Europe Trip 2008 Day #13: A Brutal Cyprus Tour

Who would have imagined us traveling to Cyprus of all places? Today was a hot day, a very hot day indeed. As I mentioned yesterday, we went on a shorter excursion today in Limassol, Cyprus and we thought spending less on the tour would be good just so we wouldn't be overdoing the whole “touring” thing. I can honestly say that we got exactly what we paid for today in Limassol.

One of the great things about this stop was the time of departure, as you probably have guessed by past posts, Jenn and I don’t love waking up early, especially without a meal. Today was so much smoother then in Turkey, we woke up at 8:30 had breakfast, got ready, and were on the bus for our tour of Cyprus at around 10:00 AM. This tour was about half of the length of the Turkey tour (4 1/2 hours to be exact) and was set to see the ancient town of Kourion, and followed that to the Temple of Apollo and finished it up in the town of Omodos Village.

Right out of the gate today we were all a little underwhelmed with Cyprus, the port was extremely dirty, and run down. Looking out of our balcony the water was really murky, and brown. As we started driving down the streets of Cyprus to make our way to Kourion the town looked poverty stricken and extremely run down. Further along the drive to the first stop things did pick up a bit, and it actually reminded for a block or two of Riverside (where I live) with Orange Groves and lights that reminded me of streets back home. Unfortunately that didn't last all that long and we were into a more harsh desert landscape that was really unappealing to the eye. Jenn’s Dad who is usually extremely positive had the comment that it looked like we were on a tour of Blythe, CA which for whoever has been there isn't necessarily a great town to visit.

Europe Trip 2008: Limassol, Cyprus Day 13

Jenn and I in Kourion

Our first stop was in Kourion which quite frankly I am still not sure why we stopped there. There were some ruins that were far to modernized and everything that was here we had seen better in both Rome and Turkey. As you can imagine the heat which had to be above 90 degrees with little to no breeze and high humidity didn’t help this first stop. I am carrying a slight burn from yesterday’s beach experience so standing in the sun doesn’t feel all that great to begin with, and unfortunately there was nothing to see so that was a bit disappointing as well.

Europe Trip 2008: Limassol, Cyprus Day 13

There’s me at the site of the Temple of Apollo

One of the bullet points on the tours description was to stop for photos at the Kolossi Castle, we never did, nor was there any reason to anyways. From a good three football fields away we saw what looked like the maid’s quarters of a normal castle, so stopping there didn’t seem necessary anyways. Our second stop was at a temple built to honor the Greek god Apollo, and boy was that underwhelming. Once again there was very little to see, the real attraction here was the lone remaining pillar that still stood from so many years ago. There was a line to take a picture at this pillar, that show’s you how little else there was to do.

Europe Trip 2008: Limassol, Cyprus Day 13

Jenn and I at the Remaining Pillar at the Temple of Apollo

Our final stop was to Omodos Village, it is a wine village, plenty of small independent vineyards, most of which are family operated. Before getting to Cyprus they said one of the things to buy in the area was Wine, so of course I did. We spent almost 2 hours at this town, and it took Jenn and I about 20 minutes to get her a painting (we collect them from each stop) and myself a two pack of wine. We sat around at a small park swinging on a very dirty old swing set trying to find shade while we waited for the rest of the tour to finish going through this village. Jenn and I both are not very into shopping, and when it is hot out, that really leaves no desire to shop at all, so we got what we needed to done and just waited.

Europe Trip 2008: Limassol, Cyprus Day 13

My Two Bottles of Wine from Omodous Village

Europe Trip 2008: Limassol, Cyprus Day 13

Jenn Swinging in Omodous Village & Trying to Stay Cool

Getting back to the boat I described to Jenn as being the best part of the trip. Another big flaw of this tour that I forgot to mention was the bus’s A/C, boy that thing was cruel, it would work but only sometimes. I had an old Chevy Malibu that’s A/C would flicker on and off, well this A/C seemed like it would stay off a lot more of the time then it stayed on. So it was hot outside, it was hot in the bus, and our tour guide was pretty uninspired, not the best tour that is for sure. I say all this with the realization that I am sure there are some great areas of Cyprus, supposedly there are beautiful beaches, and the other side of the island is supposed to be great as well. The history and the current split of the island I found fascinating, and there recent acceptance into the European Union seems to have them excited as well. There were a few interesting segments of the tour, but in the end we would have been better just taking today as a quick stop and move on day.

When we got back to the ship both my new fiance and I were both ready for some food and beverages. We ordered some room service and then I picked Jenn up a Ben and Jerry’s Strawberry Shake and I went up and got the cocktail of the day which I believe was called a Blue Azire, which I have no idea what was in it but I liked it. I don’t drink much more then Wine and Champagne, but every now and again I will try something, and today a drink sounded good so I went for it. Jenn had a 60 minute facial/massage afterwards which consisted of a 20 minute foot massage, a 20 minute back massage, and a 20 minute facial. This is the first one she had ever had before and she seemed to really enjoy it. While she was gone I took a nap and it was off to dinner.

Europe Trip 2008: Limassol, Cyprus Day 13

Having my Royal Caribbean Martini of the Day

Dinner tonight was once again casual, and for me it was not one of my better dinners, I just didn’t choose the right items. I had a Caesar salad, but I should have gotten Jenn’s spicy potato soup which was delicious. I had turkey for dinner but it was fried and it just didn’t taste that great. Desert was the only relief which was a chocolate trio which had three different chocolate deserts, now that was tasty. We finished the day by going to the show which featured once again the singers and dancers of Royal Caribbean and boy were they just as bad as the first time. For some reason we sat in the front row and that made things worse, we saw how bad they were up close. I give them so much credit for there efforts but boy there show’s are some of the worst I have ever seen.

Tomorrow is a much needed at sea day, where we get ready for our 13 hour tour of Egypt the following day, by far our biggest day of the cruise. I will talk more about that tomorrow but until then, I will be sleeping. Goodnight and good luck!