Friday, December 29, 2006

Cold weather

The weather has suddenly turned a lot colder since Christmas, apparently due to winds from Russia and consequently our house ( now renamed “The Igloo” ) has got even colder, we have had to buy a second heater to try and keep the house a bit warmer.

We took a drive into Limassol and took a 5k walk along the seafront, stopping off for a hearty Scottish Breakfast.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Nicosia at Christmas

We wandered around the New part of the City, plenty of Christmas shoppers we out and about and enjoyed listening to a Choir of local children singing carols.

In the evening we took a taxi over to the Strovolos district to visit the I Yevsi (The taste) restaurant, this was a real find, the staff were so welcoming and attentive, the food suberb and they even gave us a bottle of wine as a gift.

We returned to our hotel to find a birthday party in progress for the owners wife, we were invited to join the party and had a wonderful time and enjoyed slices of tasty birthday cake.

A capital visit

Just before the Christmas holiday we decided to visit the Cypriot Capital of Nicosia. Our base for our visit was the homely Averof hotel, after unpacking we took a walk down to the “Old Town” which is situated inside the ancient Venetian star shaped walls. The Old town is a wonderful place to just wander and explore the narrow streets.
After lunch we visited one of the buffer zones that sadly divides the City, we climbed the viewing tower that overlooks No mans land.

We returned to the old town in the evening to look at the suberb display of Christmas lights.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Carols in Pissouri square

This evening we went along to Pissouri square to attend the annual carol service, there was a choir and the young children of the village singing Carols in English and Greek. The temperatures have notably dropped in the evening and there was a nip in the air, but warm wine and mince pies kept our spirits up.

A new Style

Mandy decided to have a change of hairstyle, so we drove off to the village of Avdimou to meet up with Andrea, after a couple of hours Mandy emerged to show off her new hairdo.

We then set off to the Christmas fete at Episkopi military base, we had been told that we could gain entry by using our British passports, unfortunately this was not the case, the Military policeman told us why we could not be allowed onto the base and apologised, he added that he hoped that we had not come far…we said. only from Cardiff and especially for the fete…he smiled when he realised that we were joking.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Limassol Christmas market

This week we were picked up by our friends, Pam, Arthur, Steph and Mike and taken to the Christmas market on Limassol promenade. A lightening storm was in progress as we drove along the motorway, this electrical storm meant that a number of stalls were shut and some the entertainment cancelled, but making the most of the situation we ate German sausage and drank Austrian wine and chatted with some of the local stall holders. We then wandered over to Megaro restaurant for a meze dinner and listened to some live Cypriot music.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Late Breakfast

We woke up the following morning to find a power cut in the village, feeling a little lethargic from the previous evenings festivities we wandered down to Hani’s café for a late breakfast. We met up with our friends Mike & Steph and we all decided to go over to the Christmas craft fair at Aphrodite hills.

The fair had a number of stalls selling various Christmas goods, The highlight for us was the stand selling warm vegetable soup, we drank the soup as we listened to a barber shop choir.

Slimmers world Christmas party

This weekend we were invited to the local slimmers club (Sunshine slimmers)

Christmas Party, we were picked up by coach and taken to the town of Episkopi, our first “Port of Call” was the Three Arches tavern, a cosy bar with a roaring log fire. We were introduced to the members of the club and shared a few drinks.

We then crossed the road to the Episkopi village Inn restaurant where we enjoyed a very good meal washed own with a number of bottles of wine, the slimmers had taken a break from their usual abstinence and we enjoyed the evening and the company.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wine and Chocolate

Today we took delivery of 12 bottles of local wine from one of our friends in the village. Featas grows the organic wine himself and delivers it to the door, last Night we cracked open the first bottle and both enjoyed the wine.

We went up to he local quiz night in the village, not our finest moment, we came last out of 6 teams, personally I blame the wine for our poor performance, still 6 bars of chocolate were decent compensation.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Aphrodite hills resort

We drove out to the Aphrodite Hills resort which is a 20 minute drive from Pissouri. The main reason for going out there was to attend a seminar, but we took advantage of our visit to take a good old “Nose around”

The complex is built around a superb championship golf course over looking the Mediterranean sea. There is also a 5 star hotel, a small purpose built village and a number of breathtaking villas, now all we have to do is get 6 numbers on the lottery !

"New" car arrives

Our friends Dom & Lisa are returning to the UK for a short period of time and kindly lent us their car. We are really pleased with it, it has air conditioning, a much better radio, a CD player and electric windows.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The restaurant with THE view

This weekend we drove over to Coral bay to check out a Christmas fair/market at one of the big hotel, to be honest we were both a bit disappointed with the stalls and the lack of variety of goods on sale. On the plus side we took a cold box with us and had a nice picnic on a headland overlooking Coral Bay.

On Sunday we went over to the Hillview restaurant at the top of Pissouri for lunch, the food is very good and the atmosphere is relaxing and the view from the restaurant have to be seen to be believed.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Early Santa in Pafos

A trip to Pafos reminded us that even in Cyprus Christmas preparations seem to come earlier each year. Street decorations and Christmas trees were popping up all over the town. As we wandered through Ktima Pafos (town centre) we came upon “Tea for Two” a small café-bar with a wonderful views 3km down to Kato Pafo. The Café does superb Ploughman’s sandwiches.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lunch in Dora

We drove with Dom & Liza up to the mountain village of Dora, we met Andreas who runs The Paradise Tavern, he prepared a excellent meze lunch for us.

We all noticed the drop in temperature up in the mountains and coats and fleeces were the order of the day. The garden of the tavern has superb views down the valley and Mount Olympus in the background.

We then went over to Andreas’s second tavern in the centre of the village where he had a log fire crackling away in the corner, we sat around drinking the local firewater, zivania, while Andreas told us some history of the village.

Aphrodite's Rock

This weekend we ventured onto the tourist trail and headed over to Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodite’s rock), which is only a 10 minute drive from Pissouri. There were quite of few German tourists in the area who braved entering the sea, the weather was clear, warm and the views spectacular.

The old coast road from Pissouri to Pafos is a truly spectacular drive, the road cuts through the surrounding hills with dramatic effect and around every bend you get wonderful views of the Mediterranean sea.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Day in Larnaca

We went for the day to the town of Larnaka, we were both impressed with Larnaka, it has a clean and tidy sandy beach and a pleasant palm tree lined promenade.
The shopping area and backstreets are worth exploring and we were impressed with the area around the church of Agios Lazaros.

On the way home we stopped of at the village of Zygi, the whole seafront is crammed full of fish restaurants overlooking the sea. Our final stop was at Governors Beach, a small, black sanded coved that sadly needed a good clean up of discarded rubbish.

Rugby and a new source of heat

Saturday we went over to the “Pissouriana” to watch Wales V Pacific Isles rugby game, a decent crowd turned up to Cheer on the winning Welsh team.

Returning home we used the new gas fire for the first time, what a difference it has made on these chilly Winter nights. Sunday we went for a long walk along the Melanda coastline, which has some fine views over the crumbling cliffs. We then had lunch at the Melanda beach restaurant.

A night on the Town

The problems with the log fire we decided to use modern technology and go for a gas fire, it does get colder here at night that we thought, no so much the outside temperature but the house retains little heat, hopefully the new fire will help sort out the problem.

Friday night found us having a night out in Pissouri, Rob was introduced to Justin Marshall the ex All black rugby player and then we were invited to a birthday party of one of the locals, Sally.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

17. Sport, Pelicans and Logs.

Today we decided to go for a swim, so we headed over to the Ypsonas sports centre, we had the 25 meter pool to ourselves, we followed this by using the Jacuzzi and steam room.

Feeling refreshed we headed over to Lady Mile beach which is just outside Limassol port, we had a light lunch and met the resident Pelican.
Its getting cold here in Cyprus during the night time so we decided to buy some logs for the open fire, the living room got a bit smokey..infact, Very Smokey...ah well, back to the drawing board.

Monday, November 06, 2006

16. Flea market and Aussies.

We went over to the local market at Farousi, wandered around the colourful stalls, we were quite impressed at the variety of goods on Sale. We drove over to Curium beach for a coffee, w were surprised to se that they had demolished the “Blue beach bar”, apparently they are having a new place built on the same spot.
The was quite a breeze blowing and we spent a while watching the kite surfers and windsurfers ploughing through the waves.

In the afternoon we went to the “Pissouriana” bar to watch the rugby game, Wales V Australia, there was a good crowd in a we enjoyed watching a thrilling 29-29 draw.

15. Pafos, the Internet and a New found Local.

Took a drive into the town of pafos and went to the tourist district, we were not that impressed, lots of building work going on and lot of young Brits hassling us to sell time share properties. We noticed that there were a lot of “Tat” shops.

Back in Pissouri we went to the Internet café, Young Mark was very helpful and we soon had our laptop set up to a quick connection. Mandy put in the lamb chops and we took a stroll up to the Ampoli Taverna, a real peaceful haven with some great views over the valley, this could well become our local.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

14. Butchers and Mice.

We have just been up to the local Village butchers, they have a very good selection of meat, we bought a bag full and the butchers son threw in a packet of local sausage as a welcome gift. We then walked over to the small internet café, we explained to the guy in there that our PC mouse had got damp and asked what could we do about it, he said “ feed it to the cat” ….we need a new mouse.

13 Walking Limassol and ghosts and ghouls.

Today we decide to go into Limassol, lots of traffic in the city centre but we finally found a parking place down by the seafront. Limassol has a fine seafront and the promenade is ideal for walking, wide tree lined and passing through a sculpture park. After grabbing a sandwich near the castle we wandered through the back streets of the old City.

Tonight we went to a Halloween party up at Pissouriana bar, the was a good turn out of people wearing costumes, from Uncle Fester to witches, Ghosts and Devils,
Everybody was very friendly toward us. There was a terrific thunder storm outside, with loud cracks of thunder, which added to the Halloween atmosphere.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

12. Exploring the Melanda coastline.

We took a trip to Melanda which is about 10 minutes drive from Pissouri, the coastline here is rugged with small stony coves. We both said that this would be a great place to watch the sun go down and promised ourselves to return with a picnic and hopefully get some good pictures as the sun sets over Pissouri.

11. Relaxing by the sea

We headed East of Pissouri and spent a lazy day relaxing and reading the Sunday Papers by Curium beach There are 3 tavernas along the beachfront and it a great place to relax with a coffee. Behind the beach is a tall cliff and were watching the paragliders jump off and slowly float down to the beach.We popped into the local store because Mandy wanted some envelopes, unable to find what she wanted she asked the young assistant for some help, the young lady returned with the envelopes, and then said “With these envelopes, if you need to put money inside”, we both listened seriously for the following pearl of wisdom, “then make sure that you put my address on it! and her face broke into a huge grin.

10. Mountains and wine

We took a drive into the mountains and stopped off to wander through the narrow streets, a passing van stopped and a local farmer sold us 4 litres of red wine for 4 Cypriot pounds, we tasted the wine that evening and it was very good.

9. Making contacts

Last night we made our way to the Pissouriana bar, this is the place where the Brits in the area tend to meet. We were greeted by our friends Liza and Dom, Dom and some of his friends were holding a meeting, they plan to Cycle around Cyprus for a charity event in November 2007.This morning we drove up to the mountain overlooking Pissouri, from there you have superb views of Pissouri Bay, Pissouri village and the surrounding hills.

8. Getting Stoned in Pissouri

We flew out from Cardiff airport to Paphos in Cyprus, there were only 19 passengers on the plane so we had plenty of room. We drove to the villa in the village of Pissouri that we had rented and settled in, then we drove to Paphos to buy mobile phones to keep in contact with the outside world.

That night there was a violent electrical storm that caused a certain amount of damage in the area and some local flooding. We woke the next day to find piles of hailstones in the garden, not what we expected to find in Cyprus !

Sunday, October 22, 2006

8. Farewell Gathering & packing.

Mid October and we are begining to pack our things for our trip to Cyprus, Mandy is having trouble deciding what to pack in her case,
"so much she wants to pack, so little room"

Our family and friends gathered up at a local restaurant to wish us well on our travels, it was also a chance to celebrate Lisa’s 25th birthday.

Today in Wales, we have had nothing but constant rain, so hopefully the next entry in the blog will be from the sunnier climes of Cyprus.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

7. Booking our Winter visit.

We have booked our flights (one way) from the UK out to Cyrpus for late October 2006. We have also booked a two bedroom villa in the village of Pissouri. Now we have to decide what we will need to take with us to get through a Cypriot Winter.

Today we are going out for Sunday lunch with our family to celebrate our second wedding anniversary, we have chosen to go for a pub lunch at The Three Horseshoes in Moulton in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Rob pictured with Cousins Lee and Lisa.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

6. Snowdonia & The Elan Valley.

While our Cyprus plans progress we decided to visit The Spectacular National Park of Snowdonia in North Wales. Our base for the visit was the picturesque village of Beddgelert. The scenery in Snowdonia is quite breathtaking.

We also took the chance to visit the stunning scenery of the Elan Valley in Mid Wales. This valley is the location of several dams and resivours that supplies the English City of Birmingham with its fresh water.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

5. Cyprus Friends and New car

Our friends Liza and Dom who live in Pissouri village are now activley searching for suitable accommodation for our proposed Winter in Cyprus.
We have decided that as our plans mean that we are staying in the UK in the short term that we needed to change our car, our old one is 10 years old and it always needs some work doing to it. We went down to our local dealer and got a car that is 18 months old. Its not a big car, it’s a Ford Fiesta 1.4 Zetec, but its big enough for us and hopefuly will be reliable.
Our first outing in the Car was to the Brecon beacons National

Park in South Wales. The Beacons are an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

4. A visit to the Polis/Lachi area

We returned to Cyprus in July 2006. This time we went to the Polis/Latchi area of the island which is North of Pafos. We booked into the Souli Hotel on the seafront of Latchi, it’s a small family run Hotel and all the staff were friendly and Helpful.

This is a beautiful area of Cyprus, much Greener than the other places we have visited. The Polis/Latch area loosk a good area for coastal walks and bike riding…when the weather is cooler.

The sea at this time of year is perfect for swimming in and if you take a boat to some of the more secluded coves then the water in an unbelievable shade of blue.

Our plans for a move to Cyprus had changed slightly, we now intend to hold onto our UK property for now and spend a couple of months in Cyprus this coming Winter. We think this will give a better feel of actualy living on the Island.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Village of Pissouri

3. The Village of Pissouri

We first visited Pissouri in 2004 and liked it so much that we vowed to return.

The place is a little gem, you have to leave the Coast road or Motorway between Limassol and Paphos, drive up the mountain to reach the village. The views of the surrounding countryside and towards the sea from the village are spectacular.

The spot in the village to head for is the small town square where there are plenty of tavernas. There are also a couple of local shops to buy the local produce.Pissouri village has retained its traditional Cypriot character, while adapting very successfully to welcome visitors to the village

Pissouri Bay is a 5 minute drive away where there are a number of tavernas and shops in the area. The beach itself is clean and safe and rarely crowded. Water sports available in the summer form a number of suppliers and include jet skis and water skiing, etc. There is also a small diving school if you would like to learn to scuba dive during your stay or visit some of the local dive sites.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

First Step

2. First Step.

In May 2006 we flew from Bristol airport (UK) to Pafos (Cyprus.) We were met at the airport by our contact, Mark, who drove us to the village of Pissouri where we had rented an apartment for a week.

The following morning we met Mark for a coffee in the village square and he answered numerous questions about making the move from the UK to Cyprus. Mark and his wife, Lyn, had made the same move 4 years earlier and knew the pitfalls about such a move.

There is so much to consider, but we intend to do it one step at a time, the first thing we decide to do is open a bank account, this turns out to be a simple enough task. The bank staff are helpful and assure us that our ATM cards and cheque books will be ready for collection in a couple of days time, as true as their word they are available on the day.

The next task is to pick up a hire car from the local rental company in Pissouri(Nicos Xandris), the lady behind the desk is very helpful and tells us to drop off the car at the airport when we’ve finished with it and to lock the keys in the boot.

In the evening we find ourselves at a local bar called the Sparti bar and we meet Liza and Dom who have recently made the move from the UK. Liza tells Mandy that she is a midwife at the local Limassol hospital, now Mandy is a nurse, so this turns out to be a good contact for her and they spent the evening discussing nursing in Cyprus….Rob watches the football !

Welcome to our Blog

1. Welcome to our Cyprus Blog.

We are in the process of trying to sell our house and planning to start a new life in Cyprus. In May 2006 we visited Cyprus on a fact finding trip and were based in the village of Pissouri (a mountain top village between Limassol and Pafos.)

We made a couple of good contacts on this trip, took in a lot of useful information and generally explored the surrounding area.

What are our reasons for the move ? well, there are a few, the Winter weather in the UK, the slower pace of life on the Island, the outdoor life, cost of living in the UK and a desire to live in a Mediterranean country.

So hopefully this blog will be a record of our planned move to the Island of Cyprus, if nothing else it will be an adventure but we hope it will lead to a new life, new experiences, new friends and a few laughs…Lets Go !