Municipal Park

Up at 7.30 and to Startour's service center at nine. We book a trip to Paphos on Wednesday and a wine trip on Saturday. We leave for home Saturday evening and going on a day trip is much better than killing time in Larnaca without a home base from the moment you check out of the hotel.

We walk the avenue, Grigoris Afxention Ave, to the municipal park, which houses the theatre and the small natural history museum. There isn't much to look at on the way, but I do notice another Internet café. I'll try that the next time - the connection yesterday was very slow. The traffic and the smog are pretty dense, but the park is an oasis.

White peacock Solar panel on phone booth Pupils
Click to enlarge

Here are volieres with various birds: hens, turkeys, ducks, peacocks, a big pelican, faded flamingos and even gulls. In a separate cage are some sorrowful small hawks transmitting confined depression.

How sad. We rest a while on a bench. In front of us is a telephone booth with a solar panel on top. A school class in uniforms arrives with sketch books, and some of the pupils really do make an effort to draw birds.

Construction work

Towards the city centre we pass through a residential area. There is much construction work and property development in Cyprus. It seems they don't use pre-cast elements. Concrete pillars and floors are made on site and walls are made with large red bricks in the holes of the concrete skeletons.

It looks pretty solid with adequate iron in the concrete, but one must keep in mind that earthquakes are frequent in this part of the world. I think cement consumption in Cyprus is as high as 1400 kg per capita.

In Denmark it is less than 400 kg and that gives you an impression of the building activity. I'm sure much of it is speculation in tourism and the future EU membership: hotels, bungalows and flats. Everywhere you see signs, banners and adds luring you to buy a house or a flat. Real estate is a booming business.

Carob tree Local  supermarket Construction Blooming front garden near the historical museum
Click to enlarge

We reach the city centre. We just strayed to the historical museum to visit the nice greengrocer nearby, but it has been replaced by a travel agency. What a shame. We buy some stuff in a small supermarket and then visit Julios, the restaurant in the back yard.

A cup of coffee in the shade is nice, and Julios remembers "one without sugar, one medium". After coffee we go home to put some of the groceries in the fridge and then return to Julios for lunch - it is just around the corner.

Lunch and a larnacat at Julios'

We know that lunch must be light if we want to cope with supper at Militzis, and we get a delicious kebab in an open pita-like bread. Really good.

The meat rolls seem to be spiced with a touch of cinnamon, and the salad is super-fresh and spiced with chopped parsley. Fresh coriander is popular here, but we prefer the less pungent parsley.

Helle says hello to a larnacat chasing flies. It replies with a feeble teenage voice and stays within reach. With kebab on the table they - Helle and the cat - get on friendly terms very quickly. Kebab + 1 coke + water adds up to £ 5,05 - cheap.

Helle returns to the room and siesta, while I go to the Internet café we saw this morning. The connection is reasonably fast, but I cannot go from one page to another by clicking a link and thus cannot open my webmail.

I explain the problem to the girl behind the bar, but she just shrugs indifferently and says that she doesn't know anything about computers. I have no intention to pay two pounds an hour to solve their problem, so I leave and find the Internet café we visited yesterday.

I check mail and remember to look up the result of the soccer match between Aalborg and Brøndby back home. Brøndby won 4-0; Helle will not be pleased! Then back home for a late siesta.

The evening routine

At a quarter to seven we stroll to The Meeting Pub for our ouzo-aperitif and to enjoy the blue half hour until the sun sets at 19.55. Here drinks are of decent size and price: a not to small ouzo with ice costs one pound, and nobody looks at you impatiently if you take your time and enjoy.

From the pavement there's a couple of steps up to the bar floor, and just below us an elderly English couple share a plate of French fries dashed with vinegar; the fish and chips culture, however here without fish and greasy paper. Afterwards the wife celebrates with an Irish coffee.

Chips, chips, chips - chips everywhere. Outside the promenade's restaurants are colourful menu-posters saying "All dishes served with chips". Is it a special English phenomenon or do tourists and their children in general prefer chips to the delicious new potatoes?

At Militzis chips are served with squid only, and their chips are hand-cut. By the way squid is Militzis' only fish dish and they have the decency to inform that they are "(frozen)". A lot of the fish served in Cyprus is frozen.

Ever since reservoirs were built to collect water, less nutrients are washed into the sea. The same goes for the Nile, so this part of the Med is no fisherman's Paradise, and fish served in Cyprus is likely to be imported frozen.

Supper at restaurant Militzis

At Militzis the waiter places us next to the open door - "It isn't cold tonight like yesterday", he says.

We get a slice of halloumi as a starter. Halloumi is the special salty goat's/sheep's cheese of Cyprus. You fry it for a few minutes to enhance the taste and flavour and the texture is kind of elastic and when you chew it, it says "gjieuw, gjieuw".

With this fresh bread and marinated olives. The Cypriot olives we have tasted aren't super: they are small, a bit dry and pretty salty, but you can compensate for this by putting them in a marinade of olive oil, garlic and coriander seeds!

As main course Helle gets Tavas, which is potato pieces mixed with lamb and tomatoes. I get stifado. Stifado at Militzis is pieces of beef stewed with onions and white wine. Very tender and very tasty.

We are barely able to find room for an ice dessert and then Cyprus coffee and a glass of the local brandy. The bill (a little less than £ 20) is served with a brandy "on the house".

This week we shall not follow the health departments recommendations! Full and very satisfied we say good night to the Mediterranean and roll home.