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Stuck in the snow at Platres

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Wednesday 21 February, stuck in the snow at Platres

Icicles on the roof Our hotel in the snowThe view from our balcony is clear that morning: snow, lots of it, with a temperature below freezing point. Quite a change within 2 days: from 22°C to minus 3°C, and on some places the snow is more than half a meter high. Yesterday we had no idea what we are going to do, today. We hope there is snow only this high in the mountains and the roads will be ok when we get out of them, so we can try again to rach Paphos. On the car park of the hotel, Elisabeth looses one of the lenses from her sunglasses. We search in the snow for half an hour and then give up. But the next day, the snow has vanished and we find it back...
Our hotel in the snow We decide to try to get off the mountain; after all, we have a jeep. But Teije doesn't know how the fourwheel drive workes and soon we are sliding down, going backwards towards the ravine. The breaks don't work and with some steering we manage to get the car to a halt on the roadside.
Teije in the jeep Our jeepOther jeep-drivers pass us by, without any trouble and after quite some time, Teije finds this button which says: 4W. But this one button doesn't work, so he just pushes all buttons he could find. And yes, at last, there we go, uphill, back to the village. Because we are frightened a bit by this almost-accident, we decide to stay in the village and explore it once more, this time in the snow.
From the parking lot of the hotel goes a steep path down to a road that then climbs very steep up, to the road that surrounds the village. We watch a lot of cars trying to go up, but most give up halfway since they keep gliding backwards. People pushing cars, cars falling down, it is a comic view. Fortunately, no real accidents happen.
So we miss some interesting places in Paphos, but above all, we find it a pity that we don't have time to visit the Akamas. It must be a very beautiful area. But well, instead we have exerienced some exciting adventures, also an important ingredient of travelling. It is convenient when everything goes as planned, but we don't let things like this spoil our holiday. Shambling and sliding we defied the steep pathways in Platres and enjoyed the village and its restaurants in this beautiful winter weather.
Platres in the snow House at PlatresSometimes it is sunny, sometimes cloudy, some rain falls, and snow; four seasons in one day. In the afternoon it is getting warmer and the snow starts to melt. We are glad about it, for we have to leave early tomorrow morning. But, at least Teije does know now how the fourwheel drive functiones...
Elisabeth on the balconyAt night the temperature rises very quickly, but it is not warm enough to take off our sweaters. In the bar we have a last conversation with the owners of the hotel and then we are off to bed early.

Thursday 22 February 2001, the journey home

It was great, see you soon againThe final day. We have to leave the hotel at five thirty in the morning to catch our plane in Larnaka. The roads are free of snow and before Larnaka we have time to stop at the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque, situated on the westerly shore of a salt lake, hidden between palm trees. It is an important islamic place of pilgrimage, because Umm Haram, supposed to be an aunt of the prophet Mohammed, is buried here. This picture is scanned from a postcard.
Hala Sultan Tekke mosqueWith a bit of melancholy we bid farewell to Cyprus. Time has gone by too soon. Elisabeth is lucky again, with a window-seat and before long we find ourselves high above a heavy layer of clouds. Time flies as well and after a few hours we are back in Holland, a few hours by train and then we are back home, so far away from the place where we started this morning.
Flying above the cloudsCyprus is a fantastic island and this travel account is just a summary of all we have seen. One week is nice to have a look around and to get an impression of the culture and the people, but we advise people to go two weeks if possible... We have had a wonderful time, but not enough time. But first other, exciting destinations are waiting for us.
Everybody who is planning to visit Cyprus: enjoy it, it really is a fantastic country with friendly people, beautiful sceneries, coastlines and many interesting places to visit and admire. See you next time.


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