My departure date for my trip to Cyprus is drawing closer and closer, we are now into March, it’s only a few short weeks before I go and I still haven’t decided where I’ll be when. I have given myself a headache trying to work out the best plan of action. My dilemma arising from the fact that I will be staying in three locations during my stay all of which are a fair distance from each other and I need to be at a fourth location on two occasions which is not really close to any of them. I am also trying to do the trip on a very tight budget which means that hiring a car is only an option a part of the time.
Public transport is fairly sparse in Cyprus and there are no trains. When I first visited Cyprus in the 1960’s buses were the normal transport for most people as few had cars and these bull- nosed Bedfords used to be ubiquitous over the island travelling to all the mountain villages. As the islanders became more affluent the cars increased and the buses declined. Recently the government has been taking steps to improve the public transport system to encourage more people to use it with some new super buses being introduced with low fares and you can travel for one euro, in the capital city Lefkosia the buses within the city walls are free.
I am happy to experiment with using the buses, I like travelling as a passenger and viewing the passing landscape and villages at leisure, without the stress of negotiating traffic and finding parking spaces. At home I prefer the train. The mountains which take up a fair amount of the land mass, are not accommodating to a bus network and at present in Cyprus it isn’t easy to get all around the island without some use of a car even if it is a taxi. There exists a long distance taxi sharing service which uses a mini bus and you can book ahead to reserve a space. These seat about 8 people and run between the major cities but as with the bus service everything stops at 6pm, the witching hour it seems.
I have been invited to give a talk at Larnaka Art College and this is proving to be my sticking point as it is a bit out on a limb from my two main locations although not far from Lefkosia. I have two optional dates that I can give the talk and one of them is on my last Friday which is the one I had originally scheduled for, meaning I can stop off on my way to the airport which is about 15 minutes away. I was happy with this plan until another date was offered when a group of English students were going to be present, unfortunately this does not fit in easily and I am reluctant to let it go. i will have another ponder and make a decision. I’m sure it will all work out fine.