As we left the Suez Canal and headed towards Cyprus and in particular the town of Limassol, both Sharon and I had a sense of being on the home ground. I think it was just the familiarity of being in the Mediterranean region once again that bought this on.
On our visit to Limassol, we decided to do something slightly different. We were reliably informed that the bus stop was very close to the port and that some of the buses going into the main town of Limassol were wheelchair accessible. So we were going to put them to the test.
The first test proved to be very accurate as you will see from the photograph the bus stop is very close to the port and ship.
The first bus that arrived was one of the ones that was accessible however the second one did have a ramp and a very helpful driver who spoke pretty good English. It turned out however that is English was better and more reliable than the ramp on his bus, which didn’t want to cooperate and extend out fully and to the floor so that I could get into the bus. The driver was very embarrassed about this.
Never mind, as we were carrying a small portable ramp of our own. When the driver saw this he lowered one side of the bus and we put our ramp onto the bus from the road and although it was a little steep I managed to get on board.
The cost of the bus was a low 1.5 Euros each and it took us nicely into the centre of the town, where our friendly bus driver indicated we should get off. Once again we needed to use our ramp in order to get me off the bus and this required the bus driver manoeuvring the bus a lot closer to the curb that he originally had stopped. Once we were close enough we bridge the gap between the bus and the curve using our ramp and we were in the town of Limassol.
We headed down towards the old port and marina. Once there, we found a fantastically level and smooth promenade which stretched for about 2 km and had sculptures, playgrounds, paddling pools and ornate gardens as well as the odd cafe.
At the end of the promenade we found the Limassol beach, if you’ve never been here before it’s not a beach to race to. It is very small and the sand is a dirty grey colour. The whole beach scene of rentable sun umbrellas and deck chairs bought back many fond memories of holidays on nearby Greek islands.
Leaving the promenade area we headed into town and the main tourist area. On the way we noticed a small shop selling sunscreen and had to take a picture of it. After many years in Australia where the basic sunscreens are either SPF 25 or SPF 50 even, we were both shocked to see old-fashioned oils with SPF 0 and other options under SPF 10!
Some of the footpaths were a little narrow and in one or two places I had to travel on the road in order to get along but all in all the town of Limassol was relatively wheelchair friendly. We spent a little while looking in all the tourist shops in the little laneways in the old town.
We found a delightful square around an old castle building from about 1400 that had been restored and had many restaurants around it. We enjoyed a typical Greek salad with barbecued Cypriot sausages. I had a glass of Ouzo and water while Sharon enjoyed a local white wine. The scene was rather reminiscent of holidays before the boys.
Moving on after lunch, we found what was called the old market and it did look like an old market but was now obviously “the nightspot”. It’s generally shut down while we were there but there were bars everywhere and you can almost hear the noise at night during the height of the season with many youngsters and a lot of music and alcohol.
The next two pictures I just think are rather amusing. In the first one either the top box is too big, or the moped is too small. Sharon rather like the second one, with the style of breakfast and the name of the venue.
Not wanting to miss the ship departing we then set off in search of the bus stop, initially went in the wrong direction and eventually did find a bus stop for bus route 30. The sign said that the buses came every 10 to 15 minutes, however we were in the early rush-hour traffic was travelling much slower so the wait was nearer 20 minutes. But low and behold, Cypriot buses are like those in England and two showed up at the same time.
Sharon waved the bus down, and guess who’s driving… Yes it’s the same driver as we had coming in. Seeing as there was another bus behind the driver ran to that bus to check if its ramp was working. He then came back and informed us to go on the bus behind. It was rather fortunate that this driver spoke to the one behind as it turned out he spoke little English and our bus driver from the morning must’ve given him instructions as to where we were going and how to get me on the bus.
This bus did have a ramp that worked however once again the bus driver parked a long way from the curb and the ramp came down to the road. It would be much easier if he had pulled into the curb closer so that the ramp came down to the footpath this would have made the ramp much less steep and therefore easier to get into the bus. I actually had to reverse up the ramp in order to get the traction and be able to reach my chin controller at the same time. But we successfully got onto the bus and back to the ship after a relaxing and enjoyable day in Limassol.
If you have never been to Cyprus before and bearing in mind we were on the Greek side I would describe it as Greek with tremendous British influences, which I suppose isn’t very surprising as it is part of the Commonwealth. I had the feeling that a lot of the tourists that go there are British. It’s a lovely place and very friendly.