Africa 2023:
Day 19 - Cyprus


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Africa 2023: [Pre-Cruise] [Day 1 - Ft. Lauderdale] [Day 2-8 - At Sea] [Day 9 - Funchal] [Day 10 - Arrecife] [Day 11 - Agadir] [Day 12 - Casablanca] [Day 13-14 - At Sea] [Day 15 - Tunisia] [Day 16 - At Sea] [Day 17 - Crete] [Day 18 - At Sea] [Day 19 - Cyprus] [Day 20 - At Sea] [Day 21 - Suez Canal] [Day 22 - Safaga] [Day 23-26 - At Sea] [Day 27 - Salalah] [Day 28-31 - At Sea] [Day 32-33 - Seychelles] [Day 34-35 - At Sea] [Day 36-37 - Zanzibar] [Day 38 - At Sea] [Day 39 - Mayotte] [Day 40 - Madagascar] [Day 41-42 - At Sea] [Day 43 - Mozambique] [Day 44 - Durban] [Day 45-46 - At Sea] [Day 47-48 - Cape Town] [Day 49 - At Sea] [Day 50 - Luderitz] [Day 51 - Walvis Bay] [Day 52-53 - At Sea] [Day 54 - Angola] [Day 55-57 - At Sea] [Day 58 - Ghana] [Day 59 - Côte d'Ivoire] [Day 60-61 - At Sea] [Day 62 - The Gambia] [Day 63 - Senegal] [Day 64 - At Sea] [Day 65 - Cape Verde] [Day 66-70 - At Sea] [Day 71 - Puerto Rico] [Day 72-73 - At Sea] [Day 74 - Ft. Lauderdale]

Saturday, October 28, 2023: When we awoke this morning, we were already tied up to the pier at the new cruise terminal in Limassol, Cyprus.
After a quick breakfast, we headed down to the World Stage to receive our tour stickers, taking a second to look at the container port from the starboard windows on deck two
Our tour was called right on time, and we headed off the ship, ...
... and into the beautiful terminal building.
The terminal was large, clean, and beautifully decorated.
The bus ride was really just a transfer to our waiting catamaran in the old harbor, but we did drive past this cool hi-rise apartment building on the way there.
What's this? It looks old. It might be part of the medieval castle that is near the old harbor, but we're not sure.
Just after 9:00 AM, we arrrived at the old harbor and started walking toward our catamaran. We crossed the bridge over this canal, ...
... and took a few seconds to look at the fish in the water below.
The old harbor had lots of beautiful artwork to see, including the mural on this building of the Maritime Training Center, ...
... a fish sculpture, ...
... and one of those take-your-photo-here letter-signs that spelled "Old Port." Behind it was the entrance to the "Explore the Ice Age" exhibit.
As we boarded the catamaran, we noticed this building just outside the harbor, ...
... with a beautiful mermaid statue on the roof.
By 9:15 AM, we were pulling away from our berth in the harbor, ...
... and sailing past the breakwater with its cool concrete shapes, ...
... and heading out to sea. There was plenty of room on the catamaran, and we'd grabbed a lovely spot on the top deck.
As we cruised across Akrotiri Bay, we saw a this flock of seabirds congregating near a group of ships moored in the bay. We also saw the occasional flying fish shooting off over the water as we approached.
There's our beautiful Zuiderdam. You can see the arch-shaped buildings of the cruise terminal on the pier.
The first part of our tour was scenic cruising, and we went by this odd collection of things as we headed to the southwest out into the bay.
As we got closer, one of the ship's crew told us that it was a fish farm. There were large nets over the circular structures to prevent birds from using it as a buffet.
The crew came around and asked us if we'd like anything to drink. We passed on the alcohol and ordered two Coke Zeroes. Cheers!
The entire peninsula on the southwestern point is covered by a Royal Air Force Base. That building on the left of this photo appears to be a huge aircraft hangar.
We cruised all the way to the end of the cape, ...
... and then rounded it and pulled in to look at the caves formed in the limestone cliffs.
The boat pulled right up to the entrance of the caves, and then backed out a bit, ...
... and to our surprise, dropped anchor in the crystal clear waters.
We head only brought one snorkel mask along, since we thought this was only going to be scenic cruising and a trip to the beach, ...
... so we took turns exploring the water to look underwater.
There were schools of small dark fish swimming in the area.
Here's a good close-up of one.
They didn't appear to be shy at all, swimming in fairly close to us as explored.
There were straight lines in the seabed which looked like stingray tail marks, but we didn't see any rays.
There were larger fish around, ..
... and itsy bitsy tiny ones.
Debbie used our new waterproof camera to try to take a half-above-and-half-below-the-water shot, ...
... with mixed results.
All too soon, it was time to reboard the boat, ...
... and continue our cruise westward along the peninsula, ...
... and its beautiful cliffs, ...
... and its spectacularly clear water.
As we cruised, the crew put out a selection of fruit for us to eat that included, from the left to right, figs, oranges, guava, plums, grapes, and bananas.
We got some more Coke Zero and enjoyed our fruit up on deck. We'd never had figs before, and both thought they were delicious.
We headed back to the eastern side of the cape, into Akrotiri Bay, where there were some lovely yachts anchored while their passengers played in the sea.
Our next stop was just offshore from Lady's Mile Beach. We dropped anchor, ...
... and got in the water. There was no jumping off the boat this time as the water here was only about six or seven feet deep.
A few other passengers admired our floaties and asked where we'd gotten them, and a bit of playful splashing ensued, ...
... before we kicked back and gave ourselves up to the tranquil waters of the Mediterranean.
We didn't bring our snorkel mask out this time, so Debbie just took some random photos underwater in the hopes that she might catch something. And would you believe it, she got this great photo of a starfish that was just hanging out on the bottom.
Doesn't Tom look relaxed?
Debbie definitely does!
After thirty minutes or so of swimming, it was time to get back on board ...
... and leave the beach behind.
That white area just on the other side of the beach is the Limassol Salt Lake, which is currently dried up. It is a fairly shallow lake, and dries and refills throughout the year.
Debbie's new cover-up from Crete was working out great.
As we neared the new port, we saw this high speed ferry named the HSC Champion Jet 1. She just looks fast, doesn't she?
There were some pretty buildings along the waterfront, ...
... and some beautiful yachts in the bay.
We're not quite sure what this is, but it might be a ocean-going dredging ship.
We cruised westward along the city's shoreline, seeing beautiful buildings ...
... and more still under construction.
These buildings marked our furthest westward point. The one on the right looked like an air purifier to us. The two on the left were still being built, and while they looked very similar, there were quite a few differences. The one on the far left had all flat faces, while the other one had a curved face.
We liked the look of both of these buildings as well, from the irregularly-shaped windows and modern look of the one on the left, and the coppery roundness of the one on the right.
We wondered if there was money in the orange stand.
This church along the waterfront had a red Jerusalem cross painted on the front.
There was a promenade along the waterfront with sculptures at various points.
Pretty.
As we got closer to the old port, the Greek Orthodox Ayia Napa Cathedral dominated the waterfront.
Just before 1:30 PM, we re-entered the breakwater of the marina, and pulled back into our original berth. The boat soundtrack had consisted mostly of covers of 80s hits but for one brief moment, the crew put on Vangelis' "1492: Conquest of Paradise Theme," the music played by Star Clippers everytime they raised their sails. We were the only people on the boat thrilled when it started up and equally sad when it was stopped after 30 glorious seconds.
Many of us wanted to stay in port to explore. Our escort insisted that everyone walk with her back to the tour bus so that she could show us where to get the free shuttle back to the ship, and then we were free. We headed back to the Kipriakon restaurant that was near to where our catamaran docked. We had noticed on the walk back to the tour bus that they had fried calamari on the menu.
After asking for a table for two, the host kindly moved a table with a view of the harbor into the shade. We ordered a half-liter KEO draft beer and an iced rose-flavored beverage, ...
... and cleaned our hands with conveniently provide hand wipes before the food arrived.
We ordered two hot appetizers. At the top of the photo is feta philo, which is feta cheese wrapped in philo pastry, fried, and covered with honey and sesame seeds. At the bottom of the photo is octopus balls with creamy lemon dip. Both were really delicious, especially the feta.
We also ordered a main course of fried calamari, which came with vegetables, fries, and a smoky pepper sauce. This was, hands down, the best calamari we'd had so far. Fried is absolutely our favorite way to have it. Crispy and delicious.
A solitary pigeon stopped by to see us. He wasn't quite as colorful as the one in Crete, but he had an irridescent green and purple head which was striking when the sun hit him at just the right angle.
Here's a view of the restaurant. The third table from the near corner, the one that is inset from the row along the waterfront, is where we sat.
We decided to stroll around the marina area and found this McDonald's nearby. We wondered for a very brief moment about what unique Cypriot items were on their menu, but didn't go inside.
Instead, we headed toward the castle and stopped at this souvenir store where we bought some more small bottles of alcohol, ...
... and then we headed to the shuttle bus stop where we boarded a bus that was just getting ready to head back to the ship. What great timing!
The bus dropped us off outside the departures terminal in building number five, and after going through security there, we boarded our ship, ...
... and went back to our cabin. Here are the souvenirs that we picked up. The one on the left is a pistachio-flavored liqueur, and the one on the right is Ouzo in a bottle shaped like Cyprus.
At 4:30 PM, the captain came over the PA to announce that we would be leaving port shortly, so we made cocktails with some Crystal Light, cranberry juice, and Absolut Citron and headed out to the balcony to watch sail out.
Today's LEGO daily calendar featured our minifigs swimming in the ocean. Happy day 19 everyone!
There was an impromptu gathering of tugboats just behind our ship. Several crew members from the tug on the outside came out to take photos of our ship as it maneuvered away from the dock.
Maersk!
This tugboat flitted around us as we left the harbor. It was only here in case our engines stopped or we suddenly lost control and needed emergency assistance.
The Cypriot pilot boat was one of the most colorful we'd ever seen.
As we reached the breakwater at the edge of the harbor, we got another view of the fish farm that we'd seen earlier in the day. From higher up, we could see that some of the containers didn't have nets and there were a few birds perched on their rims.
The German replenishment ship Frankfurt am Main was anchored in the bay.
There were two Chinook helicopters flying in formation near the beach where we had been swimming, and then they turned and headed toward the RAF base on the peninsula.
We were headed due east out of the port, and the sun lit up our wake brilliantly.
For dinner, we decided to just have sandwiches from the Lido. Debbie got chicken salad, with a little seafood pasta salad on the side, and Tom had a ham and cheese sandwich with potato chips and more cheese on the side.
Tonight was a full moon and a partial lunar eclipse, so we headed out on deck to see if we'd be able the moon from our balcony.
Sure enough, it was very visible. Hooray! We set an alarm to go off at 10:34 PM, which was the start time of the eclipse, and then settled in to watch the movie "Moneyball" while we waited.
When the alarm went off, we headed outside to check it out. You can just see the southern pole getting dark. We headed back inside and started the 2021 version of "Cinderella," and set timers to go off every 10 minutes to go out and look again.
A little less than an hour later, we headed back out to look at the peak of the eclipse. The southern pole was now completely dark.
Tom took this wide-angle shot of Debbie as she lay back in one of our deck chairs, trying to photograph not only the eclipse, but Jupiter and its moons. Jupiter is the bright star just to the lower left of the moon.
Of course, not only was she able to hold her camera rock steady enough (on a moving ship) to get this spectacular shot, ...
... she was able to get another one zoomed in even further. You can clearly see all four Galilean moons. From left to right it is Europa, Io, Jupiter, Ganymede, and Callisto.

Day 20 >


Africa 2023: [Pre-Cruise] [Day 1 - Ft. Lauderdale] [Day 2-8 - At Sea] [Day 9 - Funchal] [Day 10 - Arrecife] [Day 11 - Agadir] [Day 12 - Casablanca] [Day 13-14 - At Sea] [Day 15 - Tunisia] [Day 16 - At Sea] [Day 17 - Crete] [Day 18 - At Sea] [Day 19 - Cyprus] [Day 20 - At Sea] [Day 21 - Suez Canal] [Day 22 - Safaga] [Day 23-26 - At Sea] [Day 27 - Salalah] [Day 28-31 - At Sea] [Day 32-33 - Seychelles] [Day 34-35 - At Sea] [Day 36-37 - Zanzibar] [Day 38 - At Sea] [Day 39 - Mayotte] [Day 40 - Madagascar] [Day 41-42 - At Sea] [Day 43 - Mozambique] [Day 44 - Durban] [Day 45-46 - At Sea] [Day 47-48 - Cape Town] [Day 49 - At Sea] [Day 50 - Luderitz] [Day 51 - Walvis Bay] [Day 52-53 - At Sea] [Day 54 - Angola] [Day 55-57 - At Sea] [Day 58 - Ghana] [Day 59 - Côte d'Ivoire] [Day 60-61 - At Sea] [Day 62 - The Gambia] [Day 63 - Senegal] [Day 64 - At Sea] [Day 65 - Cape Verde] [Day 66-70 - At Sea] [Day 71 - Puerto Rico] [Day 72-73 - At Sea] [Day 74 - Ft. Lauderdale]

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