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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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 - 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!


We’re front page news – cover photo on Cyprus Living Magazine

Yep, we’re feeling really pleased just now as one of our CyprusPictures flickr account photos has been chosen for the front cover of Cyprus Living Magazine (Paphos based) November issue. :-)

Not only that, for the very first time the magazine has now been published online, which means our photo will get even more coverage!

Soooo, which photo is it?
It’s this one, a particular favourite of mine, of a broken wooden staircase outside an old village house in the village of Vouni.

Wooden staircase, village house, Vouni village, Cyprus

Broken wooden staircase at Vouni village, Limassol

The photo was taken (with numerous others) during a day out with special friends on 1st October 2014 (Cyprus Independence Day). As always on a public holiday, we try to get out and about with friends and it usually involves a stop for lunch somewhere along the way.

Our first stop was the original village (now abandoned) of Pano Kivides in the lower foothills of Troodos. Due to high danger of landslides, the residents of Pano Kivides felt it was safer to move to an alternative position and so a new village was built a little lower down the Erimi to Omodos Road. You can see it on the right hand side of the road where the road humps are in abundance after you have passed the Souni village turnoff on the E601.

Some of our photos below from the village of Pano Kivides. The church of St George is the one building which shows real signs of life and it is still used for services.

Pano Kivides abandoned village

Pano Kivides abandoned village

Pano Kivides abandoned village

Next stop was the village of Vouni, which is very much inhabited. It was good to be able to take the time to wander around on foot as driving in the narrow streets is extremely difficult. We hadn’t been to Vouni Village for many years and we noticed a number of improvement had/were being carried out. Unfortunately, because of the public holiday we struggled to find anywhere for our lunch stop…

Vouni village, Limassol, Cyprus

Vouni village, Limassol, Cyprus

Vouni village, Limassol, Cyprus

So, nowhere nearby for lunch meant we were heading for our favourite local lunch spot in the sunshine… off we went to the Kourion Beach Restaurant on the shores of the Mediterranean below the ancient Roman ruins of Kourion ampitheatre.

Curium Beach, Episkopi, Limassol – Cyprus
Curium Beach, Cyprus

For more photos of our day out check out the Cyprus Independence Day flickr album.

You can view the online version here of the Cyprus Living Magazine


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