A Travellerspoint blog

Carnivale!

On Saturday we left from the house at around 9:30 a.m. We drove to Lafkara, a small village where they're famous for making lace and silver. It was a really cute area, full of cobblestone streets and colorful houses. We went into the Church of the Holy Cross where it is said there is a piece of the cross Jesus was crucified on. I looked where it was supposed to be…definitely didn’t see any wood there…oh well, it’s kind of cool to think about anyway.

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From there we drove to Kourion, where there is an archeological site. It was really crappy and rainy out, but there were beautiful views of the water from the hilltop we were on. At the site there was a Greco-Roman theatre and houses including the House of Achilles, with some really great mosaic floors.

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Our next stop was Petra Tou Romiou or “Aphrodite’s Rock.” When we got there it was still rainy out and our not-so-cool bus driver wouldn’t let us step anywhere near mud for fear we’d get his bus dirty. It was still beautiful coastline. Ohhh, yeah, this is the spot where Aphrodite was supposedly born…she definitely just sprung her Greek goddess self right out of the waves and was like, “Here I am world! Let the sluttyness begin.” Oh Aphrodite. (ps – It’s late. I’m tired & a little delirious. School sucks. So if this is ridiculous and makes no sense, well, blame school)

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So, we got to see the pretty rock and all got back on the bus with mud-less shoes. Yay, us. From there we went to the town of Paphos where we had free time for lunch. Becky, Teresa, Alex, and I went to seaside place called The Pelican. While we were there the rain cleared up and a rainbow came out, which was nice. Next thing we know, there were two actual pelicans coming out of the back of the restaurant and walking around. They were pink. They were awesome. I asked the owner if they would hurt me if they bit, he said no, introduced me to them…and the rest is fate. I now want a pink pelican…they were insane creatures, very cool.

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After lunch we went to see the famous Paphos mosaics. We only made it into one mosaic house, but it was really impressive. Some day when I have my own house, someone can come do that to my floors.

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Our final stop of the day was at our hotel, The Pavemar, in Limassol. It was oceanfront – right where I like to be. After some resting and unpacking we took a quick journey to the beach. It was dark out and I definitely stomped through some awesome seaweed, which is always nice. Anyways, that night we went out to a Mexican restaurant where we loaded up on strawberry margaritas and nachos. (It was about time I had some nachos on this island!) Afterward we went to a club called The Basement.

Sunday = Carnivale. When I woke up I went for a walk on the beach where a strange Frenchman approached me and let me know he was glad that Cyprus was a clean country, except of course for the “dog shit everywhere.” Oh, France. So…yeah. My roomie and another girl woke up and we went to Starbucks for some coffee. We got ourselves dressed and ready for the day and went to the Carnivale parade. It was very elaborate and colorful. I’m not really into parades but as far as they go, it was a good one. We stopped at a costume shop and bought stuff to dress up that night, which was kind of fun. Back at the hotel we all napped and were lazy for a bit before it came to “dress up” time. I was “Athena,” who many of you may know as the Goddess of Wisdom, but I changed all of that and took on the title of Goddess of Everything for the night. Yep.

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So, we took over the roof of our hotel that night and had our own little rooftop Carnivale party, which was excellent. Afterwards we went to a few clubs where there were more men dressed as women than I have ever seen before. It was pretty much a good time…until I refused to get in a cab and started crying because I wanted to go home and see my brother. Yeah, I’m cool like that. And hey, walking home is good for you…exercise.

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Monday morning I woke up and went shopping for a little bit. That was definitely nice. Then I went back to the hotel and had some good old fashioned continental breakfast with everyone. Afterwards, Becky and I decided we needed to jump in the Mediterranean…so we did. It was lovely, in a very cold sort of way. Anyways, we ran up to our room and threw clothes on and went to the bus.

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Oh—a little aftermath of Carnivale – TWO people ended up in the hospital, TOO many ended up throwing up to count. It was a good time all around. Whew!

So Monday…yeah, I wanted nothing to do with life. I got myself on that bus and just wanted to get home. Too bad there was a castle and a chocolate factory in the way. So, yeah, we went to see a castle, it was closed so we just stood there looking at it, we went to a chocolate place and I didn’t listen to a single thing about it, and we went to another castle where I sat on the roof for a little bit. Then, we went home.

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That was Carnivale weekend…good times.

Posted by Stefani528 01:49 Comments (0)

Get Out Of Jail Free

Busy, busy, busy.
Tired, tired, tired.
Homesick, homesick, homesick.
That’s pretty much me right now. Anyways, life’s been pretty crazy and a lot has happened lately…so here goes…

Last Thursday was an interesting one. A group of us ended up going to a party at the Erasmus house (the European exchange kids), which is what we do every Thursday night. Afterward we went to a club called Lush…a really dark, creepy club called Lush. On the way home. Alex and I rode with a friend, Hassim. We were at a stop light when a cop came up to the car and asked him to take an alcohol test, which he failed. Anyways, the fun starts here. We had to go to a station where he had to take the test again, and then to another station so they could cite him. All he ended up getting was big fine, so it wasn’t too bad. My favorite part of the whole experience, other than being the first ones in a Cypriot jail, was when I asked two of the officers if I could use the bathroom. One of them said, “The ladies room is kind of dirty,” and handed me gloves and a bottle of bleach. Weirdo thought I was going to clean the police station bathroom….no. So I told him that I’d just use the guy’s room, and he just looked at me like I was crazy. Ahh, weirdo. Later he did buy me a Twix from the vending machine though….still a weirdo. So a guy fromm the Syrian embassy (Hassim is from Syria) came and drove us home.

Thursday night was exciting enough for me, so I decided to stay home Friday night and rest up for our weekend getaway. I went to a Chinese themed night at the school for dinner, which was okay but Chinese here is definitely different than at home. They had Chinese karaoke there too, which was pretty interesting. After we couldn’t handle it anymore we went home and played drinking games for a little, and then I went to bed.

That’s all for now…the rest will come soon (I promise)

Posted by Stefani528 13:30 Archived in Cyprus Comments (0)

A little history...

(I GUESS THIS IS IMPORTANT)

I stole the following from a website so I could fill everyone in on the Cyprus problem. I'm not sure how clear it is or how comprehensive, but it's kind of important. Nicosia is the last divided capital city in the world since the Berlin Wall fell. Half of the city is Greek and the other half belongs to the occupying Turks and their pseudo "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus." Too bad Turkey is the only country in the world that recognizes it as a country. Basically, it's illegal and not cool. The end.

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(flag the Turks burned into the mountain)

Turkey invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974. The international community strongly condemned the military invasion and rejected. The goal was the ethnic-cleansing, 17 years before the term was even coined, of the occupied northern part of the island.

When one reads the report, adopted on July 10, 1976, after months of investigation by the European Commission of Human Rights, one understands why thousands of Greek Cypriots fled their homes at the approach of the Turkish army. The Commission accepted that there were "very strong indications" of killings "committed on a substantial scale." The atrocities of the Turkish army included wholesale and repeated rapes of women of all ages, systematic torture, savage and humiliating treatment of hundreds of people, including children, women and pensioners during their detention by the Turkish forces, as well as looting and robbery on an extensive scale, by Turkish troops and Turkish Cypriots.

Thousands of Greek-Cypriots lost their lives, 1619 are still missing, 200,000 Cypriots fled their homes leaving behind their belongings (the 200,000 refugees in terms of percentage to the population of Cyprus correspond to 110,000,000 in the USA).

Currently, 26 years later, 30,000 Turkish troops are stationed on the occupied part of the island making it "one of the most highly militarized areas in the world", according to the June 1994 report of the UN Secretary General to the Security Council. The island is thus still divided, the refugees still away from their homes, the whereabouts of the missing still unknown. The Turkish-Cypriots are also victims of this invasion and imposed separation.

More than 110,000 Turkish settlers have been transported to the occupied areas, in an attempt to change the demographic character of the island. These settlers, while Turks, they are completely different culturally from the Turkish-Cypriots whose culture is very similar to their Greek counterparts.

The European Union has repeatedly stated that it recognizes the Government of the Republic of Cyprus as the sole legitimate government with jurisdiction over the whole territory of the island and its people.

Posted by Stefani528 11:10 Comments (0)

everything is alright...right?

So this weekend was Carnivale, and it was pretty crazy. Tons to talk about...but later.

Yesterday my amazing little brother had heart surgery. That's pretty awful for anyone to go through, especially a 14 year old boy. I have no idea how bad this was on the parentals or the rest of the family, because I am stuck here on this stupid island (which I'm completely in love with). So, basically I've been a wreck and a complete disaster of a person these past few days.

Luckily, he came out of it okay, and everything went well. I can breathe again, sort of.

So for now I have tons of projects to finish, but when I have time I'll let you all know about the wonders of Carnivale.

PS - Thanks to everyone for thinking of my little butthead and being awesome and putting up with me lately.

Another aeroplane
Another sunny place
I’m lucky I know
But I wanna go home
Mmmm, I’ve got to go home

Let me go home
I’m just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

Posted by Stefani528 00:23 Comments (0)

Lately...

Everyday life & a trip to the Turkish side

On Wednesday I spent the day in classes as usual. Some of us went out to an Italian restaurant called Marzano’s for dinner before meeting up with the Marines at a taverna. We didn’t stay there long before we left for Reckless, another bar.

On Thursday we had a “meat feast” at school because it was the last day anyone who is Greek Orthodox could eat meat before Easter. That night Alex, Becky and I went to a party to meet up with a bunch of other European exchange students. It was really cool because there were people there from so many other countries. We hung out there for a while before we all left for a club called Vivendi.

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Friday was pretty much the same. We went to another house a bunch of the international kids living in, and hung out there for a while before we went out to Bling and met up with everyone else. We had another VIP room and champagne - because we’re all so high class like that.

On Saturday we took a GLS trip to the Turkish side of Cyprus. We had to be at school and on the bus at 9 a.m. so that was kind of rough seeing as how I got 2 hours of sleep the night before. The bus ended up being an hour late, and finally we crossed into the Turkish side of Nicosia.

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Things are completely different there. It was really weird to think that we were still in the same city. Anyways, we walked around and saw the Venetian Walls from the other side, St. Sophia Cathedral, which is now a mosque, another Turkish bath, and an open air market.

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We got back on the bus and went to Saint Hilarion castle in Kyrenia, a city on the water…amazing! We went inside for a few minutes just to see the view of the sea and mountains, and town below. It was absolutely beautiful…I’ve been waiting to see that water ;). We drove down to Kyrenia and some of us ate lunch at an outdoor restaurant by the water. It was a great day to be outside and have some fresh seafood.

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Lunch took longer than expected so when we finally got to Kyrenia Castle, our second castle of the day, we only had a few minutes to look around. It was also huge, and there was a Shipwreck Museum inside where we saw the remains of the only preserved wreck on the Mediterranean.

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We drove to Bellapais Abbey where we saw the Abbey itself and walked around the little village for a bit. By this time we were all beat and got back on the bus to head home.

The bus had to be inspected before we entered the Greek side of the island again. We got home, sat down on our couches, and ordered pizza for the house. That night I was so tired I just showered and watched a movie in bed. There was no way I could go out for another night in a row.

Sunday was our day off as usual. Since we still didn’t have internet in the house we couldn’t really get any schooly work done, so Ruth, Lauren, Erin and I took a walk through a few of the neighborhoods around our house. The houses are all pretty much gorgeous here, and it was pretty much the nicest day ever outside. Erin and I got gyros for lunch and sat outside for lunch while some of the others attempted to tan. We ended up at a local bar, Ivanhoe’s, where we could get free internet so we could all check our email and do some homework. After wards I had some salad for dinner…ps - parentals, its okay to eat it here…and hung out with a friend for the rest of the night.

So that’s basically my life lately. I go to class all day and go out all night, and go on trips on the weekends. It’s pretty okay…at least it’s not snowing ;).

Posted by Stefani528 00:46 Archived in Cyprus Comments (0)

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