Exploring Larnaca

The apartment at Hotel Kition

The small two room apartment is fine. A bit worn maybe, but OK. Bedroom, bathroom and a living room with a small kitchen. There's an air cooler in the bedroom and having read the manual I manage to get it to cool instead of heating.

The kitchen has what you need for simple cooking. You can drink the tap water, but the taste is so-so. We'll need some bottled water instead...

From the living room and bedroom are glass doors to a small balcony with two plastic chairs and a small table. Here you can enjoy the morning sun and the limited sea view, for which we paid extra. We could have slept better though; during night the traffic was rather noisy and the mattresses pretty hard.

At 10-11 there's an info meeting at the hotel bar - we had better join. Startour's Swedish guide supplies the information, it could probably have been done in half the time, but OK. Yesterday in the bus the same guide told us about the handicapped sewers that will block instantly if you drop paper into the toilet as we're used to. No, the paper must be deposited in a bucket next to the toilet. That wasn't mentioned in the colourful brochures.

A walk in Larnaca

At 11 we're released and head for the promenade, which we haven't seen in daylight.

Larnaca's seafront promenade. Roof Garden

Hotels, restaurants and bars lie side by side here with sections of pavement covered with parasols bordered by a row of palm trees. The beach and the sea are a bit further out.

We stroll along the promenade, pass the old fort and criss-cross into the old town. Here the street names are Turkish-like, and the general impression isn't that of wealth, but here and there it is quite pretty with gardens on roofs and in courtyards.

We pass the Lazarus Church, but don't enter. Instead we continue through the winding streets until we're back at the hotel. It is Sunday and the many shops are closed. Time for siesta...

The Lazarus Church

Church of St. Lazarus.

Supposedly built at Lazarus' grave.

Lazarus was resurrected by Jesus. Myth has it that he was later driven from The Holy Land. In a small boat he sailed to Cyprus, where he stayed for 30 years, until he died for the second time.

However the poor man wasn't allowed any peace this time either. His resting place was discovered in 890, and a church was built at the site after his bones had been moved; first to Constantinople, later to Marseille. The church in the picture was built in the 17'th century, and the tower in the 18'th.

After siesta we get a cup of Cypriot coffee at the promenade. Cypriot coffee is served in a small cup and you had better not drink too deep or you'll taste the sediment at the bottom. Let it settle before you take the first sip!

Children at Hobo Café. Boy making soap bubbles.
Click to enlarge

The weather is beautiful. At Hobo Café there are many tables outside and most are occupied. Sunday seems to be the day where Cypriot families air the children. Just next to Hobo Café is 'Hobo Games' with machines, mechanical mounts, automats and lots of stuff for children.

An amusement park en miniature and the kids love it. If the kids can manage on their own, the parents, friends and family sit at a table drinking coffee and enjoy something sweet.

This kid was irresistible in his joy when he succeeded to make a soap bubble. Successes were few due to poor technique. Most times his pout punctured the bubble before blowing and I guess he swallowed most of the soapy water, because when he spoke his speech was more bubbles than words!

Evening at Restaurant Archontiko

Ee dine at a restaurant, Archontiko, at the promenade. All guests are tourists. The service is kind, almost oily. Food is plenty and OK although not tops.

Helle gets grilled Halloumi (sheep's cheese), the salty variation, and I get Taramosalata (roe salad). Compared to the roe salads I have had at Greek restaurants back home this is almost fruity, sweet/sour and a consistency like airy mayonnaise.

Helle's main course is grilled pork (a bit tough) and mine is Kleftico (oven made lamb). The Cypriot red wine, Othello, is quite nice.

We finish with Cypriot coffee and brandy. The local brandy is poured with a generous swing and is "only" 2£. Helle wants Metaxa, the Greek brandy, and the waiter asks if she wants it from the bottle or a miniature. Helle says: "Miniature please", and with much ceremony it is brought from a locked cabinet.

The bill is £37, which is high. Included is £2 for the live music, which of course is OK, but not announced. Maybe that is taken for granted here, who knows? Helle's miniature with ceremony is £5, which here is comparable to robbery, but never mind - we're not on holiday to save, but it doesn't urge me to recommend the place.