Hello my dearest of dears! This blog post is going to be about Cyprus, a small island divided between the Greek and Turkish people. Traveling to Cyprus at the end of October was a blast. Why? Oh well, mostly because it was still summer! I mean 30 Celsius degrees! And I guess you all know that I am a summer girl. Always have and always will be. Anyway, got to visit many cities and got to feel the real Cypriot vibe in those 4 days I’ve been staying there. I have to tell you, visited 4 cities and each of them was totally different than the other one. I was kind of mesmerized by this. But hey… let me tell you more! Ready, steady, go!
Had planned this trip with husband, but then my lovely boss (also friend) wanted to tag along… so she joined us as well, with another friend of hers. Therefore, team of 4 was created! Got there with Ryanair, paid 150 euros – round trip tickets for husband and I. Landed in Paphos and from the airport to the city center we took a bus for only 1.5 euros each, as far as I remember. In no longer than 30 minutes we made it to the city. Yaaay!
DAY 1. So our base was in Paphos, a lovely Cypriot town, with a cute harbor and a little castle by the sea, nice restaurants by the waterfront promenade, white Greek houses aaaand also many many English pubs. Yup! You read it well, in a culturally mixed country between the Greeks and the Turks… English pubs. Why? Because Cyprus used to be under the dominion of the British Empire, administered sequentially from 1878 to 1914 as a British protectorate, a unilaterally annexed military occupation from 1914 to 1922 and from 1922 to 1960 as a Crown colony. So yeah, many English people are actually residents on this side of Cyprus. Ohhh and they also drive on the left, as in UK!
We stayed at Charalambous Apartment (rated as “Exceptional 9.5” on Booking) and paid 128 euros for 3 nights. The apartment was very nice, at ground floor, also with a cute terrace! Very cozy! Would stay there again.
Checked-in and went outside for a stroll, of course. Ohhhh I can still feel the warmth of that late October sun. So pleasant! PS: I think it’s about time for people to know how badass I am. Ok, I usually don’t smoke so that’s gonna make me only half a badass, right? Anyway, I just wanted to impersonate Frida from my T-shirt hahaha.
While husband was handling his drone to shoot some cool videos over Paphos, this storm came in super quickly. I don’t know why, but I kind of love storms. I love how they rush in and how they also vanish away. They just come and go. As simple as that. Storms are good for our souls. When you see them coming from afar, don’t start running away. Just be still. Sit and wait in quiet. Wait for the storm to come and wash all over you. Don’t resist it, but embrace it! I guess I am associating storms with breaking points that are sometimes happening in our lives. People have the tendency to close their eyes and pretend the storm isn’t there. Wrong! In order to grow, you have to face it and let things happen the way they’re meant to happen. It’s like surrendering, letting go of control issues. Extremely hard for most of us, also for me. Anyway, let’s go back to the trip now. Enough with this deep shit talking. I know it’s not for all of you. But it might mean something to someone though.
Had our dinner in the harbor while waiting for the storm to pass, then bought some Romanian wine from a store nearby our accommodation and drank it on the terrace. Finding my favorite Romanian wine in Cyprus was a total plus added to this trip!
DAY 2. Woke up early in the morning and went to Limassol, the closest big city next to Paphos, en route to Larnaca. Paid 4 euros each for a bus ticket and traveled for approximately 1 hour.
Limassol is the second largest urban area in Cyprus after Nicosia, with an urban population of 183,658 and a metropolitan population of 239,842. Limassol has been ranked by TripAdvisor as the 3rd up-and-coming destination in the world, in its Top 10 Traveler’s Choice Destinations on the Rise.
The architecture differed so much from what I’ve seen in Paphos and also here, got to see many many Indian people. So in Paphos English people, in Limassol Indian people. Cyprus didn’t cease to impress me! I was really curious about what was next to discover on this island.
Spent only few hours here… stopped for a beer and then took some photos with this Cypriot city. My boss and her friend were spending their day on the beach, so husband and I went further to Larnaca. They arrived a bit later. So funny how during this trip I didn’t have time to lay on the beach, not even for 2 hours. I don’t even know how this is possible while visiting cities that are famous for their beaches. It happened to me in Barcelona as well. I guess I am always saying “tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow”… but then I find exploring cities more interesting than just lying my ass on the beach.
Took another bus from Limassol to Larnaca and paid again 4 euros each. Got to Larnaca in approximately 1 hour. We also had an accommodation here, because we couldn’t have visited Nicosia the next day, otherwise.
We stayed at Blue View (rated as “Superb 9.0” on Booking) and paid only 54 euros for a 4 persons apartment. Whaaaat? Super cheap, I know. Very pleasant stay! Ohhh and here also, we had a biiiig terrace.
After we checked-in, went outside to take some photos in that gorgeous sunset light and to find a restaurant where to have our dinner. The girls also arrived from Limassol and we enjoyed our time together by having a glass of wine, before going to sleep.
DAY 3. Husband and I woke up super early to see the sunrise and to wander through the city in the morning. Larnaca seemed so similar to other Greek cities that I’ve already visited before. Felt quite familiar being there. So yeah, this part of Cyprus seemed more like Greece to me, but it might be just my impression. Anyway, Larnaca is known for its palm-tree seafront, the Church of Saint Lazarus, Hala Sultan Tekke, Kamares Aqueduct, and Larnaca Castle.
Had our breakfast at one of these cute restaurants on the seafront (can’t remember which one, story of my life) but I have to tell you this: the food in Cyprus is sooo yummy! And they always serve you huge portions regardless of what you’re ordering. They’re not cheap at all when it comes to food. I guess they know that happiness goes through the stomach hahaha.
Girls went to the beach again, while me and husband went to visit the salt lake in Larnaca. Here… during November to March, you may see… Flamingo birds!!! Whaaat? I so wanted to see even a single lost birdie which might have arrived earlier but nah, didn’t happen. Anyway, being on such a huuuge salt ground was quite an experience. I don’t have pictures but husband has a video on Youtube with drone shots over Cyprus and also with this salt lake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvSZdyCsa4I. Enjoy!
After filming the lake, we were in a super hurry to get the bus to Nicosia. And when I mean super hurry, I mean we had to run for like 10-15 minutes non stop with our heavy back-packs until the bus stop. The driver was super nice and actually waited for us (my boss asked him to). So we safely got on board and traveled to Nicosia which is actually the capital of Cyprus. Slept all the way until there. I guess waking up in the morning is not my forte haha. Paid another 4 euros each and got to Nicosia in 1 hour.
Nicosia, also known as Lefkosia, is the last divided capital in the world. It is a historical city with walled old town and gorgeous landmarks, but brutally split in two with a border zone, a wall that symbolizes the crisis that still today keeps the two sides of Cyprus apart. One half of the capital belongs to the Republic of Cyprus, another to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
It was a very unique experience to actually pass a military border by foot and see how two cultures are separated by one street. Trust me, one minute you feel like you are in Greece, while the next minute you see mosques and bazaars just like in Turkey. Totally recommend visiting it!
Spent only few hours here, but had enough time to wander through the old town of Nicosia and to have our lunch: Turkish food and afterwards alsooo some Turkish tea. I’ve been missing it a lot since being in Istanbul in June!
These 2 last pictures are from the Greek side of Nicosia and I think you can easily make the difference between the 2 sides of the capital. I still can’t believe how the scenery totally changed by just crossing one street (the border). It was literally like visiting 2 countries in the same city.
The Ledras Street border crossing inside the walled city is very popular among both locals and tourists, and the easiest way to see both sides of the old Nicosia. When crossing from south, you need to show your passport to Greek side police officers, then walk the short distance to another passport check point in north side. It has been a very quick check with friendly service.
We then took the bus back to Paphos, paid 7 euros each and got there in 2 hours. That night we had some pancakes and a glass of wine at a restaurant near the seafront. I remember a lot of Romanian people working and living in Cyprus. That was fun, being able to talk your native language in a foreign country.
DAY 4. Our last day in Cyprus. The returning flight was kind of early so we actually didn’t do anything else. Just woke up, checked out and went to the airport. Said goodbye to lovely Cyprus!
My overall opinion is that Cyprus is a quite laid-back country, even though its political situation is not among the easiest ones. At least, I can assure you that you will feel more than safe and pleasant in the southern side of Cyprus, therefore, totally recommend visiting this country. Next time I’ll be there, promised myself I will be spending some time on the beach as well haha.
Until next time,
- Our stay in Cyprus: 20.10.2018 – 23.10.2018
- Bucharest – Paphos and return flight: Ryanair 150 euros
- Accommodation in Paphos: Charalambous Apartment 128 euros
- Accommodation in Larnaca: Blue View 54 euros per apartment / 27 euros for two
- Total: 305 euros as a couple
PS: If you are using booking.com to find the best accommodations like I do, then you should use the following link to receive 10% of your money back on your next travel! It’s a win-win situation… so why not?