I guess I need to start from Larnaca. After all, it was our first stop for this trip, and we truly enjoyed our stay in this city. Nice warm weather, beautiful sea and beach.
On the second day, after a lovely sunrise and warm freshly baked breakfast , we thought it would be a good idea that we just hung around in Larnaca. It would give us some time to adjust and recover a bit from the long-haul flight and jet lag. Certainly there were things to see and do in this beautiful city.
Agios Lazaros (Church of Saint Lazarus)
Be honest with you, this is the first Greek Orthodox Church I have ever seen. The church was built in 890 mainly with limestone blocks when St. Lazarus’s tomb was discovered. It was built over the tomb, and we still can go down to the sanctuary to see it. The remains were moved to Constantinople and then to Marseille long time ago.
The gold covered iconostasis is magnificent and breathtaking. I have never seen anything so beautiful. Most of it is still original despite the fact that the church’s bell tower was destroyed and restored. Apparently, in the history, the church was turned into a mosque but sold back to Orthodox later. If you look carefully, I think you can find the changes on the wall.
If you ever visit there, just remember to dress properly to enter. Or, you can borrow a gown at the door. It’s just so beautiful that you really don’t want to miss it. There is a small museum, Byzantine Museum, right next to the church with 1 Euro entrance fee.
Larnaka Salt Lake
My first one! Again! I am so glad. I saw it on the way out from the airport on the first day. Then, I had to go back. I want to know if it feels like snow when I stand on it. Silly! I know! I just couldn’t help myself. 🙂
The Larnaka Salt Lake is the second biggest in Cyprus, about 2.2 km². Apparently, during the winter, the lake is full of water. It’s also home for many migrating birds, like flamingos. I only can imagine!
Larnaca Castle/Larnaka Fort
The castle is right next to the beach. We pretty much walked pass it every single day when we took a walk along the beach.
It was believed it was built during the Middle Ages and upgraded later to protect the harbour and the city. We saw some cannon balls in one of the storage rooms. I wouldn’t say it’s an impressive castle, but it’s a nice place to visit and don’t forget to check out their little museum.
At last, how can we miss the local food and beer in a hot day. We have tried water front restaurants, but back street restaurants are so much better. We have full attention from the waiters/waitress. Food is better. Restaurants are not overly crowded. Seafood in Larnaca is very good. These mussels were absolutely delicious.
I would also recommend the nuts shop. You can get local wine from there too. It’s not the cheapest for sure. Obviously it’s for tourists. However, they do have some interesting stuff. How about the donkey milk liqueur? If you ever try it, let me know how it tastes. I chickened out at the last minute…haha 😀