Cyprus trip report, April 9th 2002
Up early, a hearty breakfast and then a long walk along the promenade. Of course we turn left at the tourist office so Helle can say hello to the cats. A bunch of young, half-tame and very thin cats hang around here. I'm sure Helle regrets she didn't fill her pockets with goodies back home.
In the marina are many handsome yachts. There are also tour-boats with glass bottoms so you can watch the wreck of the Swedish ship somewhere in the bay. One of the tour boats is for scuba divers, and some Americans try to find space on deck for their equipment.
The fort is at the end of the promenade's "tourist part". Entrance 75 cents is paid to a pompous elderly gentleman sitting at a desk. Mother is putting laundry out to dry.
The small museum displays mostly old black and white photos and is not very interesting. However the small fort is charming and looks like something from the comedy strip "The Legionaries" - parapet with cannons and embrasures and a great view. The dungeons - if there are any - aren't accessible because of maintenance work. Just behind the fort lies the Djami Kebir mosque, where the minaret is being repaired. The scaffold looks extremely dangerous. The "skeleton" is made of steel, but apart from that it is just loose planks, and I cannot see any ladders. A Danish security inspector would faint.
On the Southern side of the fort there's still a looong promenade along the seafront. Narrow, but one-way. There are no high hotels here until you approach the airport, but we don't walk that far. There are still a few small restaurants, but most houses are one storey accommodations.
As we get further out we notice how the price on moussaka drops. After a detour into the old district with Turkish street names we return to the seafront and find a tavern, where you can enjoy refreshments in the shadow on a porch with sea view.
On the way back we visit one of the many goldsmiths, and Helle buys two silver bracelets. After siesta we just relax at the promenade. The weather is beautiful, and at Café Hobo you have the comfortable choice between sun and sunshades.
Evening at Restaurant Militzis
We dine at Militzis at the seafront south of the fort. After our morning reconnaissance we were convinced this is better than the tourist minefield, and Militzis proves to be the perfect choice.
In the morning we had admired the 3 outdoor ovens made of bricks or clay. Later we heard they are called 'kleftico ovens'. Kleftico is a local (and Greek) speciality: lamb cooked for 6-8 hours and so tender that it falls apart if you look at it. Later we saw more kleftico ovens, but usually they were not used anymore. Militzis' were!
We arrive early (ca. 19.30) and most tables are free, but soon many guests arrive and many are locals. The many local guests says more about the quality than many words.
For starters we get grilled halloumi. The bread is fresh and there's also a small plate with green olives marinated in oil, coriander and garlic. Yummy! The main course is moussaka accompanied by an Othello 1986. The red wines of Cyprus have little body, but they are spicy and suntanned - certainly not bad. The portions are huge, and only Helle finds (with determination) room for ice. After the coffee we waddle home and promise each other, that Militzis deserves more than one visit.