Tag Archives: Cyprus

Goodbye to Paphos!

22 Mar

Water is the theme of today’s IDEAfit photo a day image:

Early morning in Paphos

Early morning in Paphos

After another late night, I woke before 6am and decided that I might as well get up as I had plenty of things to do. I packed as many of my possessions as I could before putting on my running kit.

When I walked downstairs at 6:25am, I was struck by how beautiful the early morning light was, as well as by the silence of the hotel, which was virtually empty. Ariadne had been replaced on reception by an avuncular figure who said hello. I gave him my room key and glanced around to see whether Fiona or Mary had taken a seat by the window to wait for me. The receptionist asked whether he could help me, but I explained that I was just waiting for my friend. As I still had a few minutes, I chose to sit and look out at the view.

Shortly afterwards, Fiona appeared and as it was already 5 minutes after we had agreed to meet, we decided that Mary had opted out of our run. As we were walking down the steps to go outside, Fiona confessed that she had been very ill for most of the night and didn’t think that she felt able to run, so we agreed to go for a walk.

It was pleasantly cool as the sun had not been up for long and there was a barely perceptible breeze. We proceeded along the boardwalk to the steps down into the sea. The local people of all ages bathe here regularly. There seems to be a real camaraderie between them as well as a trustfulness – I was shocked that people had just left their mobile phones in full view on the benches.

We rounded the corner to where other people swim and sat on a bench for a while watching people. Then we walked a bit further for me to investigate where I might purchase some items that my family had requested, before heading back to the hotel.

It was only 7am, so I was sorely tempted to go out for a lovely run on my own, but I was conscious of how much packing I had to do, as well as the fact that I needed to wash, eat breakfast, check out and get into the conference room by 8:45am. I returned to my room, freshened up, put on my clothes (jeans and a thick cardigan – urgh!), did some packing and checked a few emails before heading down for another glorious breakfast. Jean and Mary were already there, but Fiona had decided that it would be wiser to get some rest in the hope of feeling better.

I started off with some mushrooms, beans, potatoes and bread, before having some fresh yoghurt with almonds and cinnamon sugar; finally, I rounded my meal off with a Danish pastry.

The conference sessions passed quickly, and soon it was coffee break time. I had the opportunity to speak to a few delegates, but there is just never enough time to speak to everyone you want to at such events. I realised that I wouldn’t be able to stay for all of the next presentation, so thought it would be politer not to disrupt proceedings part way through. Other delegates were leaving at the same time as me, so I headed into town with one of them to make a last minute purchase. I also had the opportunity to sample a delicious local ice cream – pistachio and gianduja. I was quite restrained and only had one scoop. We then hurried back to the hotel with just five minutes to wait before our taxi arrived. Then it was a short journey to the airport (and a 2 hour wait in the departure lounge), before boarding my flight.

Disappointed by the infinity pool

20 Mar

Here is today’s IDEAfit photo a day image for Spring:

Flower buds always make me think of spring

Flower buds always make me think of spring

Thursday was my first full day in Paphos and I was up bright and early, ready to go out for a run with Fiona.

Selfie before my first run in Paphos

Selfie before my first run in Paphos

I was excited about the good weather and the opportunity to explore… and was also enjoying the fact that there was no pressure on me to run fast as Fiona hasn’t run for a little while.

Mary decide to join us as she is also a keen runner, but she had to be back at the hotel earlier than us as her presentation was scheduled for the morning.

We started out by running for 1 minute before walking for a minute, but Fiona felt that she could push a bit harder, so we ran for 1:30 before walking for a minute. By the time that we reached the end of the marina, Mary had to turn around, but Fiona and I wanted to carry on along the coast path for a little bit. I thought that we could head to the lighthouse and jog around it, but I hadn’t realised that it was in a fenced off area. It looked beautiful in the morning sun, so we stopped for some photos:

First run in Paphos

First run in Paphos

To the Lighthouse...

To the Lighthouse…

Doesn’t it look gorgeous?

The path narrowed, so Fiona and I decided to head back around on a path that seemed to be parallel to the marina. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get that right, but ended up running further inland, where we saw some interesting buildings including this attractive church.

A local church

A local church

It was getting hot and Fiona was starting to flag as we had covered 6km when our hotel came into view. For someone who hasn’t run for a while, I think she did brilliantly.

As we entered the hotel from a gate that we were unfamiliar with, we decided to explore the grounds and find the infinity pool that we had seen on the website. When we located it, we felt terribly disappointed as it only seemed to be knee-deep and had some algae in it – definitely not the luxurious pool that we had been anticipating.

The infinity pool?

The infinity pool?

Another selfie!

Another selfie!

We headed back to the main pool area in front of the hotel and stopped for a stretch.

Stretching

Stretching

Then we decided to get some breakfast to eat outside in the sun, before heading back to our rooms to shower and change. The food that was on offer was delicious. I had some Greek yoghurt with peaches, kiwi fruit, dates and almonds.

Healthy breakfast

Healthy breakfast

After that, we had a day of work, which was punctuated by tea-breaks in the sunshine.

Work

Work

Then when the conference had finished, our colleagues pointed out that we had simply found a water feature and not the infinity pool. The real pool was stunning!

The real infinity pool

The real infinity pool

My work colleagues

My work colleagues

We headed back to our rooms to change before trying the pool out. It wasn’t heated, so I didn’t stay too long before heading to the indoor pool. By the time we had finished swimming, the sun was setting and looked amazing.

Sunset

Sunset

My first full day in Cyprus was very busy, but extremely enjoyable. I’d love to go back there for a holiday at some stage.

 

I’m going Greek!

19 Mar

It’s been a while since I’ve finished a blog post (I’ve got lots of half-written ones), so I’m sorry. I’ve decided that I’d better just write each day and I’ll fill in the gaps as soon as possible.

Today has been a busy and LONG day as I’ve travelled to Paphos in Cyprus for a conference. I woke up at 4:15am this morning and so although it’s only 9:30pm UK time, it feels like it’s much later than that.

The flight took about 4.5 hours. It was full of elderly people who were off for a break in the sun. After sitting still for so long, I was really pleased when we finally got off the plane and out of the airport. The weather was warm and there were palm trees everywhere.

Paphos airport

Paphos airport

It was a short taxi journey from the airport to the hotel. We checked in promptly and had enough time to take a selfie before heading off to our rooms to unpack and answer some work emails.

A quick selfie at the hotel

A quick selfie at the hotel

The view from Hotel Almyra (Paphos)

The view from Hotel Almyra (Paphos)

Then it was time for a very late lunch, so Fiona and I headed along the coastal footpath and into the town. There are lots of lovely places to eat here and I’m sure it must be wonderful for people who like seafood. We also thought the ‘all day cake buffet’ sounded good!

All day cake buffet sign

If only I hadn’t given up cake for Lent!

In the end, Fiona and I stopped outside a cafe for a Greek salad, which was delicious. The feta cheese is so much nicer here than at home and the olives were large and tasty.

After lunch, we carried on walking though town and headed towards the marina. We had heard that there is an archaeological site there with some ancient mosaics, but we were too late to see them, so we just went for a walk along the coastal footpath instead.

There are some attractive ruins here – at the top left of the image below, you can just about make out the fort.

A view of the fort

A view of the fort

The views around the peninsula were really lovely and although there was a gentle breeze, it still felt warm.

The lighthouse

The lighthouse

As the sun started to set, we headed back to the hotel.

Sunset in Paphos

Sunset in Paphos

We had noticed a number of ginger cats around town and when we got back to the hotel, Fiona saw a black cat. She stopped to take a picture of him.

First, Fiona found a single black cat...

First, Fiona found a single black cat…

 

Fiona with cats

…and it wasn’t long before she was surrounded!

This one was definitely a 'Kitler'

This one was definitely a ‘Kitler’

We then decided that it was time for another drink whilst the sun went down.

We watched the sun go down...

We watched the sun go down…

It must be amazing to live somewhere like this

It must be amazing to live somewhere like this

Pineapple coolers

Pineapple coolers

So, that’s the main summary of what I’ve been up to today. I’m finally having a tiny break from exercise, but I’m planning to go running tomorrow morning. I’d also love to swim in the hotel pool, but I’ve forgotten my goggles 😦

Here is today’s IDEAfit photo a day image for March 19: Run

Running track

#springintoactionmarch