Due to the slightly bizarre nature of our family, we spent New Year in Cyprus catching up with my mother in law. She's been living there for close on 10 years now and it takes us a while to get organised enough to go and visit her. This also meant we caught up with my brother in law and his wife who live in the Cotswolds and are theoretically much more accessible.
Cyprus is a very mixed bag for us, I have to admit. The place is packed with some wonderful historical places and the winter weather is good (mostly). It is also a building site. Nowhere is immune. Everywhere you go on this splendidly fertile island you will see two things. A plethora of orange and lemon trees dropping fruit and half-finished blocks of flats. In the current economic climate, not too many people seem to be buying them, but that hasn't stopped the optimistic from trying to cash in on the un-cashinable.
There is also the whole issue of getting there. That was special. I rather pride myself on my abilty to find cheap flights/cars/flats online and this trip was no different. What I had not taken into account was how drastically nasty a 5 hour flight on an airbus designed for 280 passengers but actually carrying 352 would be. Breathing is a major invasion of your neighbour's personal space. Plus you are bombarded from start to finish with trolley wielders asking for charity donations, offering hugely expensive snacks (for those who failed to book an inflight meal) and demands that passengers not move. Passengers cannot move anyway, so this seems a bit stupid.
What else? Predictably (and quite understandably) Cyprus shuts down for New Year. This meant that our planned tours of various museums turned into a succession of visits to closed doors. Also that the highspot of any evening was a visit to the 24 hour bakery.
On the plus side, the mosaics at Pafos were spectacular enough to make the whole thing worthwhile.
Stopping whining now and will go and get my head around what's been happening while we've been away.