Cyprus Life – in pictures vs Fylde Coast Musings

Our new life in Cyprus began in early March 2004. Originally from a small mill town in Heywood, Lancashire (United Kingdom) we moved overseas spending a glorious 12 years in Limassol. Feel free to read my posts and view my many #photosofCyprus. However in 2016 we had to return permanently to UK due to family ill health. We're now living on the Fylde coast where the river Wyre meets the Irish sea in the north west of England. More places for us to discover as this part of the UK is not so familiar to us either.


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Seashells Resort at Suncrest Hotel, Malta: Review


My personal review (also posted on TripAdvisor) of our hotel stay at Seashells Resort at Suncrest Hotel in Qawra, Malta.

Our vacation took place between 9 March to 16 March. We were allocated 2 x Standard Rooms (3 people in 2 rooms) at the back of the hotel on Bed and Breakfast basis.

We were originally booked to stay at the Dolmen Resort Hotel travelling with Jet2Holidays on 9 March but due to the ongoing building work, we received a call just 4 days before our flight departed UK to inform us we were being moved to the Seashells Resort instead.
There was no other choice given to us – except another hotel in Sliema which was not a feasible option for us as friends of ours had flown out especially to meet up with us from Cyprus and were staying in Qawra too.

mla_72192_seashells_resort_at_suncrest_0916_01

Not being familiar with the Seashells Resort at Suncrest hotel, we were a little put out but having read the reviews and then finding our rooms had “city views” I was happy in the knowledge that the balconies on these rooms had full sun in the afternoon / early evening so that was a bonus for us.

We were on the 6th floor so there was little road noise – there was some building construction taking place diagonally over the road (clearing and digging down of the land) but this did not disturb us and finished at a reasonable time of day.

The room had everything we needed and really, our only complaint about the room facilities would be the choice of TV programmes as we’ve stayed at other Maltese hotels nearby which gave us a better satellite system with more English speaking channels. Also, although it was a very nice flat screen TV we couldn’t plug our laptop or HDMI cable into it so that was very disappointing due to the lack of programmes we could watch.

The weather was kind to us so we did get to sit and read on our balconies in the late afternoon but although the temperatures reached 18 degrees Celsius, I cannot understand why some people would need to use the A/C units in those temperatures. (These were comments made at the same time as our stay at the Seashells Resort)

Neither were we bitten or pestered by bugs / mosquitos as someone else mentioned and they usually make a direct bee line for me! Insects love to bite me!

We were on Breakfast board only and found the choice to be plentiful. Three of us travelled together in 2 rooms and we each had different breakfast needs with no difficulties in finding tables to sit at, cutlery, glasses or having to queue for hot drinks.
One problem with the hot breakfast apparently (my husband had a hot breakfast every day) was that the food wasn’t quite hot enough. However, there is a microwave midway between the breakfast buffet layout and he used that each day, along with numerous other hotel residents.

We were pleased the room safe is provided free of charge and that there was a small fridge in the room to keep water and milk (for our cups of tea) cool. We also liked that the bathroom was a large walk in shower rather than over a bath. Toiletries and towels were replenished every day as you used them. The rooms were kept spotlessly clean.

Our main criticism would be the hotel “entertainment” – each time we looked there was one guy singing and playing keyboards in what looked like a coffee shop (cum bar) stuck far away in a dark corner of the hotel reception.

Luckily, we ate out of the hotel each evening and found plenty of places for good food including drinks at a lot less than it would have cost us to upgrade to Half Board for the three of us. There are bars nearby if you walk up the side street in the direction of the bus station, about 10 – 15 minutes walk will take you to a large choice some with entertainment thrown in and drink prices vary from place to place.

We’ve been going to Qawra / Bugibba now for many years and are very familiar with the area so know what is usually on offer. We did find this time that there didn’t seem to be so many choices of stuff going on of an evening – even the hotels we have relied on in the past to provide it, didn’t appear to be doing so. However, we came across some different places this time and we had a great week.

We will return to Malta again in the future and would have no hesitation in staying at the Seashells Resort at Suncrest.

However, it may be that we’ve outlived our time in this area of Malta and that perhaps we will try somewhere else next time. We found that although the food we ate at various restaurants was good, there wasn’t much choice – many of the establishments were offering the same kind of menu variations unless you went for a specific type of food ie: Asian, Indian, Italian etc.

One other thing I should mention is that within the first hour of our arrival we visited the Cheeky Monkey Pub (which belongs to the hotel) across the road. My mother (aged 76yrs) walked into it just ahead of me and my husband and the next thing I knew she had fallen full length, landing on her back on the tiled floor and had banged her head against one of the bar stools. There is a step less than 2 paces of going through the door and is not really defined as it’s the same tiles as the main pub floor. The very large monkey which sits on the bar top caught my mothers’ eye as she came through the door and she missed the step completely. It shook her up very much and the colour completely drained out of her face – she was white.

Although the bar manager did come to see how she was and brought her a glass of water, we feel they weren’t that concerned – possibly because my mother does not look 76 years old! They didn’t even take her name or record the fall in an accident book but did say people had fallen before…..

We did mention it to our tour representative who said he would follow it up and take a look himself. However, I do feel the hotel should also be aware of this and perhaps take more precautions at the entrance doorway to the Cheeky Monkey Pub.

Room Tip: High Floor with City View for afternoon sun and no road noise.

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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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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