We had originally planned to catch the ferry from Mersin and sail across to Famagusta. It would have been an ankle swelling journey and the flight was actually cheaper, so for 100tl we flew from Izmir to Ercan on the Northern side of the Island.
There were plenty of taxis outside but the cost of a transfer across the border worked out at 70 Euros. More than the flight! That was the bartered down cost too.
When we arrived at the hotel, it was shut. However, there was an envelope on the door addressed to me which contained a phone number. I dialed from the callbox at the side of the door and a lady gave me a code number and told me to key it into the keypad on a grey security box beside the phone to open it to retrieve the room key. Operation ‘Kilo echo yankee’ complete, over and out.
Jordan was starving so we headed out to the nearest eaterie. It was definitely not a tourist restaurant and sadly no humus. The place was decked out with wooden tables covered in blue and white check plastic table cloths and the clientel were all male. Small groups of men sat about putting the world to rights and watching the news that was a constant feature on the telly. I kept looking around thinking ‘something is missing’ and then it clicked; not a single tea glass anywhere! No, here the locals do it with something a little stronger.
Next day we secured a rental apartment through a lovely lady called Sofia, in the beautiful Nissi Golden Sands Complex. Sofia then dropped us at the bank where we met the happy smiling Antonis who made a great Greek coffee and laughed and joked his way through opening Jordan a Bank account. That done, all that was left to do was holiday.
I already mentioned Id forgotten my driving licence so it was a bicycle for two weeks but Im actually glad. It was a lovely way to see Ayia Napa, gave me a healthy glow and probably did wonders for my cardiovascular system.
We did actually venture onto the bus a couple of times to get to Paralimni. The buses were great, the drivers were really helpful and you could by a day ticket for two euros which reminded me of the old ‘Red Bus Rover’ days of my youth.
As for sights, I particularly liked the old church. Set in beautiful gardens with lots of stone arches (I do love an arch) ıt sits in the centre of Ayia Napa, right beside the clubbing area! I poked my head inside to see a little old man sitting near the entrance by the ‘donation’ box with his head on his chest, gently snoring. I tried to quietly drop a handful of coins into the box so they wouldnt make a noise but this was impossible. At the sound of ‘kerching’ he was rudely awoken and glanced up at me weary eyed but smiling. He nods me in then goes back to his snooze.
Its small inside but the paintings of Jesus, Mary and the saints are brightly painted as they sit underneath a large ornate chandelier that also depicts biblical ımages. I take my shots and sneak out quietly so as not to wake the old gent.
We were blessed with good weather for the most part so cycling was the perfect way to travel. The fridge was stocked with plenty of fresh salad, chicken and of course Humus. I even managed to reduce my nicottene intake to six a day, although this was largely due to my sons disapproving looks every time I went to light up. Well, that and the way he pulled his T-shirt up over his nose each time I had the audacity to actually light one in his presence.
Best of all, Sunday was ‘naughty treat’ day and I was in a country where they sold ‘Galaxy’ in the shops………need I say more?