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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Time Is Running Out


This may very well be my final post about “Cyprus Life” although the pictures will still be there for many years to follow…. But, in less than 2 weeks time our Cyprus Life will have changed and it will be back to UK life for us😦

Sad….. but needs must. My father is sick and as such hasn’t been able to travel to visit us in Cyprus since February 2013.

Here’s me (in the green/teal coloured fleece top) with my parents ahead of me in Limassol old town, close to St Andrews Street  during an “around town walk” on their last visit:

limassol-seafront-and-old-town_8479528554_o.jpg

My dad was showing the onset of his Parkinson’s disease then with that stoop over to the right side. Little did we know how quickly it would take hold of him….

Three years down the line and he cannot walk more than half a dozen steps unaided, finds it difficult to manage his wheeled zimmer frame and most outdoor activities all feature his new addition, a wheelchair.

June 2015 – me and my hubby took a holiday back to the UK and had 5 or 6 days to spend with my parents. We were fairly lucky with the weather so we did manage to get about a bit and my Dad was just about walking (with assistance) using his frame:

An afternoon watching the bowling at the local Working Men’s Club:

knott-end-bowling-club_18920613001_o

Dad’s name on the list of Presidents Cup winners in 1994:

presidents-day-winner-1994---my-dad_18891065086_o

Pilling Pottery tea rooms – another sunny day:

pilling-pottery-cafe_18731203049_o

We got a little “Blackpool time” to ourselves too:

north-pier---blackpool_18296895943_o

north-pier-kiosks---blackpool_18731429289_o

However, we were aware that things weren’t going to improve in both of my parents’ lives so we had to start doing some serious thinking. A few things were sorted out back home to make matters a bit easier for us all and then we started to mull over how we could make things work.

On our last visit to Blackpool and my parents’ home at the end of January 2016 we spent a week solid just looking at properties in the Blackpool area. We found one quite by accident on our third day, even to the point of having an offer accepted and a surveyors appointment booked – only to be let down late on a Friday afternoon by the vendors who decided instead of cancelling the second viewing from someone else as they had promised, they chose to accept a higher offer.

After that it all went a bit skew wift and steadily downhill for us as we were just starting to relax thinking we had it all sorted and having the best part of our 2nd week to spend time with my parents…. but, no – the greedy  vendors had thwarted that for us too😦

One positive outcome though was that all the other estate agents told us we were better out of that particular area of Blackpool so in that respect, it sounds like Grasmere Road in FY1 had been a lucky escape:-) Unfortunately, it didn’t solve our problem of being able to find a place we could call our own and to spend a little time there as necessary until we were in a position to implement our move.

The next couple of days were a bit of a blur and the weather went a bit grimmer to boot so after traipsing around Blackpool south and looking at yet more properties in areas that weren’t familiar to us – we took the brave decision to look “over the water”.

View from Fleetwood Ferry jetty – over the water…..

Fleetwood to Knott End

This was something we’d always said we didn’t want to do as public transport was not so easily come by and we didn’t want to have to go to the expense of buying a car at the outset. We always thought Over Wyre may have been a bit too low key for us but, it was familiar and not only that, a lot safer than some of the streets we had come across during our house hunting along North shore in Blackpool. On top of that, property prices were higher than those we had been looking at and we weren’t even sure we could find anything within our budget!

So with a little trepidation we entered the property search and  were pretty surprised when three houses popped up – one just under the budget and two others which were higher but not entirely out of reach. A visit to the parents’ house on Sunday morning came as a bit of a shock to them when we dragged my Mum out to help us seek out the said three houses.

One was already marked up on the For Sale board with Under Offer so that one went out of the window straightaway. The other was a stroll heading away from the centre of the village and when we did find it, we realised that although it was very nice and in fabulous condition – it was just too small for us.
The other….. well, we couldn’t locate it and the estate agents office was closed.
(I can’t understand why the majority of the estate agents closed their offices on Sunday):-/

Anway, we started again…. back to the estate agents window and peered closely at the property details seeking out any noticeable features we could find.

Barton Square

Bingo! Walking back up and down the road, we eventually found it… no For Sale sign, which is why we initially missed it😉

Luckily, we managed to catch the vendors in a little later in the afternoon and a deal was struck. Estate agents were contacted first thing on Monday morning and we even managed to salvage our previously cancelled survey appointment on the Grasmere Road house and re-jigged it to the new one. Things were finally looking up!

Tuesday afternoon: survey was completed and we were eagerly sitting in the bar at the hotel we were staying at in Blackpool, awaiting a phone call and an emailed report.

The phone call came – all was good!
The survey report (all 30 odd pages of it) eventually came through the email about an hour later…. yes, the WiFi was very slow!

The house was going to be ours!

The rest has been a few fraught weeks of waiting and cajoling the relevant bodies along but we now have a Completion date. Our shippers are booked and our belongings will be packed into our container next week.

The dogs have their flights all booked, rabies vaccinated and their travel passports are almost complete:

Pet Passports

We’re all booked too! The dogs really have no idea what’s happening, all they know is something is up and “stuff” keeps disappearing into boxes. All we hope now is that their journey all goes according to plan as our “old boy” Indie is getting on in years  – he came with us to Cyprus back in 2004 when he was a year old so he’s now 13yrs, a bit wobbly on his back legs and a lot greyer than he used to be.

Indie as a puppy back in 2003:

Indie 2003

When we arrived in March 2004, we walked into a totally empty house knowing full well we would have to wait around 7 days for our shipping container to arrive. Luckily, we had a couple of friends (Louise (taking the photo) and hubby Sean) to share the experience – and the house with, to help pass the time. The first thing we needed was something to sit on and eat off…. a patio table set was the immediate purchase because we knew it would be something useful for the coming summer. We still have it – and, it’s coming back with us!

This was our first night “at home” in Cyprus (it was bloody freezing):

Cyprus March 2004

Our new local area: to the right of the golf course (see image below) is the banking of tidal river Wyre and at the bottom (off the picture) is the Irish sea.

Knott End Golf Club - and our new house

Knott End Ferry to Fleetwood

Look who’s coming with us!

Here’s “Ruby”:-)

Ruby

And the old boy “Indie”

Indie 2016

Bye, bye Cyprus – we’ve had some great times!

Cyprus street April 2014

If you want to see some of the fun times we’ve had along with the friends we’ve made and the places we’ve explored – take a look at my thousands of #photosofCyprus on Flickr

 


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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😀

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:

 

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

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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