Sunday Morning at Burhan’s and Famagusta

Not the best of nights to be honest. The a/c wasn’t working properly in any of the rooms and this was pretty serious with temperatures still around 34C after midnight. It was blowing cool but nowhere near cool enough. Everyone was complaining. Bob and I slept on top of the bed with our heads at the foot of the bed to catch the maximum “blast”. Somehow we managed eventually to get to sleep and by the morning, the room had cooled down quite a lot…. however……

We went to breakfast at about 930 and it was already 35C. Boiling. We’d intended to spend the morning in their lovely infinity pool but there was a big problem. We noticed yesterday that it was pretty cloudy. This morning it was worse. No way we could get in it, so the pool was out. Breakfast was good, hot and cold food, all tasty, but the problem was it was a buffet. We were ok because we got in earlyish and the covers were still on the “sections” of the buffet. By the time the girls rocked up at 1030, they were off and had been for a while, and people were letting their children go up and help themselves, not in the most cleanly of manners….. Not safe pre covid. Definitely not safe now. The girls didn’t eat very much at all.

We checked out at 1115 and loaded the cars and then we noticed that the rear tire on Lucy and Leon’s had a nail in it. It was hissing too if you moved it. So…. Bob, Leon and a host of men from the hotel aiding and abetting changed the tire. The boot tire was a full size but it had a maximum speed of 80 kph. Not a problem frankly but something we had to be aware of. The tire was changed really quickly and we were off. Bit mixed on Burhan’s Place. It has the capability to be amazing but it is being very very let down by the maintenance and by the fact that they have clearly opened much too early without ironing out problems. It’s still a bit of a building site – there is to be a floor above our bungalow strip and it’s all left unfinished, with ladders and the like up there. Not what you want to see at all. The pool is a massive problem which they clearly have no clue how to solve. The maintenance guys were looking at it in utter puzzlement. It needed “shocking” and then a serious look at the filtration system (if they have one). Ditto the A/C. One of the problems was that one of the rooms in our strip had apparently set their controls to heat. Now….. why should this affect all the rest of the rooms???? God knows. It might be a flash looking place but in our opinion, it cannot hold a candle at the moment to the Blue Seas Hotel, which might be simpler but at least has a/c and wifi that work and whilst they have no swimming pool, they have the lovely clean sea and beach right outside the door. We would need considerable persuasion that a lot had changed before we returned to Burhan’s Place.

We took the country route along the south of the arm towards Famagusta. A lovely journey through gold and green famlands with huge chalky hills and mounds on either side. These have caves in them which were inhabited in the iron age onwards and there are “kings” grave sites discovered up there with rich grave goods, now in the museums. It is a landscape unchanged in thousands of years really. At one point we came across a sunbronzed man, riding a donkey and herding a large herd of goats from one field to another. He waved his stick at us and wished us good day. It could have come from a sepia postcard of Cyprus 100 years ago. I like this route around the southern panhandle almost as much as the northerly coastal route. You hardly see a car and there are a few atmospheric little towns still with the church next to the mosque and the small houses with big porches. These hold a collection of ill matched old chairs, and on a Sunday morning like today, the chairs are filled with multi generational families, having a day off from the fields and chatting.

We got to Famagusta by about 1pm and parked up down near the Sea Gate in the little carpark there. Had a bit of a walk about and then fled into Patek Patisserie for lunch. This was Lucy’s special request – she love sthe place. We ate upstairs surrounded by cagebirds, flowers and shrubs. I just had some hellim cheese and so did Lucy. Leon had an interesting dish of grilled white cheese with a crisp topping of sugar syrup. Bob had chicken wraps and Daisy had a grilled cheese sandwich. The real deal at Patek’s is their amazing cakes, gateaux, pastries and turkish delight. An extraordinary selection. Not as big as usual – I guess there are less tourists to sell to. But enough. We bought some boxes home.

Walked up to the cathedral-now-a – mosque but of course nearly all the shops were shut, it being Sunday, and the heat was beating us back. We made a run back to Kyrenia at about 3. Got back at 430 and Bob dropped Daisy and I at the new State Hospital for her PCR test for her flight home. What an amazing place!! Such a beautiful hospital. All white and marble. Built as a pandemic hospital but never really needed as one, it is a university hospital in partnership with the Near East University. She walked in, filled in a form, paid £12.30 and was tested immediately. She will get her result tomorrow and her certificate. What a service! We were mightily impressed.

Bob had taken Lucy and Leon to return their hire car and then came back for us, and we all met again at the car hire place. Pacific were very apologetic that they would have to charge us for the tyre. We braced ourselves. It was a fiver….. Home again by 5pm and straight into the swimming pool which is now very warm and unlike Burhan’s exceptionally clear. Bob and Leon caught up on the grand prix and then Leon watched Netherlands play Czech. Republic in the UEFA Cup.

Lucy cooked dinner – massive pork chops from the Ozankoy butcher. With bean/bacon stew, stuffing, apple sauce and accompaniments….. We ate by the pool. It is mega hot again! Lovely sunset tonight. After dinner, we all jumped in the pool and had a late night cooler swim. The pool itself must be over 30C. Fabulous way to cool down.