This morning I woke up and I knew I was leaving Istanbul. I am sure I will miss it and I already want to go back. But the cool thing about this trip is that the journey is not over yet – it’s just at the beginning!
So I flew to Athens and then to Larnaca, Cyprus. It was a long trip for such a close destination, but unfortunately there are no direct flights from Turkey to Cyprus (yes there are flights to the northern part of the country but I won’t go over there).
It’s funny how I ended up in Cyprus – it’s one of those countries that I never really thought about. But then the idea of the Middle East crossing popped, and as I couldn’t cross Syria I decided for a detour in Cyprus. It is not technically Middle East, but if you look at the map… And when you are here, you can tell that you are somewhere in between Europe and the Middle East. Not like Istanbul – the modern metropolis of the area – but in a mix of cultures, languages and sounds that remind you that you’re in a middle-earth.
I landed in Larnaca and after a very nice meeting with Mr Evagoras of the CTO (Cyprus Tourism Organization) I picked up my car and started my exploration!
I must say that I have no idea how I could have moved around the island without a car. I have to thank Carrentals.co.uk for providing the car I am driving for the week. A huge thank you!
In Cyprus you have to drive on the left side. I did it before but it was many years ago and I must confess I had the constant feeling of being on the wrong lane… Also the roads in Larnaca are more than narrow so I wouldn’t suggest you to drive into the alleys, but rather stay on main streets (I learned it the hard way).
It’s been a long day. Everything made me nervous – a loud passenger on the flight to Athens, a kid crying, the Italian tourists speaking Italian to Cypriot clerks… just to name a few.
After spotting Mc Donald’s and Starbucks on the Larnaca promenade, I decided it was time to reach my accommodation. Tonight I am staying in a typical residence in the countryside. The town is called Ekarinou and it counts 300 inhabitants only. The place is magnificent and the drive was just the perfect introduction.
A beautiful sunset guided me, while the radio played Greek songs that went perfectly with the landscape and the fading light.
I went the wrong way countless times, but I never thought I was going to get lost.
I am dead tired, but so excited about continuing the exploration of this country that I wasn’t really planning to visit. What a surprise!
It feels so good to be away from the crowds. The silence is surreal. Well I guess I’ll have a good sleep now… good night!