Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Brrr it's cold!

We missed the three days of storms and had a glorious week of temperatures around 24 degrees. To be honest, the night we arrived was full of thunder, lightning and torrential rain and we wondered if we'd done the right thing in arriving so late in the season.

Next day however, the sun chased the clouds away out over the Med and from then on it got steadily warmer and brighter. We hired a car on Wednesday and toured down the west coast to Limassol, stopping off at Aphrodite's Birthplace on the way. The white cliffs and the turquoise sea are stunning on a sunny day.

From Limassol we toured up into the Troodos mountains hoping we could find Kykko Monastery, reputed the be the richest in Cyprus, and where Archbishop Makarios is buried. We did, and found the place strangely oppressive. More on that tomorrow, when I dig the pics out. We crossed over the hump on the way, driving into and out of the snow line and goggling at the weird golf balls perched all over hilltops in Cyprus. Huge golf balls, with notices declaring that photography is not allowed, and, of course, absolutely no information as to what they might be doing there. They reminded me of the early warning stations on Fylingdales Moor way back in the sixties.

We then promptly got lost on the back roads heading home to Paphos. We should have had a jeep, for the 15 miles of dirt roads roared up and down hillsides, careered to the edge of sheer drops and of course the storms had cut deep gulleyes and channels where rainwater had taken the fall line down the mountain. DH, who has more knowledge of cars than yours truly, moaned and cringed and prayed that we wouldn't get a puncture, knock the sump off or otherwise damage the car. Anxiety spoilt his view of the wonderful pine forests with sun shining through the trunks...and the views across endless mountain ranges. I offered to get out and remove fallen rocks from our path, and had my hand on the door handle when I realised that I couldn't step out unless I wanted to drop about fifty feet to the stream below. "Oh, well, I can't get out here," I said, mistress of cool. DH ground his teeth and failed to respond.


Amanda Baynham said...

So glad you had a good time. Sounds like a fabulous place, and as if you were meant to go when you did, thereby missing the storm.
And what's an overseas trip without a few rockslides and giant golf balls? I've heard authors live for adventure. :)


Jen Black said...

Hi Mandy,
I enjoyed the holiday and thoroughly recommend Cyprus, golf balls included. It's a listening post for the whole Mediterranean, I think. And there is still a frontier between Greek Cyprus and Turkish Cyprus. Armed guards, too.