Cyprus Life – in pictures

My new life in Cyprus in images and words. I'm a British 50 something female, originally from a small mill town in Heywood, Lancashire (United Kingdom) and came to live in Limassol, Cyprus in March 2004. This is my photo blog about my new life as an expat on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Plus other things which catch my attention every once in a while…. Enjoy!

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How woeful is our beloved Curium Beach, Cyprus this year.

The winter storms seem to have made a particular mess of Curium Beach at Limassol (Episkopi Bay) – lots of small stones on what used to be fine strips of sand as well as big pebbles.

Chris Blue Beach has made a bit of an effort to clear those from in front of their restaurant (well, they had to given the money they’ve spent on their new facelift) but there are still lots of stones at the edges of the sea if you want to wade in barefoot and they’ve made little or no effort where the sunbeds are to the side of the restaurant.

If the tide is up there’s little place left to plonk your deck chair without being on the pebbles by the restaurants. For the last 2 summers’ we’ve gone further away from the restaurants (before you get to them, not too far from the gate to the riding stables on the sea road) but even this late in the season, it’s not always easy to get anywhere on the sand…. none of the pebbles have been cleared or washed away.

So as a change of venue, we’ve been visiting Ladies Mile Beach by Akrotiri and as long as it’s not too windy a day – the beach is lovely. It’s all sand, no pebbles and fabulously clear, shallow seas to walk into. There are kids inflatables and slides at a number of the restaurants along the beach and this year, we’ve been going at the side of the Oceania Club Bar.

It’s a great place for spotting the Trooper as it comes and goes at Akrotiri RAF base, as well as the helicopters going through their practice runs.

The other week, we were treated to the sight and sound of 2 of the tornados taking off as we drove through the outskirts of the RAF base as we passed alongside of the salt lake :D

A few photos from our recent trips (some from my camera and others by phone):

A spot of kayaking – my first and last time (I ended up in hospital the weekend afterwards and I lay all the blame on this “sport”)

Helicopter spotting over the salt lake behind the beach:

Ladies Mile Beach, Akrotiri peninsula:

Oceania Club Bar and beachfront

This is the part we go to, between the beach club and the boat launch area:

This is what we’re used to seeing at Curium Beach:

:-( This is now the reality:

I rather think we got spoiled by this on our recent visit back to UK:

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A short trip back “home” to UK for a family visit – Blackpool revisited.

Well our journey all went rather smoothly, which after reading all the horror stories of queues at the Cyprus airports etc we were very pleased with…

We flew from Larnaca to Liverpool John Lennon airport, had our car collected on the tarmac at the Departures drop off and returned back to the same place on our arrival back in Cyprus a week later. The car storage company telephoned to double check and give us info where to meet on drop off and again after our flight landed in LCA. The cost was just 34 EUR for this fab service!

Check in was very fast with easyJet on Tuesday evening – we arrived at the desks at approx 19:45 and there were 4 desks in operation. We went through very quickly and my carry on bag was also allowed to be checked in free of charge along with our main suitcase. I like to get rid of it but don’t really want to pay for a 2nd suitcase ;) Normally, on the return leg they make me take it onboard which means lugging it around the airport for 2hrs but not this time – it went back in the hold coming back as well :)

We stayed at the Hampton by Hilton Hotel, directly on the airport at Liverpool so no taxis or delays (our 3rd stay at this hotel). Off the plane and in our room 10 minutes later. Next morning after breakfast, we headed to Liverpool South Parkway railway station, collected our pre-paid tickets from the machine and managed to grab a train an hour earlier than planned so were in Blackpool North by 11:00hrs.

Our hotel room was ready when we arrived 15 minutes later on foot from the station and we were allocated a room right at the front overlooking the sea and to the North Pier at Blackpool. This from my mobile:

And this was our hotel for 6 nights, at The Bedford on the promenade at North Shore (near Pleasant Street tram stop)

The Bedford Hotel, Blackpool

We hit really lucky with the weather and although rain was forecast a couple of times later in the week, it never materialised but when I phoned my mum the morning after we got back home to Cyprus, it was raining there!

Some shots here from the first part of our week:

Presidents Cup at Knott End WM Club
Knott End bowling club

Pilling Pottery Gallery & Cafe:
Pilling Pottery cafe

Sunset from north shore (11 June) taken opposite the Tiffany’s Hotel on the seafront (Pleasant Street tram stop):
Blackpool Sunset

The one thing which really surprised us was how late it stayed light of an evening. The sunset photo was taken at around 22:00hrs and it still wasn’t dark then. We’d completely forgotten about that after 11yrs living in Cyprus because our other 2 trips back to UK have been in the winter months. This photo was taken at the same time but looking in the opposite direction which puts the light into perspective:
Blackpool Sunset Over Tiffany's

Along the prom:
Promenade Shelters, Blackpool

North Pier photos:
Blackpool North Pier

North Pier Kiosks - Blackpool

North Pier - Blackpool

The little boy in the red T-shirt caught my attention…. his backpack was almost as big as he was:
North Pier - Blackpool

The nearest we could get to our Curium Beach taverna – photos from my glass of wine at The Beach House cafe bar on the prom:
Blackpool Tower

Daddy and Daughter

Blackpool Promenade / Seafront

On our way out on Sunday evening at 21:00hrs – off for a few drinks.
Gay Pride weekend, Blackpool Tower colours (1)

One for my mate Trev – Knott End Ferry… we weren’t totally convinced it would get to the jetty as the tide on the Wyre was so low:
Will Knott End Ferry really get here (3)

North Euston Hotel, Fleetwood:
Fleetwood from Knott End Ferry landing (1)

Poulton-le-Fylde station, the last stop before Blackpool:
Poulton-le-Fylde railway station 2

Throw in a couple of evenings of entertainment at a nearby hotel, one of which entailed a reunion of some 80+ disc jockeys from the 1970s and 1980s who had travelled far and wide from the Nordic countries and including Denmark and Scandinavia as well as being transported back into the early 1960s of the Hi De Hi era (UK television programme for the uninitiated) and the “shiniest bald head competition”, it all left rather a surreal experience….

Thank heavens we had the forethought to take a trip down to Soul Suite opposite the Grand Metropole Hotel for an evening of Northern Soul and Motown music the night before!

The journey back went just as easily…. arrived early at Blackpool North so grabbed an earlier train which allowed us time to grab a bacon butty at Preston station and a brew as we had to leave the hotel before breakfast. The bus to the airport was waiting when we arrived at Liverpool South Parkway railway station and we were in the airport by 11:15 so had time to chill out before our flight left at 13:45 then back on terra firma about 20 minutes before schedule.

Oh well, it’s back to work on Monday for me :( but I still have the rest of the summer in Cyprus to enjoy!

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Catching up – it’s been a while:

Hmmm, had many problems in accessing my WordPress blog for quite a few months now….

Suddenly, WP has changed the goalposts and decided it wanted a username rather than my usual login – total nightmare because I couldn’t find it, or remember it no matter what I did or tried.

I even tried the Password Help form requesting to reset the password multiple times – but no email has ever been received! This is not the first occasion I’ve had this problem and it seems nobody ever replies and sends that “help” that’s most necessary :-(

Anyway, today somehow I managed to get here :-) More good luck than management, I believe!

So, rather than bombard you with lots of writing for you to read, I will give you some smidgens of what we’ve been up to since my last post which was waaaay back in November!

November 2014: we took a quick visit back to UK to see my parents. We stayed for 6 nights in sunny Blackpool at the Grand Metropole Hotel. Sadly, “Grand” it most certainly wasn’t :-( At the time of writing this article, according to TripAdvisor UK this hotel is “Ranked #67 of 74” hotels in Blackpool….. says a lot doesn’t it?

It definitely was “grand” once, many years ago before Butlins let it go to the Britannia Group of hotels. And apparently, the Grand Metropole isn’t the only one of it’s kind under this auspicious umbrella of hotels to meet with this same fate. It appears they are all very much “unloved”.

Doesn’t look bad from the outside does it? And, you have to remember that this is the ONLY hotel in the whole of Blackpool that is on the sea side of the resort. Don’t you think you would want to aim for a great reputation rather than scary as someone recently stated?

My review here of our stay on TripAdvisor – and please, take no notice of the so called “reply” from “joepiper” the General Manager as these are all simply copy/paste replies which he/she has since become famous for :-/ I was a bit miffed to say the least, hence my retort below:

To “joepiper” / Francis Sheridan (General Manager) of the Grand Metropole (Britannia Hotel group) please take note: this is NOT a “dubious inaccurate report” and I hope that now your staff have been “de-briefed” regarding the “disappointing elements of our stay” someone has finally decided to clean the filthy push plate on the Promenade Restaurant door!

Anyway, onwards and upwards…….

The Last Sunday of 2014: this was the view down at one of our most favourite beaches in Cyprus (Curium Beach) in the Limassol district on Episkopi Bay.

That was 28 December – the last Sunday of 2014. How did yours look?

Here we are already into 2015!
This below was 11 January (Sunday):

We decided to take a short photo shoot from above Curium Beach before meeting our friends at one of the beach bars there for lunch. There are 3 tavernas (Cypriot traditional restaurants) on Curium Beach and you can see them here pictured in the photo below:

Cyprus viewed through Roman eyes” – Is this how the Romans saw Curium / Kourion from their vantage point?
More photos here

1 February 2015:
Reflections of Limassol” – a whistle stop walking tour of Limassol old town and a quick stop for a cool drink on the New Limassol Marina:

I kid you not….. above is really the registration plate of this very expensive car. After a little research, it appears it’s registered in UK.

More photos from our whirlwind visit here

February 2015 – following some of the coldest temperatures we’ve experienced during 11 years of becoming permanent residents in Cyprus (yes, there was snow on the ground the day before we arrived at the sea levels in Limassol and Paphos holiday resorts), we took ourselves off to Coral Bay at the Paphos (western) end of the island for an overnight stay at the Panareti Coral Bay Resort. A very nice smallish hotel (we stayed on AI basis and paid around 50 GBP for bed, breakfast, evening dinner and all drinks included). We had a very nice 1 bedroom apartment but the only problem we had was we couldn’t keep the room warm due to the bitter temperatures from the previous days – even with our fan heater!

Above photo: View from beside the Thalassa Hotel at Coral Bay, Paphos.

This was the view from our room: One night All Inclusive at Coral Bay (Panareti Coral Bay Resort – Apt 402). One bedroom apartment sleeps 1 to 4 people.

I think that’s enough to whet your appetite. Lots more to come as we’ve been busy during the first quarter of the year…

Don’t forget you can keep abreast with all our excursions by following my photo diaries on Flickr or stay up to date with me on Twitter too!


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