Saturday, June 28, 2008

1st Day in Pervolia

In the morning we have again the seminar, in a conference room, air-conditioned. No internet, so no emails / surveys. The students begin to present their abstracts.

After lunch I check out the Faros hotel computer: there is a proprietary software which handles all interaction. It starts programs, but does not let the user save anything. There is a USB port in the wall, but as I plug in my memory stick, nothing happens. So no picture upload. And no printing - that is disabled too.

But I find out something else: I ask at the hotel check-in desk, if one could rent bicycles. Yes, one can. And I immediately rent one, for the rest of the day. Finally I am mobile again, without the need to pay for taxi rides. The hotel clerk drives me on a golf cart to the shed where the bicycles are. A blue 21 speed mountain bike, not too bad. I start riding right away, heading towards south-west. Maybe I can make it to Limassol? In the beginning it goes very smooth, wind appears to be from the back. I stop in Kiti, go into the internet cafe with the one computer. Save the car rental voucher onto my memory stick. Now I only will have to find a printer, maybe at the hotel. Then I can get my car on Sunday.

I continue to cycle. A few blocks away is a nice old Orthodox Church. Tourists come out of it, I take a few pictures, then head on towards south-west.

Now there appears to be a strong head wind, I only can go with about 12 km/h. The street is quite boring, a wide open plain, a few house ruins at the sides, fields. In the far distant to the right the Troodos mountains, on the left is the sea. The afternoon sun burns down quite strongly. I had put some UV protection onto myself, factor 25; should be sufficient. As I get more tired, I decide to take a swim. The coast is empty. Is not pleasant to lie at this beach, no sand is here, just stones. But the water is very pleasant, despine being warm it actually cools a bit, compared to being exposed to the burning sun.

After about 30 minutes I continue further along the coast. Make a pit stop at a beach establishment, have a few ice cold drinks. I am now sure that I cannot make it until Limassos. I head further inland, pass through Mazotos and head towards Alaminos, but halfway I return. Is too exhausting now. I am looking forward to something nice to eat now. Pass by at another nice church, more contemporary. But it appears that the Orthodox Church does not make any experiments: even newly built churches have the Byzanthine style. A pity - there are many nice contemporary catholic churches which convey a lot of spirituality through the architectural language of our times... the "old stuff" appears a bit stagnant, stuffy.

Pass again through Kiti, through the town centre of Pervolia. I stop at a restaurant, have a beer, village salad, calamari, and tsatsiki. Price just 15 Euro, and tastes great!

As I approach the Journalist Village, I decide to head on towards Larnaca towards north-east, just to see what is there. Make it up to the airport, then I turn back. Around 19:30 I return the bicycle at the hotel. I am quite tired now.

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