Sunday, 26 November 2017

Mosaic Monday # 63 - Church of Saint Nicholas, Kato Pafos.

Back from our latest trip to Cyprus with more tales and photographs to share.
One thing I learned from this trip is that the town of Pafos/Paphos lies inland and the area in which we stayed, Kato Pafos, is the more touristy area of town.
Don't misunderstand me I'm not putting it down at all, we loved the hotel's position overlooking the beach and enjoyed walking along the promenade which wends it's way from the Church of Saint Nicholas in the south to the harbour in the north.
The Church is a small, intimate church with a stunning interior of frescoes covering the walls  - an ideal choice for religious wedding services.  The chapel was originally built as an Orthodox Chapel, but the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus kindly gave their permission for Anglican and Catholic wedding ceremonies to be performed here. This chapel can hold wedding parties of up to approx 60 guests and is the perfect backdrop for wedding photography. (Source: Simply Cyprus Weddings)

Saint Nicholas is a very busy patron saint of many causes, of course he is most loved for being Good old St Nick or Santa Claus. His Saint's Day is 5th December.
Click on the link to learn about "Saint Nicholas and the origin of Santa Claus" on the St Nicholas Center website.

We walked down to the Church on a blustery morning after a night of rain and thunderstorms, a gentle 20 minute stroll, admiring the views and commenting on the various hotels we passed along the way.

After weighing up the pros and cons we decided that we had chosen the best one!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Mosaic Monday # 62 - sitting on a dock of the bay...................

Kalimera from Cyprus.
We've been thoroughly enjoying ourselves this week at the Athena Royal Beach, an adults only, 4 star hotel in sunny Paphos.

Our days have been filled with good books, good food and plenty of rest and relaxation.
On Saturday morning we caught the local bus down to the harbour, we strolled around looking at all the different boats, visited the Castle which deserves a post of it's own, looked around a pop up art gallery then stopped at a waterfront café to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and watch the world go by.
Paphos was given “enhanced protection” status in November 2010 by UNESCO’s Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.
Click here to learn more about it's amazing history.

This year Paphos has something else to be proud of having won the international competition to become the European Capital of Culture for 2017 along with Aarhus in Denmark.
Although we've been to Cyprus several times before this is the first time we have been based in Paphos. On previous visits we toured the island with private guides stopping at museums, archaeological sites, wineries and monasteries.

This vacation has been much more low key but we still have a few days left to see more of the city before we leave, that is if we run out of books.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Mosaic Monday # 61 - leaving on a jet plane

By the time most of you start checking in for Mosaic Monday this week the SP & I will be heading to the UK, via Calais & the Eurotunnel, before boarding that jet plane for a 10 day winter break in Paphos, Cyprus.
I can almost feel that warm sunshine on my face already.

Cypriot blues

Whilst we're gone M'selle Fleur will be enjoying a staycation at home with her two besties June and Leighton.
We love to travel and over the years I've collected quite an assortment of suitcases, totes and carry on bags, some have been more successful than others.
A very useful back pack which was great to have on the plane over to Florida in July became a cumbersome nightmare in WDW. Every time that I needed my camera, or iPhone, or a tissue, or just about anything out of it, down it came and our progress around the park came to a halt.
After the first half a dozen times this happened I decided that enough was enough!
A quick trip to TJ's, on the way home to our rental villa, was in order to find a replacement bag.
This is it, a Baggallini black nylon cross body bag.

It has a stylish camo pattern and turquoise lining with plenty of pockets to hold everything you need. Waterproof too, which came in handy on some of those theme park rides! The wide cross body strap allows the bag to be carried comfortably with the weight evenly distributed leaving both hands free.
When we travel by air I always check a suitcase no matter how long a trip we take, I've never been adept at packing light.
However, if that suitcase should get lost along the way to our destination I like to have certain things on the plane with me and I thought why not see if I can get everything that I'll need during the flight into the Baggallini?

My carry on bag checklist;
Both of our passports
Purse with cash & credit card. Ditto the SP's wallet
Enough meds for the entire trip.
Copy of passports and medical prescriptions.
Kindle paper white, iPhone & charger; ear buds.
Halo, (a.k.a. Angel Annie) my cherished Beanie Baby. Almost 20 years old and very well travelled she was a gift from a dear friend who is sadly no longer with us.
Jewellery, not expensive items but the memories attached to each piece are priceless.
A pair of Toms flats to slip on during the flight.
Note pad & pen to jot down ideas for potential blog topics!
Necessary liquid items, to make the flight more pleasant, go into a carry on approved see through bag.
(I always follow the 3-1-1 rule when packing liquids. Liquids must be under 3.4 ounces, fit in 1 quart-sized plastic bag, 1 bag per passenger.)
Antibacterial/antiseptic hand sanitizer gel, to take care of anything unsavoury that my hands might come into contact with.
Ayurvedic eye drops to refresh tired eyes.
Dr Bach's Rescue Remedy to comfort & reassure should things get bumpy.
L'Occitane lip balm to soothe.
Because our flight leaves very early in the morning I will probably board the plane sans makeup (shock horror), before we land I'll nip to the loo and freshen up a little. The airlines we fly with nowadays don't hand out little travel bags of useful items so I always pack a disposable toothbrush/paste. Olay's 7 Total Effects BB cream, Burts Bees "Redwood Forest" lip crayon and a light swipe of black mascara should banish any signs of fatigue.
These are the "must haves" that went into the Baggallini for this trip, no problem fitting everything inside with even room to spare for a snack or some travel sweets.

Larger items such as my iPad, holiday travel file, assorted cables & adapters plus a Longchamp Pliage Tote (in case of impulse purchases in Duty Free) will go into the Senior Partner's larger carry on bag.

Next week my Mosaic Monday post will, hopefully, be coming to you from a cabana by the beach, watch this space............

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Mosaic Monday # 60 - vides greniers/empty attics

You might recall that we recently had a visit from our brother-in-law and nephew, they came across from the UK to help us clear out some attics and to work in the garden clearing and tidying ready for winter.
At the beginning of October BIL completed the '54321 Challenge'.

12 months 

5 marathons
4 half marathons
3 triathlons
2 duathlons
1 ultramarathon
zero beer - alcohol
and so far has raised £3690 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

When they arrived early Sunday evening, after driving all day, it was good to sit and enjoy a well earned beer and watch football on TV until dinner was ready.

Early next day the "boys" went to collect the rental van, and 20 large sacks of pine bark to distribute between the flower beds.
Next on my "honey do" list was to empty the loft over the garage of unwanted items and take it all to the recycling depot/ dechetterie.
That little chore took care of the rest of the afternoon.

Tuesday was spent emptying and cleaning an attic, the contents included two unwanted divan beds and a sofa.
With even more junk from the loft added to the load the van was full once more.
As the dechetterie isn't open on Tuesdays they spent the rest of the day cleaning the garage loft and raking leaves and conkers, again.
Wednesday morning soon came around and the next chore on my list was dismantling and clearing the builders scaffolding which we had been using as storage shelves in the garage (more junk).
The items we wanted to keep or donate to the charity shop got moved into the now clean and practically empty loft above.
No before photo of the loft because I was too ashamed to show it to you! Can you see those half empty paint tins stacked up so tidily on the shelving unit on the wall at the end? They didn't make it to the dechetterie this time but I live in hope.

Another two trips to the dechetterie in the afternoon and we were ready to call it "a job well done"!
We were so grateful for all their help and support, they certainly worked hard and achieved so much that would have been beyond this pair of oldies.

watching all the activity from her chair
was too much for Fleur
During dinner that evening BIL remarked that despite his aching legs and back he was already planning to come over again to work with us next October. Result!
Thursday morning, after an early breakfast, the two of them headed off to the Eurotunnel in Calais, they made good time and were able to catch an earlier than scheduled train.
Unfortunately their homeward journey from Folkestone was beset by delays and took twice as long to complete as it should have done.

Thanks guys!