Cyprus Travelogue, April 2002
Shopping and Leisure in Larnaca
The last coffee from home is used Friday morning. We spend the day with leisure and shopping. Helle likes her new bracelet and has frequently mentioned the matching necklace. It has an irresistible attraction, so we must buy it before it is to late. We buy some other stuff too like olive soap and Cyprus Delight - some disgustingly sweet jelly lumps. We also visit the nice greengrocer's and find a few cheeses. It doesn't say Halloumi on any of them, but at least there's a sheep depicted.
After shopping we spend the time at leisure on the promenade with fresh orange juice, beer and reading the new edition of Cyprus Weekly. Of course dinner is at Militzis'. Helle gets Ttavas, a stew, and I grilled spring lamb. Delicious as usual. After the main course we breathe for a while with the rest of the wine and then order ice for dessert. The waiters are busy, but when we have waited longer than expected I get the attention of our waiter, and yes - he had forgotten. Immediately he brings an apologetic peach liqueur for Helle and a huge brandy for daddy. Absolution is immediate.
Saturday we rise at 5.30. We're going home. The bus arrives at 6.45, and we drive to the airport at seven. Once again the Swedish guide tells us where to find the emergency exits and the fire extinguisher. During the 10 minutes drive there is a risk of being hit by other cars, earthquakes and aeroplanes.
There are only two check-in counters for the 180 passengers. We are at the end of the line, and it takes almost an hour before we get our boarding pass. Done with the first line we go to the next at passport control and security check. Fortunately this takes but 15 minutes.
In the tax-free area there's time for a visit to the toilet and the shop. I notice there's a second security control at the exit to the gates. In a sense that is reassuring, because one could have bought a AK47 or a chain saw in the tax-free shop, but annoyingly only one of the gates is used. We get into the line in good time, but once again the line is long, and panic spreads when there's final call for a plane to Amsterdam. The neat line becomes a stampede.
I'm sure everyone gets on his or her plane in time, but the fact remains that the airport is far too small. They know that in Cyprus, but the plans for a larger airport are controversial, because it will affect the environment around the salt lake, where thousands of birds spend the winter. The lake evaporates in the summer, but during winter it is a bird sanctuary. The old international airport lies abandoned in no-mans land close to Nicosia between the Greek and Turkish zone. For several months after the Turkish invasion in 1974 Cyprus actually had no airport until the old Second World War English airport near Larnaca was put into use. Difficult.
At the plane we buy tax-free cigarettes for gifts and at 12.30 we're back in Aalborg.
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