Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

Tag: Christmas

Christmas and New year’s eve in Paphos

We spent the last two weeks of 2017 in Paphos,  a quiet city in the southwest of Cyprus. Here, you will breathe antiquity and you will stumble upon archaeological sites here and there around the city. It is also a place filled with British expats, mostly older people, that live here during the winter months. We had the holidays coming up, so we mostly enjoyed the calmness that laid over Paphos and we didn’t do much during the last two weeks of 2017. However, we did explore our vicinity on foot and of course we took our camera with us and we ended the year by going to the cinema.


De sista två veckorna i 2017 spenderade vi i Paphos, en lugn stad i sydvästra Cypern. Här kan du verkligen andas in antiken och man nästan snubblar över arkeologiska platser här och där runt omkring i staden. Det är också en plats fylld med brittiska expats, mestadels äldre människor, som bor här under vintermånaderna. Vi hade helgdagar som kom upp, så vi njöt mest av lugnet som låg över Paphos och vi gjorde inte mycket under de två sista veckorna i 2017. Dock utforskade vi vårt närområde till fots, självklart tog vi med vår kamera, och vi avslutade året med att gå på bio.

We decided to spend Christmas and New year’s eve here in Paphos.

The weather was fantastic just before Christmas, so we decided to wait for Christmas on the beach.

Ulrika was the first one in! Temperature like a Swedish lake during the summer.

We also started with intermittent fasting so our breakfasts or brunches were enjoyed on our balcony.

We also took long walks or runs to explore Paphos.

We found Nautilus anchored at the harbor of Paphos and we looked for captain Nemo, but we couldn’t find him.

We found a peculiar tree in Paphos. Could either be an art installation or a mythical/religious thing.

Paphos has even more peculiar things going in the city, We don’t know if they are building a roller coaster around archaeological sites or if this is a really advanced and huge art installation.

We tried a Cypriotic Meze platter, delicious local dishes with everything from vegetables to different meat dishes. This was just the first part of our night eating out.

Paphos by night when the bigger night clubs are closed for the season.

They had decorated the harbor for Christmas.

Our Christmas Eve, the day we celebrate Christmas, started with lunch, we had found Abbas Herring (Sill) in the local super market so Pontus got “Sillunch” for Christmas.

And After Eight-chocolate to our coffee.

No traditional Donald Duck, but we found strawberries, so we had strawberry with ice cream for dessert after an Indian Chicken Madras dinner. Whisky and coffee ended our Christmas celebration this year.

We did have Benjamin Syrsa (Jiminy Cricket) as a guest. He liked Pontus shoulder very much.

Christmas eve sunset from our balcony.

The weather got worse after Christmas. but it was nice just to take long walks and trying to capture mother nature in action.

The waves got higher and it created a violent, but beautiful scenery.

We’ve noticed that Cyprus is trying to be friends with as many countries as possible. There are a lot of Russian investors here, along with British and American personnel (military) that have set up private British and American Schools on this island. We haven’t seen any signs of China here, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they also are investing in Cyprus.

We walked over 10 kilometers this day and we didn’t get wet once, so our rain cloud-avoiding skill is still intact.

We went to see a movie during boxing week and we love countries that do not dub every English-speaking movie they have in their cinemas. We’ve been to the cinema in Jakarta and Bali (Indonesia,) and Acapulco (Mexico) and we didn’t have to be afraid of not understanding the movies, because they just put subtitles on the movies.

The cinema in Paphos was located inside a shopping mall.

We saw the latest Star Wars movie and we both liked it very much.

This happens if you run Windows on your computer, ” Potentially harmful software detected”.

Pop corn is mandatory if we go to the cinema.

9 Euro to see a movie here on Cyprus, half price compared to Sweden and twice as expensive compared to Indonesia.

Then it was time to welcome 2018 and we spent the last evening of the year 2017 eating a three-course dinner at our favorite place in Paphos ending with a Cypriotic dessert we don’t know the name of, but it tasted like Baklava with rose water.

Cyprus and Larnaca in December

We decided to travel to Larnaca  on Cyprus for some time for reflection and recovery after a few months of lovely, but intense social gatherings. Our first week here was all about enjoying the increased number of sun hours per day and walking around our neighborhood with our camera.  We haven’t been to Cyprus before, so we were looking forward to see what kind of architecture style they have and explore their food culture. We heard that the peak season for grapes is December in Cyprus, so we were looking forward to taste grapes and of course olives. 


Vi bestämde oss att resa till Larnaca på Cypern för att få tid till reflektion och återhämtning efter några månader av härliga, men intensiva sociala sammankomster. Vår första vecka här handlade om att njuta av det ökade antalet soltimmar per dag som vi fick och promenera runt i vårt grannskap med vår kamera. Vi har inte varit på Cypern förut, så vi såg fram emot att se vilken typ av arkitekturstil de har här och utforska deras matkultur. Vi hörde att högsäsong för druvor är december på Cypern, så vi såg fram emot att smaka druvor och, naturligtvis, oliver.

This island is what we are exploring right now – Cyprus.

The sun is shining for more than a couple of hours per day, that’s what we wanted right now. The weather in Cyprus is perfect for us, 20 degrees during the day and 10-15 degrees during night time.

The beach in Larnaca, a few people jumped into the water, but the rest of us were satisfied just to touch the water.

The birds didn’t even look like they enjoyed the water, but it was not that cold – like an average Swedish lake during summer.

Christmas is coming and it is noticeable here, mostly an orthodox Catholic island, where the contrast between Christmas ornaments and palm trees is nice.

We found a christmas tree, the Larnaca people are decorating the town for christmas.

The first week here came with a little bit of bad weather, but it didn’t matter to us, we just relaxed and picked up our camera again. This was the view from our accommodation.

It is lovely to explore a place when you have more sun hours during the day that gives you a natural light making it much more fun to take pictures.

There are plenty of classcial buildings in Larnaca. This is one of the few more futuristic buildings we could find.

Other buildings looked more like this.

It is low season for tourism in Cyprus right now and some of the shops and restaurants were closed. However, there is a big expat group consisting of older British people and Russian investors as far as we’ve seen here, so there is some commerce around.

Visiting a place during low season is perfect for us. No crowds and often the local people have time to talk. It is much easier to walk around and notice things like a wall of flowers if there isn’t a lot of tourists in your way.

One of the things to see here is the Church of Saint Lazarus, a church built in the 9th century.

The level of graffiti on the island was higher than we expected. Apparently, this phenomena has risen during the last couple of years and it is probably the increased number of domestic football hooligans on the island according to a person living full time on the island.

We’re ending this blog post with an abandoned land in Larnaca that looked pretty dystopic during a sunset which created really strange colors. It felt like you were placed inside a computer game for a moment.

Jul 2015 / Christmas 2015

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Det var några dagar innan jul och vi kände att vi ville hitta något ställe där vi bara kunde slappna av och vila upp oss efter en månad med intensivt resande och vi hittade ett mysigt litet hostel i Merida och det var dit vi begav oss för vårt julfirande. Julafton började med jordgubbar och mjölk för oss och vi blev inbjudna att vaka in juldagen, som man tydligen gör i Mexiko, tillsammans med vårt värdpar Nic och Nico, samt de andra människorna som för tilllället hade sitt boende där. Det var mysigt och vi satt och pratade om hur julfirandet skilde sig åt mellan Sverige, Brasilien, Italien och Mexiko.
Vi hade otroligt lugna dagar i Merida och gick sällan utanför dörren då vi hade ett kök som vi utnyttjade och en liten pool där vi kunde svalka oss. Det är en stor fördel att kunna spanska i Mexiko, så vi har börjat lära oss själva och förstår betydligt mer spanska nu än vad vi gjorde för fyra veckor sedan. Det är inte så mycket att se i Merida och vi tycker att städer i Mexiko är lite tråkiga. De som vi varit i hittills, vi har endast varit på yucatahalvön dock, ser likadana ut. Husen, kyrkorna och gatorna ser likadana ut, och man får känslan av centralplanering och brist på kreativitet här. Det är svårt att hitta inspiration till något kreativt i städerna då alla städer ser likadana ut, men människorna är iallafall trevliga.

It was a few days before Christmas and we felt that we wanted to find some place where we could just relax and rest after a month of intensive travel, and we found a cozy little hostel in Merida where we went for our Christmas celebration. Christmas Eve began with strawberries and milk for us and we were invited to await Christmas day, as they apparently do in Mexico, along with our hosts Nic and Nico, and the other people who had their accommodation there at the moment. It was cozy and we sat and talked about how Christmas celebrations differ between Sweden, Brazil, Italy and Mexico.
 We had incredibly quiet days in Merida and rarely went outside the door when we had a kitchen which we used, and a small pool where we could cool off. It’s a great advantage to know Spanish in Mexico, so we have begun to learn ourselves and now understand much more Spanish than we did four weeks ago. It is not so much to see in Merida, and we think that cities in Mexico is a little tedious. Those cities that we have been in so far look the same, worth noting is that we’ve only been on the Yucatan Peninsula. The houses, churches and streets look the same, and you get the feeling of central planning and lack of creativity when you are walking around in the cities. It is difficult to find inspiration to be creative in the cities where all cities look the same, but the people are nice anyways.

Jul i Merida! Christmas in Merida!

Jul i Merida! Christmas in Merida!

En grön park insprängd bland alla trånga gator! A green park interspersed among all the narrow streets!

En grön park insprängd bland alla trånga gator! A green park interspersed among all the narrow streets!

Så här ser de flesta kyrkorna ut som vi sett i Mexiko! This is what most of the churches look like that we have seen in Mexico!

Så här ser de flesta kyrkorna ut som vi sett i Mexiko! This is what most of the churches look like that we have seen in Mexico!

Göra vardagliga saker som att handla mat i affären. Do everyday things like shopping for groceries in the supermarket

Göra vardagliga saker som att handla mat i affären. Do everyday things like shopping for groceries in the supermarket

Vi besökte marknaden för att köpa lite frukt och grönsaker, men hamnade i värsta julklapsruschen! We visited the market to buy some fruit and vegetables, but ended up in the worst Christmas rush!

Vi besökte marknaden för att köpa lite frukt och grönsaker, men hamnade i värsta julklapsruschen! We visited the market to buy some fruit and vegetables, but ended up in the worst Christmas rush!

Trottoarerna var packad med människor! The sidewalks were packed with people!

Trottoarerna var packad med människor! The sidewalks were packed with people!

Hemma på vårt hostel och njuter av lagad mat med färska grönsaker! Our home at our hostel and enjoying cooked meals with fresh vegetables!

Hemma på vårt hostel och njuter av lagad mat med färska grönsaker! Home at our hostel and enjoying cooked meals with fresh vegetables!

Det här var vår julaftonsmorgon med julpyntad bakgård och bada i poolen! This was our Christmas Eve morning with a Christmas decorated backyard and bathing in the pool!

Det här var vår julaftonsmorgon med julpyntad bakgård och bada i poolen! This was our Christmas Eve morning with a Christmas decorated backyard and bathing in the pool!

Bada i poolen! Bath in the pool!

Bada i poolen! Bath in the pool!

Vi inväntar juldagen med traditionell sockerkaka! We await Christmas with traditional sponge cake!

Vi inväntar juldagen med traditionell sockerkaka! We await Christmas day with traditional sponge cake!

 

Ny världsdel! /New continent!

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Då var Sverigebesöket slut för den här gången och det var superkul att vi ändå lyckades träffa så många av familj och vänner. Vi hann tyvärr inte med alla, då vi totalt underskattade intensiteten av att vara hemma några få veckor.

Nästa del av vår resa började med att vi gick upp halv fem på morgonen och var sedan uppe i 27 timmar innan vi trötta kunde lägga oss att sova i en säng i Cancún, Mexiko. Den här gången lämnade vi inte Sverige ensamma, då Ulrikas mamma och fästman valde att följa med oss västerut. De ska vara med oss i början av vår resa här i Mexiko och vi ska se till att de hinner se en hel del av Mexiko under den korta tiden som de är med oss.  De första dagarna här har vi varit jetlaggade och vi har tagit det lite lugnt, så promenader, lära känna lokaltrafiken och bada har varit på agendan. Cancún är en artificiell turistö med tydliga influenser av USA och det kändes som om vi var på ett stort nöjesfält för amerikaner. Cancún exploaterades på 70-talet och längs kusten ligger således enorma resorter, allt från Marriott till Hard rock cafe och däremellan lyxbutiker och restauranger med Las Vegas-shower. Alla amerikanska kedjor finns representerade här och vi besökte Walmart här i Cancún för att se hur det såg ut inuti och tog en hamburgare på Mcdonalds. Vi har även varit ute på krokodilspaning längs lagunen som finns här i Cancún och tyvärr såg vi inga krokodiler, men vi har dock sett andra exotiska djur och växter.  Vi har badat i det turkosa karibiska havet och njutit av solen. Nu beger vi oss iväg från Cancún för att utforska ruiner från Mayabefolkningen.

Our visit to Sweden is over for this time and it was great that we managed to meet so many of our family members and friends. Unfortunately, we totally underestimated the intensity of being at home for a few weeks, so we could not meet everybody.

The next part of our journey started when we went up at half past four in the morning of our departure and then were up for 27 hours before fatigue put us to sleep in a bed, in Cancún, Mexico. This time we didn’t leave Sweden alone, Ulrika’s mother and her fiancé chose to accompany us. They will be with us in the beginning of our trip here in Mexico and we are planning our trip so that they have time to see a lot of Mexico during the short time they are with us. We have been jet lagged the first few days here, so we have taken it easy, walking around and getting to know the local public transport system. Cancún is an artificial tourist island with clear influences of the USA and it felt like we were at a large amusement park for Americans. Cancún was exploited for tourism in the 70’s, thus you can find huge resorts, ranging from the Marriott hotel to the Hard Rock Cafe along the coast and in between, luxury boutiques and restaurants with Las Vegas shows. Most American chains are represented here, and we visited Walmart here in Cancún to see how it looked inside and took a hamburger at McDonalds. We have also been searching for crocodiles along the lagoon here in Cancún. Unfortunately, we saw no crocodiles, but we have seen other exotic animals and plants. We have also been swimming in the turquoise Caribbean Sea and enjoying the sun. Now we depart from Cancún to explore the ruins of the Mayan culture.

Vår anka glömde vi på ankträffen i Stockholm, men vi fick några nya av en snäll jultomte på flygplatsen i Frankfurt! We forgot our duck at the ancap-meeting in Stockholm, but we got a few new ones from a kind Santa Claus at Frankfurt airport!

Vår anka glömde vi på ankträffen i Stockholm, men vi fick några nya av en snäll jultomte på flygplatsen i Frankfurt! We forgot our duck at the ancap-meeting in Stockholm, but we got a few new ones from a kind Santa Claus at Frankfurt airport!

VI mellanlandade i Frankfurt och då var vi tvungna att ta en Bratwurst med surkål till lunch! We made a stopover in Frankfurt and then we had to take a bratwurst with sauerkraut for lunch!

VI mellanlandade i Frankfurt och då var vi tvungna att ta en Bratwurst med surkål till lunch! We made a stopover in Frankfurt and then we had to take a bratwurst with sauerkraut for lunch!

Det varnas flitigt för krokodiler runt lagunen, men vi lyckades inte se någon! There was a lot of warnings for crocodiles around the lagoon, but we did not see any!

Det varnas flitigt för krokodiler runt lagunen, men vi lyckades inte se någon! There was a lot of warnings for crocodiles around the lagoon, but we did not see any!

Lite molnigt under första dagen när vi utforskade norra stranden i Cancún! A little cloudy during our first day when we explored the northern beach in Cancún!

Lite molnigt under första dagen när vi utforskade norra stranden i Cancún! A little cloudy during our first day when we explored the northern beach in Cancún!

Det finns massor av pelikaner (och måsar) här! There are lots of pelicans (and seagulls) here!

Det finns massor av pelikaner (och måsar) här! There are lots of pelicans (and seagulls) here!

Vi testar lokaltrafiken i Cancún! We test local public transportation in Cancún!

Vi testar lokaltrafiken i Cancún! We test local public transportation in Cancún!

Ett av alla gigantiska "all inclusive"-hotellkomplex! One of all the gigantic "all inclusive"-hotel complex!

Ett av alla gigantiska “all inclusive”-hotellkomplex! One of all the gigantic “all inclusive”-hotel complex!

Ulrika får "Sid meier's pirates"-associationer! Ulrika got "Sid meier's pirates" associations!

Ulrika får “Sid meier’s pirates”-associationer! Ulrika got “Sid meier’s pirates” associations!

Alla turister häckade vid resorten så det var lugnt och vackert för oss vid playa delfines! All tourists were sitting at the resorts so it was quiet and beautiful for us at Playa Delfines!

Alla turister häckade vid resorten så det var lugnt och vackert för oss vid playa delfines! All tourists were sitting at the resorts so it was quiet and beautiful for us at Playa Delfines!

Stranden är nästan tom fram till jättekomplexen! The beach is almost empty until you reach the giant complexes!

Stranden är nästan tom fram till jättekomplexen! The beach is almost empty until you reach the giant complexes!

Mammarazzi på stranden! Mamarazzi on the beach!

Mammarazzi på stranden! Mamarazzi on the beach!

Baywatch är sponsrad av Coca-Cola. Baywatch is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

Baywatch är sponsrad av Coca-Cola. Baywatch is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

Det fanns flera olika vattenleksaker för den som ville! There were several water toys for whoever wanted!

Det fanns flera olika vattenleksaker för den som ville! There were several water toys for whoever wanted!

Vi hittade en manet på stranden! We found a jellyfish on the beach!

Vi hittade en manet på stranden! We found a jellyfish on the beach!

Flera stora ödlor rörde sig hemvant på stranden! Several large lizards moved familiarly on the beach!

Flera stora ödlor rörde sig hemvant på stranden! Several large lizards moved around familiarly on the beach!

Det var röd flagg denna dag så vågorna lekte med Mats istället för tvärtom! It was a red flag that day so the waves were playing with Mats instead of the other way around!

Det var röd flagg denna dag så vågorna lekte med Mats istället för tvärtom! It was a red flag that day so the waves were playing with Mats instead of the other way around!

Så kul att Maja och Mats följer med på Mexikoäventyret! So fun that Maja and Mats are joining us on the Mexico adventure!

Så kul att Maja och Mats följer med på Mexikoäventyret! So fun that Maja and Mats are joining us on the Mexico adventure!

Med höga förväntningar närmade vi oss Walmart! We approached Walmart with high expectations!

Med höga förväntningar närmade vi oss Walmart! We approached Walmart with high expectations!

Mats imiterar fördomarna vi hade om klientelet på Walmart! Mats mimics the prejudices we had about the clientele at Walmart!

Mats imiterar fördomarna vi hade om klientelet på Walmart! Mats mimics the prejudices we had about the clientele at Walmart!

Det blev en hel del shopping för oss i Walmart! There was a lot of shopping for us in Walmart!

Det blev en hel del shopping för oss på Walmart! There was a lot of shopping for us in Walmart!

Mexikanarna vet verkligen hur man pyntar inför jul! The Mexicans really knows how to decorate for the christmas holiday!

Mexikanarna vet verkligen hur man pyntar inför jul! The Mexicans really knows how to decorate for the christmas holiday!

Julspelet är redan uppe! Det ska bli intressant att röra sig i ett katolskt land efter att ha utforskat islamska, hinduiska och buddistiska länder i södra och sydostasien! The nativity is already up! It will be interesting to move around in a Catholic country after exploring Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist countries in South and Southeast Asia!

Julspelet är redan uppe! Det ska bli intressant att röra sig i ett katolskt land efter att ha utforskat islamska, hinduiska och buddistiska länder i södra och sydöstra Asien! The nativity is already up! It will be interesting to move around in a Catholic country after exploring Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist countries in South and Southeast Asia!

Cancúns stadshus är redo för julen! Cancún's City Hall is ready for Christmas!

Cancúns stadshus är redo för julen! Cancún’s City Hall is ready for Christmas!

Tacofredag!!! Taco-friday!

Tacofredag!!! Taco-friday!

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