Friday, May 08, 2009

Cyprus

The Suez Canal is 100 miles long linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. We made the journey over two days with a stop at Ismailia in between. The first day was through dry desert just like we had been seeing for the last 3 months ever since we arrived in Oman. On the second day, the scenery started to change and become dotted with greenery and the temperature dropped as we approached the Mediterranean.


We were anxious to be on our way so we set sail for Turkey as soon as we exited the Suez Canal despite the fact that Steve and I were both not feeling well and the weather forecast was not that great. After 24 hours, I was miserable so we diverted course to Pafos, Cyprus which was much closer than Turkey. It was fabulous! After a full year in developing countries, we were finally back in civilization as we know it. The streets had sidewalks. There was no garbage in the streets. There were parks with benches. The bank machines worked with our bank cards. The people were clean with no holes in their clothes. The internet café actually had coffee and the wifi worked.


On top of these new civilized wonders, there were ancient Roman ruins to wander through. Each room of the castle had an elaborate mosaic floor made of tiny squares of different colored stones. In between the ruins were wild flowers as far as the eye could see down to the shore of the Mediterranean.






Pafos, Cyprus is such a small port, there is no room to anchor. The boats were squeezed in incredibly tightly and the only room for us was tied up to a beautiful old sailboat that was being renovated. (If you look closely at the photo, you will see Toboggan squeezed in between two boats.) At one point, we were getting sanding dust on our boat but we didn’t think much of it. The next day, we left and after a couple hours, I noticed splatters of varnish all over our boat. I scraped about 20 drops off our deck, but the other 20 spots that hit our canvas covers will be a permanent reminder to pick our neighbours more carefully in the Mediterranean where tight quarters will be the norm.

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