Finally July came and our winterly pale selves have been promptly installed back in our Cypriot lifestyle. It’s hard not to like the later when on daily bases one can: go to the beach, spend majority of the day outside, meet friends spontaneously, eat out, buy fresh delicious and incredibly cheap fruit and vegetables, hire inexpensive help, send the kids to daily swimming lessons, daily dancing lessons and several other activities without breaking the bank, go to gym and park the car for free right outside.
The 6 weeks of vacation bliss passed incredibly fast. It was very much involved around the kids and from what I sense so will be any summer holiday going forward until they turn the appropriate age when spending time with your parents becomes utterly uncool. But you know what, I am totally fine with that age ;) I fact when is it again??
The strawberries, age 5, learned the basics of swimming, riding a bicycle, had their first hiking trip, first vacation with other families, first sleep over and mastered the skill of communicating without speaking the language. That’s right, I find it incredible how adaptable children are. In the summer school all children spoke pretty much only Greek. Yet they made friends incredibly fast. The social climbing tendencies of the one quickly kicked in. From day 1 she started arriving home with “presents” and braids made by one of the older children. The other one did not stay much behind, having difficulties to convince her to get back home at the end of the day as playing with hide and seek with the boys seemed so much more fun.
One of the many reasons I really like Cyprus is our home there. I have always been so much against holiday homes because I like to travel and the thought of having to go to the same place all the time seemed burdening. But that concept entirely changed after having children. Traveling with the little ones is a very expensive exercise: it’s 4 plane tickets, 2 hotel rooms, rental car, lots on food and entertainment.The maximum we could sustain is 2 weeks at best. Besides the hassle is so much bigger having to pack and discovering where everything is on arrival. All of a sudden having a fixed place to go to sounds like a fantastic idea. The packing is limited as there is everything on arrival, including cloths, toys and other children paraphernalia. There is a car waiting outside. The grocery store, the bakery, the pharmacy, the doctor etc is all located nearby . There is a thrusted nanny on call, who also cleans and irons. The apartment is big, not a tiny crammed hotel room. Basically there is nothing to do except enjoy, and for good 6 weeks, not 2. Besides the place rents out easily pretty much over the entire year when not in use, so it ends up bringing money, not costing. The only down side is that it’s a bit far, 4,5 hours on the plane. But that’s also why the climate is so great. Cyprus is closer to Lebanon and Egypt than to continental Europe.
And its home. I have mentioned that before but it gets more and more home each and every time. Even now I can close my eyes and stroll around dreamingly the sun drenched streets of old town Larnaca, taste the sweetest ever freshly squeezed orange juice from Finikoudes beach avenue, and drink it under the palm trees while the warm wind plays with the locks of my hair and the satin of my summer dress. I am in love, deeply and for ever. I want to grow old in this town and one day my ashes be spread over the waves that wash its shore.
If you ask me should you visit Larnaca I would say don’t. There is really nothing special about it. It’s small, a bit dull especially in winter, it’s not particularly picturesque, the beaches lack the azure color of the ones in Napa and Protaras. I don’t think you will feel the child-like excitement I have. It would be just another holiday destination for you, and probably not the most memorable one.
But to me it is haven on earth. There are memories coming in from every corner. Its beauty shines trough from the history it has and the history I have with it. I adore its beach promenade, the old churches, the ever changing sea, the covered with fruit orange trees, the flowery bushes that cover the old houses, the warm wind and not to forget, the Sun the mighty Sun. To me Larnaca is a bright sunny day when every color shines at it’s very best and one must be blind not to see the endless beauty of the world.
I told you I am in love, I was not kidding :)
But like all good things, the holiday came to and end and with a heavy heart I had to say goodbye to the island. It was a bit depressing really. Netherlands welcomed us with a bucket of rain in the face. 16 C, wet and plentiful of that adorable piercing cold wind that makes you just love your life. Luckily more school holidays are coming and therefor more Cyprus trips. If it wasn't for that I would have been crying, literally.