This post probably won’t make me popular because everyone seems to love Cyprus. When we lived in Qatar, people had regaled us with tales of a beautiful island with amazing food and beautiful views. Friends told us they wanted to retire there. Several people we knew owned houses there and vacation rental ads were constantly popping up on our local message boards. Friends of ours decided to spend the whole summer there, rented a house, and invited us for a week. It sounded like a perfect trip. However, I didn’t like Cyprus and neither did Keith.
Hot. WHY so hot???
Words cannot describe how damn hot Cyprus was. It was seriously bone crushingly hot. The minute we got there, we were absolutely drenched in sweat. And the house didn’t have air conditioning anywhere other than the bedroom units. However, the owners of the home told us that we were responsible for the electric bill during that time and it was up to us to decide whether or not to use the air conditioning. Not use the air conditioning? Absolutely out of the question. There’s no way we could have slept at night so we had to turn them on for some relief. So we spent our days roasting in the living room. Roasting in the back yard. Roasting in the kitchen. At one point, my friend Natalka and I went to a local hotel spa to have a massage and the air conditioning was not working in the spa. I couldn’t even deal. It being Europe, most places were not air conditioned. Restaurants, stores, bars. Everywhere was so hot. I do not do well with extreme heat. I feel like I spent the entire week wilting.
An overall lack of European beauty
We’ve been to Europe a lot and have a good feel for what to expect and what not to expect. For example, we know that most of the beaches aren’t white sand beaches and pretty rocky. However, the area we were in on Cyprus, Paphos, just wasn’t that pretty, for lack of a better word. The beach was rocky and the shoreline just wasn’t charming at all. It really did lack European charm. Which is a shame because Cyprus does have a very interesting, long history. Other than some ruins, there really wasn’t anything to write home about. I couldn’t figure out what about it charmed people so much. I found everything pretty spread out and streets very disorganized. And not in a fun, let’s-get-lost-on-the-charming-European-streets kind of way. More of a Miami beach kind of way. Everything seemed slightly modern and I didn’t really feel any Greek or Turkish influence whatsoever. Other than amaaaazzing cheese and wine!
At the risk of sounding like a total snot…..
….I found the crowd in Cyprus quite odd. All my European experiences have always been filled with…. well, European people. I feel like Europeans have charm, personality and are super polite and welcoming. I did not feel this on Cyprus. Lots of frowny faces. Not super welcoming. And filled with loud, single people who, to be blunt, seemed a little trashy. Super drunk, very little clothing (although it was SO HOT) and just generally loud and obnoxious. It was so weird. We went out to dinner one night sans kids and we were seriously the quietest, most in control people in town. And we’re American lol. It was very, very bizarre and I can’t honestly say I was super impressed. And I realize that I may be sounding like a total snot here, and maybe it was just the heat, but I didn’t feel comfortable whatsoever. Maybe we were in the wrong town, who knows.
To be totally honest, I found Cyprus really boring. Although we definitely like to relax on vacations, and that was actually our main reason for visting Cyrpus (we had a fantastic time just spending time with friends), I do like to see culture, explore some history, etc. Other than several places with ruins, there really wasn’t that much to see or do. We did have some spectacular meals because we like to eat and drink but other than that, there was very little culture in town. We would go into town and people would be strolling around in bikini tops and falling out of bars drunk. No cultural tours or history to speak of. Hey, Europe is hundreds of years older than my country – if I’m flying all the way there, I want to hear about some history!
The caveat: there is one really interesting place in Cyprus that we didn’t get to see. Varosha, Famagusta…..an abandoned southern quarter of the city of Famagusta. It was the modern tourist area of the city before the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The citizens fled during the invasion when it came under Turkish control and it has remained abandoned and under the occupation of the Turkish Armed Forces ever since. The quarter continues to be uninhabited and is a ghost town, with cars literally abandoned in the street. Entry is forbidden to the public. I love me a good ghost town!
Everyone travels very differently and I realize this post won’t be well received by a lot of people. And if I’m honest, we didn’t really try too hard in Cyprus. We were mainly there to catch up with friends, not be tourists and I really did zero research about it before we went so we didn’t know what to expect. The trip itself was great because we were with some good good friends, but I don’t think we’ll be back. It’s hard to explain, but it just wasn’t our style I guess. What do you think of Cyprus?