Cyprus or “Aphrodite’s Island”
Cyprus or “Aphrodite’s Island”, Greek mythology claims that this is the place where the goddess was born.
I don’t like the cold weather at all. I mean I support it during the winter holidays, for a trip to the mountain and a sky session, but otherwise, I love the heat. So, in winter, if you want to take an accessible break from the cold, Cyprus is a very good idea. We were in Larnaca in the middle of January. We had temperatures around 16-18 degrees and sun (but also clouds). It wasn’t beach time, but we took our vitamin D needs.
I didn’t go for the holiday, I had a tour with a show, but everything was so beautiful that I felt exactly as I was on vacation. It’s great to combine the job with pleasure.
I think it is an ideal destination for relaxation, that is, it is best to go when the temperatures allow you to take a beach and swim in the sea. There are not many to visit, so it is best to go and relax in the sun.
Between the rehearsals and the show, here’s what we managed to explore:
- The main beach named Finikoudes Beach. The cliff of this beach is full of restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy delicious food and admire the sea. The prices are very affordable.
- At the southern end of Finikoudes beach is the Medieval Fort. It houses a small Museum of the Middle Ages, which exhibits some collections of old weapons and photographs. During the summer, cultural and artistic events are organized in the courtyard of the fort.
- A few hundred meters from the beach is the Church of Saint Lazarus. The place was raised on the tomb of Lazarus (the man whom Christ raised from the dead). Legend has it that he lived in Cyprus for another 30 years after the resurrection. The church was built in the 9th century by Emperor Leo VI, and was later restored in the 16th century. Inside, visitors can admire objects of ancient religious art. Around the church you will see a small market full of cafes, shops, people and colors that vibrate with energy. The place is very picturesque and worth admiring the surroundings.
- Hall Sultan Tekke Mosque. It is located on the shore of Salty Lake, on the road from the airport to the city. The Cypriots consider this mosque to be the third most revered monument in the world, after the Ka’aba in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. It attracts a large number of visitors annually, especially during the holidays of Ramadan and Bayram. The reference point in this mosque is the tomb of Umm Haramș. Umm Haram translated from Arabic means ~ Mother of the pyramid. Hala Sultan is supposed to have been the adoptive mother or aunt of the Prophet Muhammad. Some claim that she was one of the women who accompanied the Prophet on his way from Mecca to Medina. In 649 AD, after Cyprus was conquered by the Arabs, Hala Sultan was mortally wounded after falling from the mule and was buried in the place where he died. An Arab source from the 9th century suggests that Umm Haram accompanied the leader of the Umayyad dynasty (as the wife of one of his officers) in the expedition against Cyprus in 649 AD, but makes no reference to her death. The gates are decorated with various well-kept Arabic inscriptions bearing important dates and verses from the Koran. Umm Haram is considered a miracle worker. This is why it attracts many Muslim pilgrims to the Tekke Mosque. Among her miracles, Imam Munawi says that the people of Damascus, drought-stricken and other misfortunes, had deep trust in Umm Haram, who claimed he would “talk” to Allah, for He to send rain and protect them from anything bad what happened.
- Salt Lake. Located right next to the mosque, the Salty Lake, is home to hundreds of flamingo and swan birds. They can only be seen from November to March, the rest of the time the lake dries. It’s a real show. I was extremely glad I could see them, although they were not too close to the shore, I only admired them from a distance. It was the first time in my life when I saw a Flamingo bird in reality. The lake area of the mosque is full of greenery, it is the ideal place for a long and relaxing walk.
That’s what we managed to admire. In the evening we discovered some bars and cafes where we relaxed. The Cypriot nightlife is very active, so if you want to dance, you will surely find a place to have fun.
Otherwise, we walked as much as we could, bought souvenirs and stole as much sun as possible. Enjoy!