After 13 years away I decided to make my grand return to the Motherland. Cyprus, home of various grilled meats, family guilt and olive oil! It’s been a long time since my last holiday here and the week I spent with friends and family was nothing short of a delight.
This year my trips have consisted of short city breaks, with the intention of discovering what Europe has on offer, so when it came to deciding where I should spend my actually holiday for the year I thought I’d continue my European trek and rediscover a country I’d missed.
I spent the first 8 hours of every day laying motionless on the beach, my pale, and borderline translucent skin toasting in the sun. My one aim for this trip was to get a tan, and I did…kind of. I came back a little more sunkissed than fully roasted but I’ll take what I can get. Laying out on Mckenzie Beach in Larnaca means you can capture every flight coming in to Larnaca International. September is considered the start of Winter to the locals, and most beaches are empty during the day, but the balmy 33 degree heat was perfect for a Londoner like me.
(Please note the cat in the bottom right corner)
With the majority of the trip spent at the beach and enjoying plenty of grilled seafood, and mountains of frappes, I found myself actually relaxing for once. I’ve never been one for a beach holiday, I would get too agitated in the sun, but the cool September breeze eased me and I was able to take advantage of the more peaceful holiday season.
This trip was not only an opportunity to get away from the smoggy air in London, but a chance to visit family I hadn’t seen in years, and a home I hadn’t visited in over 13 years.
My godmothers home holds a lot of wonderful memories from the trips myself and my parents would take when I was a child. The most vivid one being my grandfather cutting the head off of a chicken from the coop in the garden. I watched on from the entrance of the kitchen, horrified but hungry. It was served that evening, and my qualms dissipated when the meat hit my tongue.
Other than mutilation, the best memories revolve around the living room in that home, waking up every morning to watch reruns of Lois and Clark with greek subtitles, remain as clear as day in my head. My mum would make me a rose flavoured milkshake and everyone would be running around prepping for a day at the beach. We’d all pile in to a tiny little burgundy Ford and drive five minutes out to the beach. In the evenings, my parents would sit around with their greek coffees steaming, talking about everything and anything with each other, and I would be watching one of the dubbed 80’s classics that greek televisions stations syndicated all year round. Superman the Movie, and Short Circuit stick out a lot, once I think I remember catching the end of Back To The Future before bed and begging my parents to let me stay up til it finished.
Coming back to that house after so many years hit me with a wave a nostalgia, seeing it almost unchanged after so many years felt like I was walking into a snapshot of the past, like a Polaroid that had slipped from memory only to be found in the back of an album the same as you last left it. The only thing that had changed here, was me.
My getaway was short but wholly satisfying, there’s so much beauty hidden in Cyprus, and with more than a decade past since my last visit, rediscovering it all felt like I was here for the first time again. I had a chance to visit a very famous church in the village of Kiti called Angelohtisti, which in greek translate to Angel Built. The name speaks for itself as local legend says that Angels built this church in the name of Christ. It houses one of the oldest Byzantine images of Jesus Christ from the 6th century.
From one landmark to the other we stopped off at the Larnaca Salt Lake to watch the sun set behind the mountains along the horizon. I remember the last time I flew in to Cyprus, I was 11 years old and we landed at Larnaca airport around 6am. We drove past the salt lake and a flamboyance of Flamingos were striding across the lake. In the summer, the lake dries up to nothing but salt, but in early spring the water is shallow enough for most wildlife to thrive.
Churches and salt aside, I also had a chance to visit one of the softest beaches I’ve ever stepped onto, it was borderline quicksand and I loved it! Makronissos Beach in Ayia Napa overlooks almost crystal clear waters, and was the perfect way to bring my week long trip to a close. There’s so much more to this beautiful little island and I’ll be coming back more often now that my 13 year streak has been broken.
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