Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pistachios in Paphos

This red wine at 6.30pm in the lounge thing is becoming a not unpleasant habit! It has been another beautiful day in Cyprus, and the sunset a couple of hours ago was breathtaking. Today we went for a walk after breakfast, following the path along the public beach all the way into the harbour at Paphos. The path is very well made, and quite beautiful, with bits of marble scattered in amongst broken pieces of concrete. It’s very artistic, and also quite comfortable to walk on as the whole is quite smooth, despite the fact it is an amalgamation of broken bits and pieces.

Sadly we were unable to find the mosaics, and the most stunning sight in the harbour was the old castle. Other than that Paphos is very much a seaside town, like any seaside town in Europe really. I was curiously disappointed. Cyprus is a staggeringly beautiful country with lovely friendly people, but in my experiences it is definitely a place where you find a good hotel and just stay there! The bits in between the more luxurious hotels are very run down and touristy. Also, most of the taxis are quite old (neither of the two we have been in have had a full set of working seat belts) and driven by people who seem to be in a huge hurry to meet their Maker. The hire car we rented last time we were here was nearly falling apart as well. So it is one of those places where you need to find a lovely hotel where you are well catered for just enjoy the beach, pools and restaurants. I think we will be staying put for the rest of the week.

I was in the spa again this afternoon, this time for a manicure and pedicure. My feet were smoothed, buffed, massaged, and at one point even encased in hot paraffin. They came out baby soft and really feeling comfortable. My finger and toe nails are now a beautiful shade of red and I feel very pampered indeed.

The 21st Century Husband and Teenager met me after my pampering and we went up to the lounge to have a cup of tea, and some delicious baklava, along with some pistachio biscuits. I am in pistachio heaven here, and it reminds me so much of Dad. He’d buy the bags of pistachios back in the day when the shells used to be tinted red, and we’d sit and eat them, our pink stained fingers giving away the fact that we had been snacking before dinner. The pistachios here are just as delicious if not more so as they grow here, as do dates. This morning I tasted fresh dates for the first time, their skins firm and brown, not wrinkled and dry. They were quite exquisite, juicy and delightful, but I still love the dried ones too.

We are finding that our week is flying by far too quickly, with only three days of our holiday remaining. It is doing us so much good though. For the first time in years I do not feel tired during the day. I did not realise how much of a toll all the stress, late nights and travelling had taken. But now I am rested, sleeping over eight hours a night and sometimes even napping beside the pool as well. I feel really content and full of energy. I even look more relaxed and my skin is glowing. I’m so grateful for this break, it is just what we needed.

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