08/03/2010, Larnaca Cyprus
After hiding in our cool cabin all night we ventured out. We assembled our trusty folding bikes and took off on a little preliminary/exploratory mission. Once out of the marina we found ourselves in touristville. The beach was completely covered with umbrellas and sun beds. People were actually sitting in the sun?? It was scorching out! The Russian tourists seem to be of a tougher variety.?? We met our friends for lunch followed by a quick stop at the hardware store. We found the city to be very European with lots of international and Mediterranean restaurants. In the afternoon we retreated to our air conditioned hide away. The next day we took an early walking tour around the city. Even though most of the city has been rebuilt it still retains some old world flavor, lots of narrow cobble stone streets, old stone buildings with balconies overflowing with bougainvillea. There were good smells too like bakeries with wood fired ovens. We like it here.
We rented a car and took off for the wine country. Our friends Tim and Rose came along. Our first stop was the 13th century medieval castle of Kolossi. As we roamed around inside it wasn't hard for the imagination to take over. It would be a great place for a round of hide and seek. Back in the Air Conditioned Car we wound our way up the mountain roads. Soon we were among the vineyards and passed through several small villages. We finally stopped for lunch in a little village on the hillside. We snaked our way through the cobble stone streets and found a little Taverna. We had a most enjoyable lunch that lasted two hours. The dining area was under a giant grape arbor which provided shade from the blazing sun. A soft breeze even found its way in and we became mesmerized by the whole scene.
Next we headed to a small winery for some tasting. After several stops in picturesque villages for coffee we headed down out of the cool mountains.
We spent next 2 days touring the island with our rented car. Next, we showed up in Nicosia, the divided capital separating the Northern Turkish half form the Southern Greek half. Lots of stories there..... Unfortunately most everything was closed because it was Saturday afternoon. We headed out into the country and wound up back in the cooler quaint little villages in the mountains again.
The air was dry and not a shot. It was fun to walk around the little cobble stone alley ways. We peered into little shops and old churches stopping for coffee here and there.
On our final day with the car we headed East along the coast. We planned to stop for a picnic lunch along the coast but it was just too hot.
Our day was spent driving from site to site then jumping out of out Air Conditioned Car and quickly look around. We'd look at each other and say "CHECK" then leap back in the car and head down the road. Finally we stopped at a seaside restaurant for a late lunch. There was a breeze that helped cool things down a little.