Dining in Cyprus

Back to the conference, back to Cyprus. After the amazing tour of Kurion, we headed back to Limassol. Once again, we learned a lot about Cyprus’ history from our tour guide. In Old Town, we disembarked the bus and had a walking tour. We had one more option to visit Limassol Castle. I posted al the pictures in this post, and I think it was worth visiting the Castle twice, in the daylight and the evening. After walking around and seeing more old streets, we finally arrived at the place of the conference dinner. Mezedopagida tavern.

If you do not know what “meze” means in Cyprus (and in some other countries), let,e tell you! That is a never-ending appearance of amazing dishes, and when you think that’s it, three more appear at the table. You have to sample them all, because it is impossible not to!

I was somewhat prepared by Boris and by hints from the local organizers. so I had a light breakfast and light lunch (both were quite challenging to achieve, having all the buffet options available! 

And then there was meze. We sat at the table with local organizers, which made our navigation through different foods somewhat easier. There was also very nice local wine. And now I will stop talking and start showing 🙂

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A Visit to the Limassol Castle

We’ve spent quite a bit of time in Limassol Castle. That is the only ancient building in the city and an old one. FIst, there was an early Christian basilica in the 4-7th centuries A.D. A bigger church was built over it in 10-11th centuries, and then at some point in the 12th century, the castle was built, incorporating different parts of the church.

Now, when you walk in the museum, you see a lot of arrows, indicating the meeting points of different buildings and epochs.

Unfortunately, there are not enough descriptions in the museum, I need to read way more to try to understand what it is all about. Also, there is not enough historical evidence regarding many of the periods. The castle was almost ruined during the first Ottoman invasion (by the city’s Venetian Governor). The Ottomans completely ruined it during recapture, and then id was turned into a prison. We ended up visiting the museum twice – by ourselves on Tuesday and with the organized tour Wednesday night, but there was still not enough information.

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Day Two and Exploring Marina

Since it was getting dark at 5 PM, we figured out that if we want to see something, we need to skip one session. And it was indeed the only session we skipped during the conference! It was on Tuesday, and that was the first sunny day.

It was almost warm in the places with no wind, and to our surprise, we saw several people getting sunbaths on the hotel deck, closer to the walls. 

I was not one of them, but I enjoyed the sun!

After lunch, I changed to gym shoes and jeans, and we headed towards the city center. It was about 5.5 km between the city center and our hotel. Since there is always a risk that I won’t be able to walk for several hours straight, we decided to take a cab from the hotel to the city center, and then walk back on our feet. 

I have to mention that there are tons of Russian tourists in Cyprus, and especially at Limassol. Most signs are dubbed in Russian, not English, or at least Russian comest first. Local organizers were talking a lot about “Russian money,” it’s influence on Limassol and on Cyprus in general, and the ways the Cyprus government tries to control the situation (mostly unsuccessfully). 

It’s funny that most of my friends and co-workers in the US reacted to my travel plans, either “what is Cyprus?” or “where is Cyprus?” The cab driver asked us where we are from, and when I said “from Chicago,” he didn’t even understand first. After I repeated more clearly, he exclaimed: Chicago?! How did you find Cyprus?!  

Although it sounds like a well-known anecdote, “How did you find Paris, Missis Astor?” he undoubtfully meant “find” in its original meaning:).

There is not much historical Limassol left. Marina, although beautiful and stylish, is very new construction. Here are some pictures:

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