While I can say that there have been places I would would be happy to revisit time and again, I've always been adamantly opposed to the idea of a holiday home somewhere. There are just too many places on this earth that I want to visit without tying myself down to just one, year after year. There is therefore a certain irony to the fact that we're in the somewhat strange situation of having "inherited" (are paying for) someone else's dream holiday apartment just outside Paphos, in Cyprus. It has not been an easy relationship with the apartment up to now, and writing this I am very aware that I still sound bitter, ungrateful and deliberately obtuse on the subject (especially as I can't go into the whys and wherefores of how we came about it.). Still, we've just come back from our first proper two-week summer holiday in
Cyprus has a fascinating history, dating back thousands of years, and the area around Paphos is rife with archaeological sights (including a UNESCO World Heritage site), none of which we had a chance to visit this time as it was simply too hot to do anything much other than visit the occasional beach and cool down in the pool! This was a huge disappointment for me, and it's therefore something I've definitely got on my to-do list for the next visit (already booked for next Easter, when temperatures will hopefully be a little more temperate).
I am definitely not a lover of the traditional pool/beach holiday. I'm pale and pasty with sensitive skin that reacts badly to heat and sunscreen. Much as I love reading, the thought of doing nothing all day doesn't vastly appeal, and I did find I missed the variety of a bit of culture. Speedo-spotting at the Water Park just wasn't quite the same really.
Needless to say, however, the children had a whale of a time swimming, diving and digging in the warm waters of both the pools at the apartment complex and the Mediterranean. And as we all know; Happy Children = Happy Parents, so that was a massive consolation..
That's not to say that we didn't get out and about a little bit. The scenery is somewhat dusty and barren in the immediate vicinity of Paphos, but a short drive further north and west to the stunning, relatively undeveloped Akamas peninsula was definitely a highlight.
...and I have to admit that the sunsets generally weren't half bad either:
As for the food and wine - I think it's fair to say these got the thumbs up all round too. Fresh seafood, copious amounts of Greek salad and various lamb and pork dishes kept both adults and kids happy. "More Kleftiko, mummy!"
So while I still may not be completely in love, somehow I think Cyprus and I could eventually become good friends....