Posts Tagged ‘Cyprus’

Afternoon in Larnaca

October 28, 2019

Change from local bus to Intercity Buses at Ayia Napa.

Time to walk through Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park, or at least a small part of the park.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, International Food Festival in Larnaca.

Was it worth visiting? No, not at least not what I saw setting up, worst type of junk food would find on a bad street food market in England.

The only stall of quality, Cappuccino Nick’s Coffee Bike”>, and having relocated from his usual pitch outside Larnaca Marina, a dramatic drop in customers.

I assumed he was not there and it was only because I chose to investigate the Larnnaca International Food Festival (Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11-13 October 2019) I found Nick.

As always an excellent cappuccino.

Time for a walk along the seafront as far as Larnaca Medieval Castle, look in Church of St Lazarus, then to Lazaris Bakery.

On the way, I passed a shop with a copy of The Last Supper in the window. When I inquired, they knew last supper, but not the original artist, Leonarda da Vinci. I was then fed some bullshit he came to Cyorus and taught lacemaking. Maybe true but sounds far fetched.

Lazaris Bakery overlooking Church of St Lazarus, sympathetic restoration of an old building.

Food is good, but I do not recommend for coffee, for coffee try Paul’s Coffee Roasters or Nick’s Coffee Bike.

Water to help oneself to. A very rare example in Cyprus. The other is Paul’s Coffee Roasters, though Nick’s Coffee Bike will give water if asked. The norm in Greece, but hospitality lacking in Cyprus where they would rather sell a bottle of water in plastic contributing to plastic pollution thnan provide free water. Another rare example Vrissaki Beach Hotel where water available on the bar during the day, at night free tea and coffee at dinner.

Excellent Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts.

It would be pleasant to sit outside but for the traffic fumes and smokers.

Outside seating needs to be made No Smoking and the whole area pedestrianised and traffic free including the seafront.

A pleasant evening very warm, it would have been pleasant to sit longer, but no time, not if to catch the bus

Walk to Paul’s Coffee Roaster in the dark without getting lost but no time to have a coffee, hello to Paul then run for the bus.

Craft Beer at The Brewery

October 21, 2019

Following a trip to Larnaca Monday two week ago and souvlaki at No 1, a craft beer at The Brewery.

The Brewery one of those rare places where can obtain quality beer. The only place I am aware of.

Everywhere else serves cheap low quality beer from corporate chemical conglomerate.

Half a pint of quality craft beer Humor IPA from The Brewery 4-50 euros, a pinto of Keo in a local bar 2-60 euros.

Humpor IPA excellent.

Cappuccino Café Amárena

October 15, 2019

Café Amárena opened in the centre of Protaras last year. It was something of a disaster, waiter making the coffee, poor quality coffee, no surprise always empty.

It was a surprise it re-opened this year, but with one big difference, now employing a skilled barista. But still poor quality coffee beans, still always empty of customers. Syrups on display never a good sign. It is like raising a flag we serve bad coffee.

Two weeks ago I passed by with a friend, it was empty, not a single customer. By contrast Patisserie Amelie was busy.

Late in the evening, after an excellent meal at Nissiotis overlooking Protaras Pier, I dropped by and had a cappuccino.

As always empty, only a couple of tables occupied. When I left, I was their one and only customer. Not helped by the deafening noise from the bar next door.

My cappuccino reasonable, the girl who made my cappuccino has consistently improved her coffee making skills, which is good news.

But, never going to be able to serve good coffee let alone great coffee until they buy quality coffee beans, and these days no excuse for sourcing poor quality coffee.

It is depressing when a coffee shop could be better, they have the staff, a good machine, the grinders could be better, to be let down by poor quality coffee beans.

May get away with it in Cyprus with the locals, but visitors expect to be served a decent cup of coffee.

Cyprus is at a least a decade behind England. Every chain have heard of and others be grateful not heard of, all serving bad coffee, bad coffee in takeaway cups.

Larnaca is nearest will obtain a descent cup of coffee. Local bus to Ayia Napa then Intercity bus Ayia Napa to Larnaca.

Try Paul’s Coffee Roasters and Nick’s Coffee Bike, both serve excellent coffee.

Tagliatelle bolognese Ravioli’s Italian restaurant

October 14, 2019

I was going to eat at Spartiatis a seafood restaurant overlooking Konnos Bay, but a cool evening with wind blowing, I decided to eat instead at Ravioli’s an Italian restaurant.

Large widescreen showing sport in a restaurant is never a good sign. Bad enough in a pub.

My order came quick, far to quick. Not a good sign.

When I arrived the restaurant was almost empty. When my food arrived it was empty.

My tagliatelle bolognese was not good, tough and chewy. Parts were piping hot, other parts cold. Not helped by serving in a cold bowl.

Very poor compared with what I have had elsewhere.

Then a large rowdy pig-ignorant group sat on a table behind me. One shouting he was going to get seriously drunk. Why do people not show manners when dining out?

On my way out I out an ice cream. Very poor quality. Far better to be had from patisserie amelie a coffee shop in the centre of Protaras.

Appalling service InterCity Buses

October 13, 2019

Afternoon and early evening Friday 4 October 2019 very poor bus service Intercity Buses to and from Larnaca. Local bus service also leaves much to be desired, too few buses leading to overcrowded buses.

At Ayia Napa I almost missed the InterCity Bus to Larnaca, it looked like a tourist bus. But appearances deceptive, a clapped out tourist bus, broken seats.

Bad driving, driver drives off before passengers had the opportunity to sit down.

Return bus at 1800, peak time, many waiting for bus which turns up late, not everyone able to get on the bus. The bus not much larger than a mini-bus.

I decide to wait for next bus, an hour later.

Annoying, had I known, I would have gone for a walk and caught the next bus an hour later.

The local bus, from Ayia Napa little better. Russians park their buggies in the aisle, sit on the folding seats in the allocated bays for buggies. When asked to move, park their buggies in the bays they refuse. Driver failed to intervene.

Fleeting visit Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park

October 13, 2019

With about 10-15 minutes to spare changing from local bus to InterCity bus, and luckily bus dropped off at top entrance, time to walk through the sculpture park.

I notice new exhibits since my last visit.

Moussaka and salad Nissiotis overlooking Protaras Pier

October 6, 2019

In recent years quality of food served in Protaras has fallen, many restaurants gone under, all in a race to the bottom to compete with all-inclusive hotels.

One of the rare exceptions serving quality without having to go out of Protaras is Nissiotis.

I chose moussaka, served in a clay pot with a second bowl of Greek salad.

Portion size generous, my only criticism too generous, sufficient to share with a friend.

My only other criticism, poor choice of beer. But this is true of everywhere in Protaras.

The restaurant was almost empty. One of many casualties of all-inclusive hotels, which are killing the local economy, killing the tourist economy. And as with everywhere, Nissiotis hit by the collapse of Thomas Cook.

A quiet location overlooking Protaras Pier.

Patisserie Amelie overlooking Vali tou Xadajixeni

October 5, 2019

Cyprus is a country where with a handful of rare exceptions are guaranteed to find bad coffee. Every chain have heard of and many would not wish to hear of. What is equally depressing is the indie coffee shops follow suit and serve bad coffee, bad coffee in takeaway cups.

Several years ago Patisserie Amelie opened in the centre of Protaras. By the abysmal standards of Cyprus a step in the right direction, an improvement, but coffee LavAzza and was never going to be serving great coffee, and always empty but for staff employed in the hotel and the occasional tourist. This year surprisingly busy.

Now a second Patisserie Amelie has opened overlooking a small bay Vali tou Xadajixeni, a little way along the coast from Fig Tree Bay, maybe ten minutes walk.

The design is poor. It is part of Sunrise Jade. It looks as though tacked on as an afterthought.

It could have been adjacent to the bay, not set back

No lessons learnt from Antamoma, a terrace below Gold Coast Hotel overlooking Kalamies Beach.

The coffee LavAzza, the person who made the coffee head waiter from Sunrise Jade. When asked, apart from that it was San Remo, he had no idea the coffee machine and made clear he had no interest in knowing.

The coffee looked disgusting, tasted disgusting. The unpleasant taste of the cheap low quality LavAzza dominated.

There is no excuse these days for not using high quality coffee. A five-star hotel insulting its clientele with this low quality coffee.

What could be, a coffee shop with quality beans, skilled barista, would become a destination as word got around.

Sunrise Jade 5*, superficially looks good, but on close inspection, cheap and tacky, not of the quality of Sunrise Beach. The small lounge, serried rows of seats, has as much ambience as the gate at an airport when waiting to board a flight. It was as though had walked into a Tsokkos hotel. But would caution, initial impressions,  have not stayed or tried the food.

Its big plus, a quiet location, especially if compared with Sunrise Beach where kept awake until early hours of the morning by the bars.

The staff not friendly, clearly bored. Maybe end of season fatigue.

A quiet location and yet the coffee shop has moronic music blaring out.

No beach, not unless class a dirty stretch of sand accessed by a causeway is classed as a beach.

At the opposite end of the bay, steps that do not look safe descend to the sea.

For those who love coffee, it is worth a trip to Larnaca for one of those rare exceptions, Nick’s Coffee Bike outside Larnaca Marina. Catch the local bus to the Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park, then Intercity Bus to Larnaca.

Also worth finding Paul’s Coffee Roasters hidden in the backstreets of Larnaca.

Ledra Street checkpoint

June 10, 2019

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nicosia is the only divided city.

Ledra Street checkpoint is surreal, walking down Ledra Street, a police checkpoint, show ID or passport and continue walking down the street.

It is as though have passed a police checkpoint in Ermou or Oxford Street and not as this is the equivalent of Checkpoint Charlie, the only crossing in the Berlin Wall, have passed from free Cyprus to the illegal Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus, the self declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which no country bar Turkey recognises.

Around the corner a reminder of the Green Line, a barricaded street barring crossing from one side to the other.

Cappuccino Nick’s Coffee Bike

June 7, 2019

Excellent cappuccino as always.

Nick’s Coffee Bike well worth a trip to Larnaca, one of the few places in Cyprus where can obtain a decent coffee.

Not in usual location outside Larnaca Marina, though nearby, hemmed in by stalls for Kataklysmos and barely visible.

Having a negative impact on trade. Usually a steady flow of visitors as I talk to Nick, not today.