The truth about Cyprus
The truth about Cyprus
Cyprus. The land of everything simple. If only the story about Cypriots was simple as well. But it’s not and never will be. If someone asked me if I would ever return to Cyprus, I would say yes, just with my ears closed, because there is nothing more disturbing to me than to visit a country and hear every other language except the local language (I am not talking about cities like London, NY, and Paris). I think that it is sad, very sad, if I look at it from my traveling perspective.
Yes, I would come back to Cyprus, but that would be because of all the locals. These amazing people, who will gossip about you the moment you leave the room (yes, gossiping is their national hobby), will, at the same time, make you feel welcome, special – as if you were at home – taking the best possible care of you –and that is something very special. And of course, let's not forget food, and the food here is (how could you say?) just fantastic. With one small note – it is fantastic if you know where to go. And that is another story.
People who know me know that before I travel anywhere, I do a lot of research. I tried to do so about Cyprus and Limassol, but after my lifetime of travel I have to admit that this was the hardest research I've ever done. It was like looking for a place that does not really exist (on the Internet). I found one place but hardly found anything else. The good thing was that I had one of my partners waiting for me there, and I knew he would take care of the places to go to eat, but it’s always good to have some of my own. I almost did not, except the same old crappy places (Trip advisor 3 to 5 star beauties) where you get the same pizza and coffee and fries as anywhere else in the world. These places you find easily, but have nothing to do with the real taste of the place; honestly, I have no idea why you would travel to another country to eat that same old bad stuff all over again. You might as well stay home.
Keep in mind
- They like to order their coffee from their coffee places on the phone and then just stop by and get it. Weird but true.
- The typical taxi driver will either eat while driving, discuss family stuff over the phone, or try to unwrap a candy that is stuck in paper. And that’s ok.
- Locals are not necessarily are super happy, but they are super relaxed and that is enough.
- No matter what you do, just eat local produce. Avocados are divine, as is the fruit, and those cucumbers – that is something special. Goat milk halloumi is a must, and the walnuts and pecans in the shell – amazing.
- Olive oil is their favorite – they pour it over everything, even over the things that already have plenty of olive oil.
- Try all the possible fruits in syrups because that’s what they eat. Walnuts and cherries are my favorite but watermelon rind is special too.
- Be careful with taxis. The same distance that will cost 7 euros for locals can cost you 12.
- They all speak English and many of them Russian.
- Rent a car and go outside the city.
Text and photos: Signe Meirane
Photos taken with Sony alpha 7s