St Paul’s pillar, by chance. This was where St Paul was tied when he was whipped (I have to say, this story does not appear in my Bible, where his trip to Pathos was relatively smooth, but perhaps I missed it. There was a pillar, clearly labelled, so who am I to doubt its authenticity?)

Finally made it to old Pathos. A large sign directed us to parking, but we realised just in time that it was pointing to a steep flight of steps, so didn’t drive down there. No other cars in carpark (which perhaps should have been a clue.) Wandered around. It was very hot. Everywhere was deserted. There was a gun on the floor, and sounds of chanting from the church. The shops had mannequins straight from a horror movie, all the roads had been dug up, cafes and market were all deserted. A few isolated cars and bikes passed us – we began to think they were all driven by the same few people. It was very weird. It also made for a perfect story, so I wrote one (I didn’t have to use much imagination!):

IMG_4973 IMG_4971 image IMG_4978

Decided we would visit again another day. Returned to the seafront. Arrived back at Annabel hotel. D drove up to the barrier and spoke into the intercom.
D: Hello – Guest-e-o (why??)
Reply: Hello, welcome.
D: Welcome (why?? Why repeat welcome?)
Reply: Are you a guest?

We all refused to walk in with him.

J informed me that, “Physics is all the interesting parts of maths.” So much I do not understand in that statement.

Went to Democritos, which promised to be a traditional Greek restaurant with music and dancing. There was a good menu, a pretty atmosphere, and live music by some talented musicians. Had a very nice selection of starters to share. And then the dancing began… I have to say, Greek dancing is somewhat repetitive by the time it is in its fiftieth loop of repeated steps. A man came and balanced glasses on his head. Lots of them. He wore a badge declaring he was a Guinness World Record holder – was tempted to ask him what for. He asked for volunteers to add glasses and then put his hand up their skirts. M and J decided he was a pervert. It was a very long evening. I think perhaps Greek restaurants are something you only need to experience once in your lifetime. It has been much discussed since. At the time, I was just bored – I now realise how lucky I am that M and J didn’t get up and punch the glass balancing man (I much prefer the bored option.)


Thank you for reading. Tomorrow I will tell you about our villa in Coral Bay (and how we saw the glasses balancing man again…)


If you enjoyed this, why not sign up to follow my blog?