Pygmy elephants is no joke

Shopping in Larnaca

Scattered clouds, but mostly sun, says the weather forecast. We go for a walk and window shopping. There are many jewellers and shops with children's clothing.

We find an inviting Cypriot cook book, "Cyprian Cooking", and in a genuine leather shop (i.e. not souvenirs) in Hermes Street I find a quality belt to replace the old and worn. Leather goods are cheap in Cyprus.

What money can buy... Municipal Market - mostly junk for tourists
What money can buy.

The belt is professionally shortened to fit. Then there's the difficult choice between buckles with names like Calvin Klein, Armani and Camel - probably phoney. I don't care and just point at one that turns out to be Camel.

We walk through the Municipal Market with all its junk like fake "genuine saffron" and glass beads. At Julios we find coffee, peace and rest. Several tables are occupied by local men drinking coffee and debating.

Many are to young to be pensioners, so there must be some unemployment. Helle studies the cook book and says it looks good although it might be difficult to find lamb intestines in porky Denmark.

Paleontological Museum

Flowers in the garden by the tourist office

After coffee we visit the new "culture house" (or whatever it is called) at the end of the promenade close to the Police Station. Here's a gallery and paleontological museum. Admittance is free and in the hall we notice something framed on the wall signed by Danish "Prince Consort" Henrik.

Helle ridiculed me yesterday when I said that I had read or heard that mini elephants once lived on the island. So I am not displeased when we discover several fossils of pygmy elephants and pygmy hippos. Posters descibe the phenomenon, which is known from other islands too.

Scientists believe that at some time in history the animals came to the islands from the African mainland, and in island isolation with no natural enemies evolution developed the smaller body. The animals have been extinct for a long time; probably the natural enemy came with mankind and then evolution could not match the speed of spear, bow and arrow.

The gallery hasn't got many pictures and most of them are a bit to modern for our conventional and dull taste. However the custodian is euphoric and eagerly involved in telling a long story to another tourist. We sneak out before we are captured in his polite web.

Lunch and lazybones

We have a light lunch at Hobo's; sandwich with ham, halloumi and salad. I read the Cyprus Mail and Helle has brought her book. When we walk home at half past two heavy grey clouds roll from land to sea. We often see clouds inland, but usually there's a clear sky along the coast and over the sea.

Ever since we arrived a coaster has been anchored in the bay, and now it has turned 90° with the clouds. By the way it is strange for a coaster to be idle with no cargo for so long considering that freight rates have never been higher, but of course there may be a multitude of prosaic reasons.

From our balcony we watch an OXI demonstration with many school children to young to vote and then Helle finds the sieasta-sofa while I walk to the Internet café. Just beside Hobo someone is putting a giant banner on the facade of a new building: "Luxury Flats For Sale".

No demonstration Flats for sale Evening light over Larnaca Bay and Kimon's bust
Click to enlarge

Two slick suits on the pavement admire the work. Cyprus seems to be in a building frenzy even though only 37 % of hotel bed capacity was used last year. I wonder how long it will last?

There's only spam in the mail box so I read news from home and the local weather forecast. It says clouds and rain tomorrow, but sun Saturday.

At six we stroll via the avenue to the North. We haven't explored this area, but it doesn't seem interesting so we pick the first possible road to the left and return to the promenade where we find a bench with a view to Kimon's bust and the coaster.

Kimon beat the Persians in a sea battle not far from here some 450 years BC. He died doing so and a bust seems only fair. On the other side of the road is a sick pidgeon under a bush. It cannot keep its head up, and Helle suffers. Animals do die, but shouldn't do so when Helle is watching. Two parking attendants in green neon dresses have no trouble earning their wages.


At half past six we're at The Meeting Pub for our aperitif. We say hello to our Cypriot friend from the other day. The single English daddy with the not so pretty children is also here having a beer and something with chips and ketchup. When the blue half hour starts our glasses are empty so we get a refill - it is to early for Militzis.

The fort isn't illuminated tonight and as usual there's but a handful of guests at "Monte Carlo". At Militzis however there are guests a plenty, a colorful mixture of locals and tourists.

The waiter brings a bottle of Militzis' red wine and accidently drops it on the floor. It wasn't opened and doesn't brake; robust wine! He immediately brings a new bottle, which is served without mishaps.

For starters halloumi and salad. For main course Helle gets "Salted Pork", and I get lamb's liver in a reduced wine sauce with onions. The liver morsels are tender like butter.

Helle's salty pork is without sauce and a bit to salty for me, but very tender. The portion is huge and Helle cannot eat it all. "To salty?", the waiter asks. No: "Too much!".

We order Cyprus coffee and a glass of Filfar - a nice local orange liqueor. From Militzis we go straight home.