After leaving Egypt we decided that we wanted another long term stay like we’d had in Greece, so after some investigation we found an apartment in Paphos in Cyprus that looked great and who could give us a good deal on a 12 week rental.
Flying in from Cairo to Larnaca and then driving across to Paphos I was amazed at how green everything looked after our weeks in the desert! It also seemed so empty! Luxor and Cairo are bustling, busy places, everyone moving, talking, never stopping. But Paphos, off season, felt positively ghost town-esque.
That first week after we arrived felt quite unsettling. I was missing Egypt, missing the hub, the friendliness of the people there and the community we had become part of. I was also horrified at how much everything cost. No more meals out for less than £2.50 per person. Here prices were much like the rest of Northern Europe, and being pushed higher all the time.
Still, our apartment was in a nice part of town, a 15 minute walk from gorgeous beaches, the same again from supermarkets and a shopping centre plus we found a cheap rental car that meant we could explore more easily and so, as the days drifted by, I began to feel more relaxed and able to enjoy our new surroundings.
We walked a lot that first week (and ate a lot of ice cream too), keen to find our feet and see what the area was like. The Mediterranean sea called to me like a long lost friend. I had been so happy to see water in Marsa Alam but that had been far too short a visit and the desert sand needed washing from my body and soul. Being back by the coast lifted my spirits. On our first full day we unpacked, stocked the kitchen and caught up on some travel admin before setting out to stretch our legs as the sun dropped from the sky. The sunset over the water was breathtaking and a clear sign to me that we would enjoy our time here.
If you have never been to Cyprus there’s a reason why it’s a top tourist destination. Clean water, sandy beaches, long hot days most of the year. I was worried that the “tourist trap” feel would be off putting but arriving in early Spring meant that the people around us were mostly local Cypriots or Ex Pats who had made the island their home and it felt nice to be a part of that community.
Cyprus is a dry place most of the year but we saw our first rain in two months during that first week. It felt great! How funny to us after leaving the UK and thinking we would happily never be under a grey sky again that we enjoyed those March showers so much.
As the week ended we got back into adventure mode and went to check out the infamous “Tomb of the Kings”. We worried we would feel underwhelmed after all the grandeur and history we’d just left behind in Egpyt but it was a great place to explore for an afternoon. The boys enjoyed running around the ruins, climbing through tunnels and doorways. Spoiler alert, no royals were ever actually buried there but it was used for important members of society and impressive in it’s own way.
We ended the week feeling a little like we still wanted to run back down to Africa but with high hopes we’d find our rhythm and sure enough it didn’t take long. In my next post I’m going to talk about how we found activities and community for the boys and how important that would be over the months we spent in Cyprus.