Quest for Anthony's Garden Hotel

Trip Start Mar 26, 2011
Trip End May 01, 2011

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Flag of Cyprus  , Limassol,
Monday, April 25, 2011

The Old Stable Tavern with calamari and chips and peas, Cyprus music....and filled with British people.  Some tourists, maybe some expats, or snowbirds.  One older lady greeted the owner with kisses, Happy Easter greetings in Greek, and a gift.   The meal was excellent....I left one "chip,"  The restaurant was recommended by Anthony of Anthony's Garden Hotel.  The other recommendation was that it was open on this holiday (Easter Monday) when most others were closed.

I almost gave up on Anthony's.  After the neolithic ruins, I tried to head for Lemosos (Limossol).  I got on the highway A6 by mistake and somehow passed all the hotels in the city center so I decided I might try to head west where Anthony's was.  I stopped for directions and was told the village was straight ahead...barring the ever present zig-zags.  I drove and saw signs for Paphos and began to get worried, then I saw a sign for the Apollo Temple and turned back to the last town-like place.

Then the quest began.  I asked at a gas station and the attendant even tried to call the number but no answer.  He didn't know the street but directed me to the city center.  I went a few blocks, parked and walked around but could find no one to ask.  I walked back down to the main road until I found a cafe bar and asked there.  About 6 men conferred and then the spokesperson gave me a new set of directions complete with go straight past the zig-zags.  I think there was something else that I missed.  I walked back and got the car and followed the directions as well as I could.  There was a blocked street, so I parked again and walked down the street looking for someone to ask.  One woman with 2 children didn't speak English and others were hard to find.  I was beginning to despair and consider sleeping in the car for the night when I went back to the car and made a final attempt....I looked up and saw a sign pointed down the street for Anthony's.  I found a man who told me it was 100 meters down the street.  I didn't find it.  Finally I ended up at the city center where there was a huge gathering and lots of activity.  I asked one person who asked another and then they led me a few doors down to Anthony's house  Anthony luckily was there so he led me to his hotel around the corner.   Just before we got there, a monster fire cracker went off and nearly blew a hole in my eardrum.  Anthony said that there was an effort to stop people from using them on Easter but old customs die hard.

The hotel was definitely worth the effort.  It is a converted stable with a very lush garden in the courtyard.  The rooms  have old doors and locks and shutters on the windows.   I even had a refrigerator and TV. 

Before all this, I had a few adventures too.  I left the Sand Castle Hotel after a paltry breakfast of white toast and jam, margarine, a slice of meat product and 2 slices of cheese with nescafe....but it was outside overlooking the sea in the sunshine.  I do miss my olives though.  My plan was to rent a car in Larnaca city center so I headed off for the 20 minute walk to town.   Quite soon I saw 2 places but they were not familiar names so I went on.  I saw a third and decided to try it, but they would not have an automatic until tomorrow so I moved on. I wanted automatic so I would have one less thing to worry about with left side driving.   I asked some question and the man answered that he would be closing at 11 am since it was a holiday.  It was now 9:30.  I walked and walked and saw more of Larnaca than I really wanted to see.  Some old windy streets but mostly modern not so interesting. 

I found a flower shop that was open (for the holiday I assume).  I asked the young boy with an earring behind the counter if he spoke English and he said a little.  But when I asked about car rentals and taxis, he called his father - a youngish man with a bigger earring who didn't know any car rentals nearby but did call me a taxi.  The boy had an incense burner and he had waved it around his he waved it over my head.  What a sweet gesture!  After this, the young boy sort of fell off his stool and the father yelled at him.  I moved outside to wait for the taxi as the yelling continued.  I liked the look of the shop and wished I could buy one of its little lemon trees....with lemons on it.

The taxi came and off to the airport I went.  The charge was less and the distance longer.  Hmmm.  I tried Hertz but they didn't have any small cars so I ended up with a name I didn't recognize and a Kia for 6 days.  The lady gave me the key, a parking lot card and directions to the lot...telling me to hit the button for the horn to beep so I could find it.  I think I was pushing the wrong button.  I looked and looked, walked down every line of cars and looked at every car...they were not exactly in order by rental company.  So I trudged back in and the lady came out and found it almost immediately.  All rental cars have "Z" in front of their license plate numbers....the tag only had the part after the "Z."   In my defense, there were a number of cars in the lot that started with K and some even with KQUA like the one I was looking for.  Oh, well.  It was after noon by this point and I was anxious to get going.  It was difficult to get out of the parking lot, I circled at least 3 times before finding the way out.  I went past the salt flats but didn't see any flamingos.  I had some trouble finding the street with my hotel but eventually found it and checked out....remembering to get my passport.

I headed toward Lemosos and even hoped to get to Paphos by the end of the day.  Cyprus is not a huge island and it isn't that far between the major cities.  I stopped at a few places to take some photos of fields and bales of hay.  Then I stopped at the neolithic archeological site.   It was good, with the reconstructed round stone houses but not nearly so exciting as the one in Turkey with the fox carvings.  This was said to be 9000 years old and also high on a hill.  Since it was getting late in the afternoon, I headed to Anthony's since I didn't think I could get any farther today.

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