Travelogue from a holiday in Cyprus, April 8th 2002
Ancient Kition and the Museum
After "homemade" breakfast we visit Startour's service-center at the hotel and book tours for Wednesday and Thursday. Not cheap, but an easy way to see some of the island. Afterwards we walk to the excavations of the old Kition (ca. 1300 BC), but make a stop on the way at a marvellous greengrocer.
Here are fresh fruit and vegetables galore. Oranges and lemons are with stalks and leaves - I guess it is to show the freshness. Never have I seen so large and lush green artichokes - there's no comparison to the mummified specimens you find in Danish shops.
We buy some oranges and apples (the apples are imported from Southern Tyrol and not cheap). We're tempted to shop wildly, but remember we must both carry and eat the stuff!
The Excavations of Kition
We continue towards the excavations about a kilometre north of Larnaca's centre. It is said the location was abandoned because it was destroyed by earthquakes, but today it is in a district with houses of far better standard then in the old town.
The excavations are a bit disappointing. An archaeologist would probably be ecstatic, but to us it is a lot of old stones lying in patterns of some sort. We urgently miss some information about what is what.
The Historical Museum in Larnaca
On the way back we visit the local museum as cultural dessert. The display is mostly pottery and ceramics from different ages, but also jewellery, coins etc. It is food for thought that at a time, when caves were hardly invented in Denmark, Cyprus had a fairly sophisticated civilization.
It will soon be lunchtime and if one wants to be able to experiment at dinner, lunch had better be light. We shop at a small supermarket close to the hotel. We buy butter, eggs, bacon, sausages, cheese, milk, juice and other necessities such as a bottle of white wine and then go home for lunch. And then it is siesta-time.
Supper at a Tourist Trap
After siesta it is time for a promenade stroll. An ouzo-aperitif and then dinner at the fish-restaurant Dionyssos, which however turns out to be very disappointing.
Helle's grilled halloumi cheese is tasty, but the bread is old and dry, and my tomato soup could be diluted can. I could make it better with Danish greenhouse tomatoes even though their taste is but a faint shadow of the Cypriot taste-bombs. Helle's grilled swordfish is good, but my grilled white mullets are a tasteless treasure of small loose bones. There's nothing wrong with the cooking - they are just better fit for industrial use like animal fodder or pet food. The fries are the opposite of crisp and dry, and that is certainly caused by the cooking.
I dissect a single mullet, but without my reading glasses I leave the other four and the rest untouched in self-defence. I sulk and flatly refuse Helle's comforting suggestion of a dessert. The coffee is alright though, but one can only guess why Helle's brandy is half size. Maybe it is customary for women...
A genuine disappointment and we go home early to read and relax. When we leave we're handed the restaurants card with a promise of free wine the next time. The joke with free wine is used many places. Even if they had promised a free meal and silver cutlery I wouldn't return.