So far, everything has been a little backwards in Cyprus. For example, we’re only getting to experience excursions once we’ve already been selling them for a few weeks. This hasn’t been great as we’ve been blind selling and trusting a description but at least now we’re finally getting to go on some.
The island tour was something I was looking forward to but also dreading. Looking forward to because we were finally going on an excursion and exploring the island but dreading because after a ridiculously busy week of work, we had to drag ourselves out of bed early on our day off. I’ll be honest and admit that our hearts weren’t truly in it and the majority of us slept a lot but it was still nice to see a bit of the island.
First stop was a view of Aphrodite’s Rock, said to be the personal bathing grounds of the Goddess of love. Legend has it that if you bathe in the water, you look ten years younger. The coastline is pretty but the rock is basically just a rock. We literally jumped off the bus, took a picture and jumped back on.
Next we stopped at a little village in Larnaca where we got to explore a traditional Cypriot community. We had a look around a Greek Orthodox Church which again was covered in gold and very grand. There was a bit of an issue though as our friend almost got pickpocketed in the church! Under the eyes of God and everything but thankfully, someone else noticed before anything happened. We had a little wander around the village but to be honest, there wasn’t much to it.
Our next stop was the capital of Nicosia. We had some free time and wandered down the main high street, exploring some shops. Nicosia is the last divided capital in the world. In 1974, the Turkish invaded the Northern part of Cyprus and to this day, it is still occupied. The buffer zone runs right through the middle of Nicosia, right through the middle of the high street for that matter. All of a sudden, you come to a checkpoint and to carry on, you need to produce your passport. I was fascinated by the idea of this but disappointed by the reality. In actuality, it is a snake system in the middle of the street with a man in a little box who checks your passport. Not the big deal I thought it was going to be. We also had lunch in Nicosia in a cute little Cypriot restaurant in a secluded beer garden out the back. We tried saganaki for the first time which is cheese in a kind of batter. I liked it but have been told that wasn’t a good one. Ash hated it with a passion, he said it smelt like sick. Lovely! We ordered a chicken meze platter to share which was delicious. It consisted of chicken wings, chicken pieces, chicken kebab, pitta bread, potato, chips and various dips. It was delicious and very reasonably priced at 16€ for a huge platter. We also tried tzatsiki for the first time which I liked but Ash also hated. We’re working on expanding his tastebuds.
After our delicious lunch stop, we headed up into the Troodos Mountains again. Firstly we stopped at a tiny church which was kind of creepy as the first room has lots of images of Mary, Jesus and Saints painted on the walls who’s eyes all seemed to follow you around the room. The second room was creepier though as all the eyes had been scratched out. Let me tell you, we got out of there in a hurry.
Our final stop was in Omodos, the little mountain village we stopped in on the jeep safari. Having already explored before, we opted for a cafe break instead where Ash and I got pistachio ice cream, Oreo ice cream and rose sorbet to share. All were delicious!
By the end of the long day, we were exhausted. It was nice to see new parts of the island but what we had seen wasn’t really anything to write home about. If the island tour was my only experience of Cyprus, I honestly would be disappointed. Hopefully there are some more thrilling excursions to come!
All opinions are my own and just that: opnions. This blog post was not sponnsored or endorsed in any way.