Continuing the time-honored tradition of the flyingnorthblog, and in an effort to encapsulate the Cyprus experience I’ve been thinking about the best and the worst this island nation has to offer – my top six lists.
Top six Cyprus disappointments.
1. Even though the Cypriots are about as tall as the Sicilians and the Maltese, for some reason the urinals are high. Ergo, I had some challenging moments in North Nicosia. Lydia suggested I travel with a step stool just in case.
2. The local tour operators are particularly bad, so if you want to take a day trip and it seems like it will be an overwhelming effort to do it on your own – do it on your own. Otherwise, you will be in a group of ancient British – and not the kind you find in a museum.
3. I’m all for globalization, but enough already with the fast food joints. Do we really need a Pizza Hut in every city in Cyprus? Or a Taco Bell in Limassol?
4. I’ve seen more places to buy furs than one can imagine. Does one really need a fur at the beach? I also assume, from my observation, that bright blue eye shadow and stone-washed jeans are free with every purchase. Perhaps this has something to do with the Russian presence on the island?
5. The hotel wanted to charge five euros [approximately seven dollars] to launder a T-shirt. I was tempted to send one shirt in riddled with every organic and inorganic stain I could imagine and see what that money actually buys.
6. I am very confused about the laws governing shops. All shops close early on Wednesdays [13h30] and it is illegal for hairdressers or barbers to be open on Thursdays. Wha?
Top six Cyprus plusses!
1. The coastline, particularly near Pafos, is gorgeous – and with seawater the color it was meant to be, not the color it is in the North Atlantic.
3. Having come from a New York City that experienced more snow than at a Grammy after-party, the sun in Cyprus was a welcome friend. Now maybe my doctor will stop bothering me about getting more Vitamin D.
4. Listening to the sound of waves crashing on the beach as you fall asleep is priceless, and much better than the iPhone app.
5. I had the best chicken kebab [or kebap as they spell it] sandwich I’ve ever had in Limassol [at ΚΟΤΟΠΟΥΛΑ ΣΧΑΡΑΣ — To Kokopaki, 14, Georgiou A’Yermasoyia. 25 32 70 90]. They actually put the fries [chips for my Commonwealth readers] IN the pita with the rest of it. Brilliant.
6. I got to share my hotel with a platoon of German army blue-bereted [and considerably tattooed] U.N. peacekeepers. I’m glad my Masters degree is in International Relations.
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