Ciao Amici! It’s been a long time since my last post, so let me officially wish you a happy new year. I hope 2018 is treating you well! So far this year has been full of adventures and new opportunities.
Last week I had the incredible opportunity to visit the beautiful island of Cyprus with my husband Chris, and some new friends – 120 new friends to be exact! Months ago, MK2MK invited me and Chris to become team leaders for their program at the CRU Easter Europe Conference. While my husband, being a Missionary Kid (MK), has been involved with MK2MK for several years, this was my very first time attending a Christian conference, let alone a program specifically for MKs.
I’m not going to lie at first I was extremely nervous to go, especially when I found out I was going to give a talk in front of the MKs. Yet, as soon as we arrived there every fear seemed to vanish. Since I was one of the few non-MKs, I thought I was going to stick out like a sore thumb. But everyone was so welcoming and kind that I felt like we were long-lost friends. It was truly a great experience. If you’d like to hear more about MK2MK and their summer projects here is a video which features some of my lovely friends.
But let’s get back to Cyprus ’cause we all know that’s why you came here.
Did you know that Cyprus is technically a split island among two nationalities? The southern side is Greek and the northern side is Turkish. We were so lucky to visit both sides of the island of Cyprus and experience both of its cultures.
Being on an island means there are lots of chances to see the ocean or in this case the Mediterranean Sea. Whether you come to the island in the summer or winter, I highly recommend going to the beach. At least for a walk. Or maybe some sunrise yoga.
Food in Cyprus was delicious, but sadly I do not have any pictures to show you. Our meals were usually spent conversing with the students and getting to know each other better, so I decided to leave my phone in my pocket and enjoy the good company. But if you are still interested in knowing my favorite Cypriot food keep reading!
- Halloumi – delicious cheese made for the gods. Jokes aside, this cheese is SO good! Halloumi is a brined cheese made of goat and sheep’s milk. The best part about this Cypriot delicacy is that it is usually prepared by being sliced and grilled. I repeat. Grilled. Talk about crunchy and gooey awesomeness. You must try it!
- Moussaka – an eggplant and potato based dish. I’ve definitively eaten my way through Cyprus in eggplants, but this was my favorite eggplant dish for sure.
- Lamb – Chris was so happy to try all the lamb dishes available in Cyprus. It was like being in heaven. Don’t eat meat?
- Rose Jam – sweet, smooth, and pink. What more can you ask for?! If you are ever in Cyprus you need to try some!
- Meze – if you go to a Cypriot restaurant, chances are you can order meze, a selection of dishes and dipping sauces to eat as a starter or to eat while enjoying an alcoholic drink.
- Baklava – ‘nuff said. Just treat yourself!
Where to eat: You can eat all the dishes mentioned above and much more at Kybele Restaurant in Girne, under the shadow of the Bellapais Abbey. Great food, awesome staff, and an unforgettable view!
Explore the 800-year-old abbey and the mountain town surrounding it. Get lost in the little alleys while admiring Girne’s charming houses.
If you like history, you should definitively visit the ruins of Salamis. Cyprus has a rich history that dates back to the Egyptians and Persians. Everywhere you go on the island you can find traces of each civilization that inhabited this beautiful island. On the northeast side of Cyprus, you can still find the Roman ruins of the harbor city of Salamis, including an amphitheater, an old temple, baths, and a 2000-year-old cobble-stone road on which the apostle Paul and Barnabas walked. Pretty neat!
Explore the Kyrenia Castle and its dungeons, take a walk along the old harbor wall, or go shopping for some handcrafted souvenirs and authentic Turkish delight.
That’s all for today folks. I’ll probably write a post for some of these specific towns/attractions as they deserve individual posts. But for now, I hope you enjoyed my guide (or more like a recap) of the gorgeous island of Cyprus.
This post is part of a travel series called Travel Thursday. Italican Life publishes a new Travel Thursday each first Thursday of the month.