Hi everyone! The travel blog you didn’t realise you were missing is back! We all know that life gets a bit hectic over December, and so with all of my actually important work to be doing(!), the blog fell by the wayside a little.
So where we left off in the last blog, we had had 2 sets of friends come to visit us in Gdansk already, and next up were my family! By now we were really feeling like we had this tour guide thing down – so of course, we did dumplings, we did World War monuments in the woods, we did hot chocolate … and we were ready to do it all again with our next set of friends who had booked to come and see us over Christmas …
But then came that ‘O’ word. The increased testing regulations and uncertainty regarding Omicron meant that our friends sadly decided to cancel their visit, which, of course, we were sad about!
The good thing about already being in Europe is that the rules tended to be a little easier when it came to travel. I was mooching around on some cheap flight sights, trying to find some way to make the next few, now visitor-less, weeks a bit more interesting, and came across some lovely cheap flights to Cyprus! Now, if you need to know anything about Cyprus, we all know I am not the Pink Piglet for you – that’s our Cheryl who’s the expert there! But I can see why she’s fallen in love with the place!
We knew it wouldn’t be the scorching sunshine of the summer, but when you’re dealing with -5ish daily, when the weather says 18 degrees, you’re happy!
After arriving at Paphos airport, with only our personal item of luggage each (I will not pay, Ryanair!), we felt like we had it in us to walk the almost 3 hours to or AirBnB, pretty much along the coast. And we did, actually, but trudging through pebbles, with no paved road while carrying all of your belongings for the week will take it out of you!
It was off-season of course, and Cheryl had warned us that although the main town centre would be fine, there may be little else open.. Again, she was right, of course. I don’t know if it did have something to do with the fact that we had seen no signs of life and definitely no food for 2 and half ours of our walk, but the food at Romeo’s restaurant was incredible. I am not usually huge on ‘meat’, I can take it or leave it, but oh my goodness, the barbecued meats they had cooked up, along with probably 2 of the best things I’ve ever tasted – beetroot baked in olive oil and whipped feta with chilli, made this meal one of the most memorable of my life for sure!
The next day, we were up and out to a café I had spotted in town the previous day, and I was there for one reason and one reason only – cinnamon roll pancakes. Yep. This was a stack of 3 large, fluffy pancakes, sandwiched with cream cheese frosting and cinnamon caramel, and it was going to be my breakfast. The price was incredibly reasonable too, when you think what you would be paying for something similar in the UK (actually we found that most of the food and drink was a great price). My husband doesn’t usually have a sweet tooth at all, but even he was so taken by these pancakes that we had to come back to the same place the next day so he could get his own!
Anyway, filled with cinnamon-y goodness, we set out hiring a car for a couple of days so that we could take ourselves to see and do some things. Something I hadn’t heard of before, but had found in my research, was the Akamas National Park, and the walk that seemed within our ability for the day (meaning not reeeally wanting to exert ourselves particularly, and me wearing sandals) was visiting the Akavanas Gorge. I would definitely recommend this – it was a very pleasant walk, not physically challenging (as long as you don’t mind getting your feet wet) and you end up being faced with this amazing gorge in the rocks, which you can then walk through and continue your hike on the other side, or just take some cool pics and turn back around again.
After another (although not quite as mind-blowing) lovely meal of meze-type things in town, we found ourselves at a bar called Pinguino, which we found was the place to go for some good cocktails. (I mean, we didn’t actually go anywhere else, but that’s because this place was so nice!) And this is where I also had the best pina colada of my life! It could’ve been mainly due to the adorable pineapple glass it was served in, but my goodness was that thing sweet, creamy and delicious.
The next day, we took a trip a little inland to a winery I had found that did a tour and tasting for €5! I was sure that that would turn out to be too good to be true, and it would end up costing us a lot more than that but it didn’t! Shout out to Fikardo’s! Delicious wine, a great tour guide, and the best price I’ve ever had! It was at this point that I realised that I hadn’t eaten nearly enough baklava or spinach pastries, so we found a local bakery and grabbed a selection of mini bits for lunch. All delicious, none of which I can remember the names of sadly, but another amazing value meal as we probably paid about 50cents per pastry!
Now, we had not by any means had enough of Cyprus’ own food. But – in Poland, it is next to impossible to find a curry place, let alone a good curry place! There was an Indian restaurant that had great reviews though, and so that’s where we took ourselves for our final evening. Again, the food was delicious, and really, I just wish I could eat these 4 days’ worth of food all over again.
This blog (rightly so) has become really the Cyprus fan club, but just to wrap up, I need to mention the other exciting thing we did before heading back to the UK (see the next blog for that!), which was skiing!
Okay, anyone who is remotely skilled in winter sports, this isn’t the place for you, but Gdansk does have a few hills, and they are a great (cheap) way to practice for a few hours, or try it out for the first time! I have skied a few times, but never frequently enough to really get good at it, and Konrad never had, so for us, this was a great way to say goodbye to Poland. It has to be mentioned though – Konrad definitely found getting on and staying on a ski lift much more challenging that actually making it down the hill!
And one more thing – I feel that this has kind of become almost as much of a food blog as it is a travel and activity blog SO, if that’s what you’re here for, don’t’ go just yet. The final gift Poland provided us with was … Georgian food! Okay, so probably Georgia can take the credit for that, but turns out that Gdansk has at least 2 fantastic Georgian restaurants. There are probably more but sadly (or not, for our waistlines!) we came to the Georgian food party late into our trip, and could only go twice.. All I’m saying is that is you like bread, and you like cheese, then kachapuri might just be the best thing that ever happens to you!
Meet Kachapuri – it’s bread that is filled with molten cheese and topped with an egg. Stir it all together and what have you got? The cheesy bread stuff of DREAMS! Also a shout out to Shkmeruli (pictured), a delicious dish of chicken in a creamy garlic sauce, and Chinkali (not pictured), large dumplings filled with meat and broth, where you bit a hole and suck the liquid out first before chowing down.
So that’s that! That catches us up to early January, where, as you’ll see in the next blog, our time in Poland comes to an end, for now, but some totally different and unexpected adventures await!