Just a few snaps taken from my December trip visiting family in Cyprus. The city still needs a lot more love and care to reach its full potential but it’s clear to see Limassol is still in a transitional period. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to lay eyes on the new beach which is taking shape at the marina and as always I’m still missing home a little.
It’s good to go back to your roots every now and then. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past 19 years of my life. Every summer I’ve been spoilt rotten by being granted the privilege to escape the murky English summer and return to a place where I feel very much at home. I have a huge adoration for my little island homeland in the Mediterranean sea and that’s why often when discussing Cyprus I can be very critical about the mentality of some of the locals, the government and the ignorant tourists who blissfully ignore the 1974 invasion in exchange for a cheap illegal holiday home in the north of the island. It’s safe to say my little island has had more than its fair share of problems and issues even prior to gaining it’s independence.
Yet if you get the chance to take some time out and are willing enough to do a little exploration, you’ll understand why so many people, past and present hold a fond place in their hearts for my little island. Somewhere beyond the financial crisis, swarms of Brits flocking to Ayia Napa and the often tasteless new architecture, there lies an untainted charming sun bronzed landscape painted with golden hills covered by olive trees and ancient relics waiting to be discovered.
On this particular occasion I was not alone with my extended family. I was accompanied by my girlfriend who had no prior experience of a proper beach holiday. This I obviously had to correct. For two nights however I thought it would be nice to get away from the hustle of my beloved Limassol and give Emma a small peek at the more old fashioned Cypriot way of life. When browsing for accommodation I stumbled across various alluring hillside apartments and classical hotels. The typical beach-front hotels in Cyprus were too expensive for us to afford and knowing most of them I didn’t particularly feel the majority offered good value for money.
My father then forwarded me a link of an attractive old building conversion into an inn. The price was very reasonable (roughly 50€ a night including breakfast) and they still had availability so we went ahead and booked it. Nikoklia Village is a tiny village and I had not previous knowledge about the area it was located. My grandpa proudly recollected some old memories telling us he used to know of two policemen he worked with from Nikoklia and how there was an abandoned Turkish village nearby. Without much idea of what to expect we set off just as the sun started to dim and in about 40 minutes we arrived at our location, the Vasilias Nikoklis Inn.
First impressions were good, the staff were friendly and the Inn was furnished in Cypriot antique furniture. The conversion of the building has been done very tastefully and we were lucky to have a beautiful balcony overlooking the countryside. A few minutes after arrival we embarked on a small wander around the village itself. The village is definitely on the smaller side, people were very friendly and greeted you as you made your way down the street. A beautiful little church which broadcasts the service to the village via speaker phone can be found near the bottom of the village. Various abandoned buildings are also dotted in the nearby countryside. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to make it to the abandoned Turkish village just north of Nikoklia, we did however manage to catch a glimpse of it from afar and it looked very eerie. I’m sure it would make a brilliant subject to photograph, hopefully I’ll return another year to have a go at capturing the scene.
In terms of food the village doesn’t offer many options and we had all our meals at the Inn. Food is available from the tavern which opens in the evenings, the menu is full of traditional dishes and the prices are quite reasonable too. I would really recommend the ‘Mixed Grill’ option which consisted of some lamb, sheftalia (a type of sausage), chicken and pork souvlaki served alongside local fried potatoes, all the meat was cooked to perfection and currently writing about it is waking up my appetite.
Aside from the village you can also get some relaxation done by the pool and there’s also a rather tiring walk to the nearby dam. The walk is ok at best, I recommend heading there much later in the day as even departing at six, the weather was too hot to make the walk very enjoyable. Em spent a lot of time reading and I enjoyed a lot of sleeping under the shade of the Inn’s greenery. We had a really restful time and the inn sets a prime example of how alternative types of tourism can be very successful. I’m not saying spend all your time within a small village but as you can see from the photographs it can be really rewarding to do a bit of research and incorporate a village stay into your time in Cyprus. Unfortunately due to work I had to cut my ‘home time’ short this year but I’m sure I’ll be back again before I know it. (After all that abandoned village needs photographing!)
Favourite things to do/see :
- Explore the nearby countryside
- Walk through the village
- Hike to the dam (Probably better during the winter months)
So after a long wait I finally got the chance to go down to ‘Molos’ where I spent
countless hours sitting on the ‘dinosaur eggs’ and playing on the swings when I was a child to see the new layout. I need to say all of the falling apart, dusty charm has completely left. I guess I’ll have to keep that in my memory, what I can say it’s a beautifully modern, calm and radiant park. I wanted to revisit and get some better pictures but I ran out of time so these will have to do. Only half of the park was open and I won’t see the rest in a year. Well done to everyone working on the project, I had my doubts when I saw the plans but I need to say it’s good work on such a small urban space.
‘Molos’ was also the hosting space for the start and finish line of my 10K run. I completed it in just under an hour, thank you so much to everyone who donated, I had a great time and think I’ll keep this running thing up.
I’m now back from my recent trip back to home number 1 in Limassol meaning I have a stable enough internet connection to upload the photos I got to take while I was out there. I have to say taking photographs in Spring was so much easier than summer.The odd cloud or so gave my camera some time to sort out the light intake.I got to make good use of my polarizing filter due to some beautiful blue skies.
It’s currently 0 degrees in London and the trees are leafless outside but I guess that should be changing pretty soon. Need to think optimistically. Enjoy the photos, more to come soon.
The Sea turns this turquoise blue in Spring here due to the uplifting of the sand Still haven’t figured how to make use of the rental bikesThe little cafe just behind this stretch of beach do the best cheeseburgers This pier is the perfect spot for getting distance shots of the city
In case you haven’t noticed I’m back home in Limassol for the next couple of days. If you’re here too you’ll probably catch me on my daily walks/jogs by the beach front and in the old town taking photographs around 2-5pm.
So far I’ve seen the new works on the seaside park and I have to say I’m impressed. It doesn’t have that rustic charm anymore but I guess you could say the rest of Limassol town makes up for the lack of ‘rust’ by the beach. The weather is a little different to the extreme heat waves I’m used to experiencing but days are an equivalent to British Summer, probably hotter.
Anyway keep a lookout for new photographs which will be up soon. Here are some teasers.
(Please do not use these without linking back as some websites have been doing)