Monday, August 28, 2017

[LIMASSOL] Beaching in Cyprus, Part II

Limassol is halfway between Larnaca and Paphos. All three cities are connected by Intercity buses that cost EUR 4 (~PHP 240) one-way. The travel time is usually an hour and a half depending on traffic. In our case, we arrived 10 minutes earlier. Limassol is the second largest town in Cyprus after Nicosia. Even so, the population is a mere 200,000 which means there is enough beach for everybody. As for me, my expectation is simple: Beach again. Yes, we came to Cyprus to beach, and beach we will.

Dropping off my baggage at my Airbnb place, I rested for a while before heading out for my obligatory stroll. This is always part of my routine when arriving in a new city. The objective of the stroll is to have an ocular of the place. How does it feel like walking down the streets? Are they pedestrian-friendly? Are there many foreigners roaming around? How are the locals treating these foreigners? And then while walking around you also get to stumble upon some interesting buildings and architectural styles.

I saw a big Catholic cathedral on my way to the beach so I snapped a photo of the façade before moving on. Before exiting to the coastal avenue I found a Filipino Karaoke bar! And so there must be a sizeable Filipino diaspora here in Limassol, too. Well, if it is the country’s second largest town and bigger than Larnaca, then I guess there are even more Filipinos here. I wonder if they serve Filipino food there. Maybe tomorrow if they are open I will head there for lunch. Cross fingers.

The main beach strip near my Airbnb place is called the Promenade. This one is close to the old port and the old town. This is also one of the main stops of the Intercity bus so it serves as a good point of reference for other places of interest in the city. It is hot as expected. Today we reached 36 degrees. This probably explains the lack of tourists at the Promenade. Again, I believe the locals go there after sundown to avoid the heat. You might want to do so as well.

What followed was a long walk all the way to Dasoudi. This one is far away from the city center. You can take Bus 30 to get there but I insisted on walking because I underestimated the distance. Hey, it was visible along the coast from the Promenade, okay? The walk is exhausting but if you walk in a leisurely pace and with enough protection from the sun, the views will make up for it. I think I’ve read somewhere that these beaches are along a seven-kilometer stretch of coastline. That IS a long walk.

What you see along the beach are the usual stuff, mostly reclining seats and umbrellas. I finally found an info board regarding the price. Each one will cost you EUR 2.50 (~PHP 150), meaning a total of EUR 5 (~PHP 300) all in all. I’m not sure if this is per hour. I assume that’s the rate per day. There is also one area halfway between the two strips where you can rent sports equipment such as kayaks, banana boats, and jet skis. They also have an info board with all the prices indicated on it. A bit steep, but seems fun.

The difference between Promenade and Dasoudi is that the latter is covered with trees which I suppose makes it a good camping site. The juxtaposition of the “woods” eventually leading to the sea is a breath of fresh air from the usual human bodies piled up along the shore getting tanned. Dasoudi also looks a bit less crowded, although I didn’t get to explore it anymore because I was already dying of dehydration. In any case, it feels like a safer bet if you want to enjoy the beach but with enough shade against the sun.

After chilling at Starbucks, I hopped onboard Bus 30. There was no frickin’ way that I was walking all the way back to the Old Port. The trip took around 15 minutes. Like I said, Promenade is near old town and old port. The old port does not seem that old because it is now littered with cafes and restaurants where you can just chill while watching ships in the Mediterranean Sea. The area is also popular for teenagers having a good time just diving.

I called it a day at Limassol Castle which closed at 5 PM, three minutes after I arrived. The castle was built around the 12th or 13th century AD and they have outdoor displays of some of the ruins that have been excavated. The area is now home to many restaurants catering to both tourists and locals. After having some pasta for early dinner, I walked back to my Airbnb place and passed by some shopping streets along the way. Limassol is more spread out in comparison to Larnaca. If you love walking, you’ll love it here.

[LIMASSOL] Beaching in Cyprus, Part II

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