East Meets West in Cyprus

Hi friends!  I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted something on the blog.  Life just had a funny way of getting in the way each time I was about to post something.  Between Chiara’s and Ines’s graduation from middle school and grade school as well as end of school year recitals and sports championships, there wasn’t much time left to do anything else. At the beginning of the summer, I even thought of throwing in the towel and quitting blogging completely but my family, oddly enough, convinced me to continue.  So here I am. Not sure how much I’ll be posting these days but I guess I’ll take it a day at a time, go with the flow and let my creative juices take the lead.

I wanted to share some photos with you from our recent trip to Cyprus.  Apart from Greece, I haven’t really spent time in Eastern Europe.   Cyprus was one of those countries that always intrigued me.  Just looking at the map and seeing its’ location — how close it is to Israel, Syria  and Turkey, very much the beginning of the “Orient” — is fascinating to me along with its contradictory Western ways.

Before arriving to Cyprus, I always imagined that it would look a lot like Santorini.  I was wrong.  Larnaca, where we landed and stayed, is developed but still a little rugged. There are wide open spaces everywhere.  What threw us off more than anything was the driving where we had to drive on the left side of the road like the English.  Once we got used to that, getting around became a lot easier.

Cyprus’ part of the Mediterranean Sea is heavenly, just the kind of clear blue that you can stare at for hours and make you wish the days last a  bit longer. The best beaches are in Ayia Napa and Protaras.  Most of the foreigners whom we spoke to or met are English, Eastern Europeans, or Middle Easterners.  Unlike Western Europe where I can decipher languages and conversations around me, I was at a total loss in Cyprus where most of the languages spoken were neither Romance-based or English.

The other thing that makes Cyprus unique are the relics found in its churches.  For instance, the Church of St. Lazarus in Larnaca has the actual saint’s body in the church while the Church of the Holy Cross in Lefkara has a relic of the actual cross used to crucify Jesus.  Being a bit of a history nerd, I thought that was cool.  I guess with Cyprus’ geography and its’ role in the Greco-Roman empire, it isn’t surprising to find these rare artifacts here.

Hope you enjoy the photos…

Nissi Beach

Old Port in Larnaca

Captain’s Table, one of our fave restaurants in Larnaca

Art Cafe 1900, another fave restaurant in Larnaca

Art Cafe again

Church of St. Lazarus

St. Lazarus’s tomb

Lefkara, another town near Larnaca

Church of the Holy Cross

Buyuk Cami, a mosque in Larnaca

C saying goodbye to the cats in our hotel

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