Posts Tagged ‘Cyprus’

Grecian Park to Konnos Beach

October 16, 2018

Grecian Park overlooks Konnos Bay. Steps and a path lead down to Konnos Beach.

Sea warm at this time of the year for swimming.

Konnos Beach to Cyclops Cave

October 15, 2018

Konnos Bay, walk from Konnos Beach and along the coast past Cyclops Cave.

Then back to Konnos Beach swimming.

Lazaris Bakery Bar

October 13, 2018

En route to Larnaca, storm clouds gathering thunderstorm forecast.

On arrival I find Nick’s Coffee Bike packed up and about to depart. He feared the weather. No coffee. Lemonade? I tried the lemonade. Excellent lemonade, but probably not a wise choice when not feeling well. Within minutes, stomach pains.

I walk to the Medieval Castle, then head to Church of St Lazarus.

Once behind the seafront shops of corporate chains, a slum.

Poked my head in Church of St Lazarus but did not explore the tomb of St Lazarus. He was brought to life, then when died a second time, was entombed in Cyprus.

In the Square surrounding the Church, three coffee shops, at least two of which are bakeries.

Silo I did not like, lacking in ambience, awful music playing.

The Secret Garden, unfriendly signs, not a pleasant reception, walked out.

The third, Lazaris Bakery Bar, in an old building. Pleasant ambience, but sadly not good coffee. Caffeine did not seem wise, did not ask for a coffee. I settled for water. I then asked for tea. Only herb tea. It was ok, but I did not dare drink.

I sat outside, but had to retreat indoors, traffic pollution and smoke from smokers.

Why is Cyprus so backwards? Why are these street not pedestrianised?

Millions to redevelop Mackenzie Beach, a gravy train for contractors and an appalling waste of public money. Instead, an electric shuttle bus Larnaca Marina to Mackenzie Beach and pedestrianise the sea front and the back streets around St Lazarus Church.

Water available to drink, the norm in coffee shops in Athens, a rareity in Cyprus.

At first, not feeling well, I helped myself to water and sat outside. I was not harassed to purchase anything.

Too many chains, too many indie coffee shops made to look like chains serving bad coffee.

Lazaris Bakery Bar has character, an excellent renovation of an old building.

Potentially Lazaris Bakery Bar could be an excellent indie coffee shop serving specialty coffee. The emphasis, from the breads, cakes and tea, and from conversation, appear to be on quality.

Now need to source quality specialty coffee, either from England or Athens.

Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park further exploration

October 13, 2018

Catching the earlier bus, which I usually miss, meant more time to explore the Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park. For the first time the bus stopped at the top entrance. Why usually fails to stop I do not know.

Wandering further in than before, Ayia Napa Cactus Park.

Spartiatis

October 7, 2018

Spartiatis is a fish restaurant overlooking Konnos Bay, not that can see anything at night.

Walk down an unlit road, passed a run down block that appears to be inhabited by gypsies.

Only half a dozen tables occupied with diners.

This is now the norm for Protaras, many restaurants have closed, many more are expected to close at the end of the season. The result of all-inclusive hotels killing the local economy and bringing in the dregs of the tourist industry and Cypriot politicians with heads stuck in the sand refusing to accept they have a problem let alone acting.

Brought a starter, not sure what it was, appeared to be fried thinly sliced courgette.

Sea bream as main course, a side plate of very poor quality chips.

I had asked, and was told came with a small salad. I do not think a couple of slices of cucumber, a couple of thin slices of tomato and a limp leaf of lettuce constitutes a salad.

Sea bream was ok, the oil overdone. Nowhere the standard of Demetrion fish restaurant at Liopetri River where I had lunch of white bream last week.

Was then brought a small piece of cake, mama’s cake.

Meal spoilt by pig-ignorant loud-mouthed Germans at a nearby table disturbing the entire restaurant. They should have been asked to keep their noise down or leave.

I was tempted to hop on a bus into Protaras for an ice cream at either Café Amárena or Patisserie Amelie, but decided on yoghurt from nearby shop.

Try Papa’s fish and chips (a fish restaurant)  or Kamasias. Both are in Paralimni.

The place to not eat, Ocean Basket, the McDonald’s or KFC of seafood, the fish not fresh.

Nick’s Coffee Bike

October 3, 2018

To find coffee worth drinking in Cyprus is a rarity.

To find specialty coffee in Larnaca in a street lined with every disgusting corporate chain can think of, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coffee Island (Greek version of Starbucks), Ocean Basket (seafood equivalent of McDonald’s), where an independent coffee shop is made to look like a corporate chain and may as well be when serving LavAzza, to find good coffee, is like finding a pearl on the dirty grey beach, a cause to celebrate, to dance in the street.

And there it was a sign for Nick’s Coffee Bike, with a promise of specialty coffee and beyond the sign a bicycle, strictly speaking a tricycle, with Nick himself chatting to customers when not serving coffee.

The bicycle Nick had imported from Manchester, stripped and rebuilt.

Nick had learnt coffee by working coffee in Manchester the only way to learn.

The coffee he serves is from Has Bean, one of the top coffee roasteries in the UK.

A pouring jug from Coffee Lab in UK, designed by Dhan Tamang, UK latte art champion for six years author of Coffee Art.

Nick participated in a coffee throw down at TAKK a coffee shop in Manchester and came first. His prize was the pouring jug and the book.

I ordered a cappuccino. It was excellent.

I had been told Nick was one of the best baristas in Cyprus. I would not beg to differ. Knowledgeable and passionate about coffee.

A person of integrity, willing to take the risk to do something he believes in, to follow his dreams.

A risk that appears to be paying off.

A steady steam of customers, many greeted him as old friends even though he had only been there for a couple of months. One customer told me she was from Romania had tried the coffee yesterday and was back today, the first time she had found decent coffee in Cyprus.

The coffee cups in what must be a first for Cyprus are compostable.

Cyprus is an island, it is dependent on the sea. Plastic is killing the sea. Everywhere serves coffee in plastic, in plastic-lined cups.

At first I thought he was not in a good location. But on reflection this is an excellent location, as away from the ghastly chains and in front of Larnaca Marina.

A little way past the coffee bike exercise machines. An excellent idea.

Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park

October 3, 2018

Culture and Ayia Napa are not two words that easily sit side by side.

I have passed by Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park in the past, but never visited.

Today I decided whilst changing bus from local bus to Intercity bus I would time permitting explore the sculpture park.

It needs an hour or more to do the park justice, I had far less, and thus only explored a small part of the park.

Surreal, set on a rocky hillside looking out to sea.

I was reminding of Easter Island, though not all the statues are looking out to sea. Maybe an omen. Wander into Ayia Napa and witness the collapse of civilization at first hand.

Brain-dead Russians sitting on the sculptures for photos of themselves. I ordered them off.

There seemed to be no rhyme nor reason to the sculptures. Random sculptures on a rocky hillside.

Afternoon at Larnaca

October 3, 2018

A local bus to Ayia Napa, then change to an InterCity bus for Larnaca.

I could have got a local bus to Ayia Napa and cheaper, but two hours, the InterCity an hour and a half.

I would have expected people to alight from an already overcrowded bus at Konnos Bay, instead more piled on and a couple of people were left at the bus stop.

I decided to explore the Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park. An hour or more would have been needed to have done it justice. I had a little time whilst waiting for the InterCity bus.

The InterCity bus hit the coast 11 km before the city of Larnaca, then all the way along the coast into Larnaca.

Desolation most of the way. Hotels empty shells, covered in graffiti, then on into Laranaca, many empty buildings.

The bus final stop on the beach, a little way past Larnaca Marina.

I was a looking for a bicycle coffee shop, somewhere along this road.

I decided to back track to the beginning, then walk along the beach.

Fortunate I did this. I saw a sign pointing the the bicycle coffee shop, but was pointing into the marina. Then spotted a bicycle outside serving coffee.

Nick’s Coffee Bike serving coffee from Has Bean coffee in England.

Excellent cappuccino.

A little way past the coffee bike exercise machines. An excellent idea.

With what little time I had left, I looked in the marina, walked along the beach, past the medieval castle, then turned around and walked back to catch the bus to Ayia Napa.

The road is lined with corporate chains, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coffee Island.

The beach a dirty grey.

Once past the old castle, more interesting area, but no time to explore, I had a bus to catch

The bus I was not sure, but yes, correct bus.

I alighted at the square in Ayia Napa. Waiting for the bus, moronic music blasting out across the square.

When the bus arrived, already full, passengers piled on like animals.

Georgia Eleftheria Tsiolakki

October 1, 2018

Congratulations to Georgia Eleftheria Tsiolakki, the youngest person to receive this award, the only Cypriot to receive this award.

I am proud to be the only CYPRIOT and youngest that I have been awarded as a women leader.

I would like to say a big thank you to the who is who magazine as well.

Thank you to the international institutions for their recognition. The recognition came with a lot of smart and hard work in international and European level. Most of the obstacles and unfairness situations, I had to deal with, was from my OWN country sadly.

For those people who underestimate my skills underestimate my age and what I am capable of ,this is the beginning because whatever I DO , I do because I love it. When you love something obstacles are expected only to make you better !!!

Second Cup

June 3, 2018

Second Cup is a franchise scam, a specialty coffee franchise scam.

Why open a franchise, why not open an indie coffee shop?

I sort of get it. Well actually I do not, I cannot see why anyone wants to serve rubbish coffee, employ people who do not care about coffee. I sort of get it if open Starbucks or Costa, fools who do not like coffee will walk through the door. But an unknown name?

Franchise speciality coffee is an oxymoron.

The corporate website pushes the franchise, no mention of the coffee.

If opening a specialty coffee shop would open an indie coffee shop, would have gained experience. Or would employ experienced professional baristas.

Second Cup Paralimni is like walking into a McDonald’s of coffee. Ok if I am fair, Pret a Manger.

Despite the corporate feel, a reasonable ambience. Jazz playing, not the loud moronic noise blasting out elsewhere.

And the coffee?

The beans dark and overroasted.

The Q grade? After all this is supposed to be speciality coffee.

I am met by blank expressions.

I draw a Q. Q grade, Q for quality.

I explain all coffee is graded, explain cofee over 80 is speciality coffee.

I could be talking a foreign language. The guys try to be helpful but have not a clue what I am talking about.

They tell me the coffee is 100% arabica, but that is the extent of their knowledge.

The coffee cups are far too large, even the smallest is too large for a cappuccino.

I order a cappuccino. It is undrinkable. Too hot, bitter, mainly froth and foam. A long way down I find actual coffee.

When I place my order I am given an electronic device. What is this, they track me to my table? No, self service, it beeps and I collect my coffee. Completely and utterly pointless gimmick

I ask of V60. They understand, but no. A machine grinds and delivers filter coffee. Would I like? Er no thanks.

On a board, dark, medium roast, a few other options. No mention of origin.

On the back shelf rows of syrups which says it all.

The staff and service excellent, did their best but as a coffee shop Second Cup is a joke.

For speciality coffee, only one coffee shop in Paralimni, Robustos.