I can hardly believe a month has passed since I jetted off to the beautiful island of Cyprus! As the chill draws in, I find myself looking back at my holiday snaps and trying to transport myself back to that idyllic place…
A true hub of excitement and life; where drinks flow freely like falling water. A place of chaos and loss; where destruction and pain is rife and fresh in the hearts of many. A dazzling island of beauty; where colours so crystal clear blind you with their brilliance. Or, to a naive girl, stepping on its shores for the first time, simply: Cyprus.
The anticipation I had for venturing onto the sands of Cyprus had been bubbling for some time. To plan a holiday when the weather is turning to the crisp leaves of autumn, can conjure a sense of dread to many, as their guarantee of endless summer sun can be seen slipping through their fingers. Moreover, planning a stay in an island notorious for its party life during peak plants a seed of panic, as images of boozy filled nights and rowdy travellers, don’t leave much to be desired.
Yet what wonderment awaited me. Now reaching the end of its tourist season, Protaras was scattered instead with elderly couples coming to soak up the last of the summer sun, young families with infants that squealed with joy at the gentle waves of the sea on their bronzed skin and then of course the locals; once again being able to enjoy their home. A heat of thirty degrees was complimented by a light breeze, which took the edge off the harsh suns glare, making it a perfect atmosphere to laze on the shore with the hum of the ocean as its soundtrack.
Protaras’ main strip is made up of a tourist’s paradise, with memorabilia shops lining the walkways full of fluorescent colours and gimmicks galore. Yet amidst the tatter it is possible to find some hidden gems; mainly the exquisite bars and restaurants that belonged more on the streets of London, if the weather so permitted, their quality was such. One such was the LemonGrass, a Pan-Asian cuisine that had tempted my eye for the duration of my stay. It was only the last night that I got to try its delights and what a treat I was in for. The food hit every sensation imaginable and I was in awe of the attentiveness of its staff, ready at the slightest of head turn to be of assistance. I could not recommend this eatery enough, if you find yourselves on Cyprus shores, as I am sure it will delight you as much as it did I.
Travel a few hours West and you will find yourself in Pathos, the cultural heart of the country. The city is awash with historical gems; like the old Grecian bath house, with its beautiful mosaic remains and the reconstructed amphitheatre that I got to witness. It is amazing to think that Gladiators once stood where I did, battling for their life at the hands of another.
Protaras however, is perhaps more famous for being the birth place of the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. In its oceans can be found three rocks, where it is said the goddess emerged. Legend has it, if you swim around the rocks on the stroke of midnight on a full moon naked, you will be blessed with eternal youth forever. Although I saw no one attempt this (the waves looked far too threatening for a start) it was a picture perfect location for a wedding shoot, which I did gaze upon and the couple looked blissfully in love as they splashed around the waves with only eyes for each other.
Holidaymakers go year on year, evidenced by the familiarity between staff and residents at The Odessa Hotel, which to note provided excellent service during my stay. My sense of wanderlust and hunger for new adventures would perhaps be the only thing stopping me returning, but I truly believe this is the ideal holiday location from 5 to 75 – there is really something for everyone. I will never forget my time here.