It’s so nice to be writing from my own little, actually not quite little, very spacious, library/studio. This post is proudly bought to you from a clean desk featuring fresh blooms and an inspirational candle, not smothered in the detritus of James’ gym bag or side hustle labels. I have spent the last few weeks busily recuperating and nesting in our new place, and returning to work after spending some time away from home in general, and my airport, at least!
This has meant more time spent not writing, or editing my photos, or chronicling on my blog. It’s a new week, I have a new haircut and a fresh perspective and it’s time to get everything in order. Starting with VOLARE! The past month has escaped me. July began in a flurry of flights, sticky summery days and even warmer nights. It ended in a blur of strong antibiotics, feeling weak and deflated. I am recovering from a nasty staph infection, a very disgusting and painful souvenir from my time away…
As is often so common in my workplace, I booked a last minute ticket to Cyprus via Dubai, to spend some time with my crew friends and escape the miserable weather here in Perth. Essentially, “chase the sun”. I managed to secure some days off work, and use some Days in Lieu to create a little over a week off for a European vacay. I had never been to Cyprus, but I knew it was similar to Greece, and the sun was shining.That was reason enough for me! How bad could it be?
I packed my bags, worked 12 hour days right up until I left (in more than one sense of the word) and basically ran myself into the ground in the process. At the time, none of this mattered, because I was going to chase the sun and feel the sand in my toes! In hindsight, I should have taken a little better care of myself, slept in a bit, not spent so much time in the sun or inhaling peach bellinis, but alas… C’est la vie!
I arrived in Dubai just after lunch, hot, sweaty, and ready for a shower and a swim! Jane picked me up and we made our way back to the girl’s new apartment ( I hadn’t seen this one yet- and it is lovely as ever!). We boarded the crew bus and it felt like no time had passed, but also as though my old life in Dubai was light years away. Almost like a parallel universe! I’m sure many repatriated crew will understand my feelings of nostalgia.It was so nice to feel like I was “coming home” to their place with my picture on the fridge that we took four years ago when I crashed their layover to Zurich!
We had some wine, some chorizo and after I had freshened up, I soldiered on to La Mer beach, where I promptly fell asleep! After a nap, a dip and countless photos (because La Mer was practically designed with Instagram in mind) we settled into Stars and Bars, where the World Cup was playing, cocktails were flowing and the food was greasy enough to be yummy, but light enough to not feel too guilty….I didn’t last long, and by about 9pm (1am back home) I was well and truly ready for bed.
The next morning, we met up with another friend, Zoe, in the Mall of the Emirates and I stocked up on the essentials (candles and hand sanitiser at bath and body works) and spent the afternoon lazing by the pool, and reading the second novel by a newfound author (to me anyway) Sarah Pinborough called “Cross Her Heart”. I found myself getting sucked in, but it wasn’t nearly as good as the first novel of hers that I read “Behind Her Eyes”. The blurb boasted that it would be the best ending I read all year… let me tell you so far, it has definitely been the most shocking!
As per usual, I digress. After much reading, watching Netflix, ordering in and hanging around by the pool (and a little exercise) it was time for my mini staycation in my old desert playground to end, and our Cypriot adventure to begin!
Our departed at 0755am. The line to staff travel was half way to Abu Dhabi (long) and I had not changed any of my money into Euros. Why I am not entirely sure. Let’s boil it down to jet lag and forgetfulness. We rushed into the line, through immigration, through security and onto the terminal train to our concourse. Eventually we made it onto the bus that would take us to the aircraft, and then the aircraft itself, and then up into the clouds.
Sandwiched between Liza and Jane, I wrote poems in my head and took polaroids to amuse myself. Neither were particularly good, but I value them anyway! We arrived into Larnaca just after lunch, and proceeded to pick up our car and navigate our way from the airport to the semi- touristy area of Famagusta, in the Greek part of Cyprus. I am not the most adept driver, or navigator, so as per usual, I was seconded to the snacks and music department. Essentially, this meant that we spent the whole trip listening to 90s RnB and stopped in through Drive Thru for chips. Obviously. Clever me tried to order in Greek and was met with an English reply. Off to a good start!
We found our apartments, just a street from the sea, and checked in without a fuss. Well, the girls did. There was no lift, and our accomodation was up three flights of stairs. F45 obsessed or not, I can’t say I was anywhere near strong enough to lug all 20 plus kilos of candles, sanitiser and every Sephora face mask under the sun up all those stairs. Our host, Andreas, came to the rescue, bless him.
He had a very funny habit of appearing every single time we came/ went to/from the apartments! Nonetheless, he was very helpful, and walked us to the nearest beach where I spent the afternoon saturated in an old Emily Giffin (Love the One You’re With) that I had never read, drinking Smirnoff Double Black’s like a 16 year old. I don’t like beer, and I am funny about drinking wine out of plastic cups. So alcoholic cordial it was! The girls had a “Keo” each, which they didn’t really love or hate, but the cans were yellow and matched Jane’s bathers, so we bought them.
That night, upon Andrea’s recommendations, we went to Fig Tree Bay which basically could have been called “Geordie Shore”. It was loud, touristy, full of Englishmen and Russians angling for a spot in front of a screen to watch the World Cup. We ambled on past with our noses in the air in search of a Taverna.
A rule of thumb for choosing a restaurant in Greece/Cyrpus: If a Greek Salad is more than 10 Euros, forget it! The place is too touristy! The spot we went too had pictures instead of words on the menu (gross) and the Greek Salad was 12 euros. We were hungry and settled in for some food, and after a carafe of white wine, I honestly couldn’t tell you if what we ate was disgusting or delicious, but it hit the spot and was a good starting off point for a first meal (questionable presentation and all). We walked along the resort-y coast to our car, and bought literally 10L of water to carry 2km to our car. Not the brightest idea but we thought it was hilarious at the time!
And so concluded day one: we were full, happy to be in the sun and ready for a good night’s rest!
See my next post for “Things to Do in Cyprus”!