Travel Excitement and Dinner at Villaggio Templos

A very exciting day for UK travellers! From July 19th it has been announced that Amber quarantine and Day 8 testing is abolished for doubly vaccinated travellers and their unvaccinated children! Brilliant news. Cyprus is currently Amber so it opens up routes to the island that will need no quarantine on return, just a test 72 hours before travel( which you can get for free here) and a test on or before Day 2 of arrival in the UK. There are a number of routes to take, to suit. We were already coming home from Larnaca and we have today changed our flights from the 17th July to 22nd July so that we can benefit from the rule changes. I hope all of you reading, can also find somewhere fabulous to travel to this summer! And if that somewhere fabulous should be Villa Rockheart, all the better, and get in touch for some help with that. You can either return fly to Larnaca or Paphos (but its a longer transfer) or you could do outbound UK to Ercan (ECN) with a touchdown in Turkey, and then return via Larnaca or Paphos. In any case no part of Cyprus is in the Schengen zone so any time here does not count in your 90 EU days in 180 allowance. You will find living here very cheap in comparison to the Euro zone – meals are around £10 each for an amazing feast as you’ll have seen from my blog, driving is on the left just like the UK, car hire is very cheap as is petrol. But many people just love being at the villa. It comes fully loaded with hundreds of books and dvds, satellite tv, games – of course the pool, and it’s fun to try the wood oven for pizza and use the custom brick bbq. Summer visitors can pick fruit – grapes, figs, lemons, oranges, pomegranites…… frankly, it’s heaven, but then I am biased…..

So, that was just amazing news. Very excited. And more progress this afternoon. We went down to Ahmet the Surveyor and signed off on our partitioning plans to rationalise the land we own into one large plot and split off a shared plot with our neighbours. We paid up the fees and he can now submit the plans to the land office in Nicosia and the land office in Kyrenia. I guess it will take another couple of months to get through there especially as civil servants here are now working – wait for it – summer hours, ie half time…… It’s a big step forward for us and will complete our legal work in Cyprus.

Of course we had the obligatory afternoon wallow in the pool, which Lucy joined us for when she finished work. The temperature of the water is absolutely glorious at the moment. We are still enjoying our night swims.

Tonight we had dinner at Villaggio Templos,

one of our favourite restaurants in the village of Zehtinlik. There was a Knights Templar Temple here back in the times of the Crusades, hence the name. It’s a lovely Cypriot restaurant serving authentic Greek Cypriot meze, centred around a joint of lamb – leg, crown or shoulder. And I mean a joint of lamb!!!! We only come here when we have guests because it’s just such a lovely lot of food and all so delicious but if you want the lamb, it’s a bit much for 2. Anyway, not a problem tonight. The restaurant is a tradional stone house with blue shutters and a beautiful garden. It also now has a platform overlooking the view down to the sea. In the winter you eat inside. Tonight we ate on the platform – it was lovely. The meze is unusual. It does have the usual hummous, tzatziki, tahini but then there is a wonderful creamy chicken liver pate, a spicy beetroot cream, white beans with herbs, stuffed courgette flowers – lots and lots of cold dishes. And this was the small version of the meze. We have had the larger meze but you have to be HUNGRY! There are a lot of hot dishes in that as well. Then the main attraction came: a full shoulder of lamb, cooked to melting perfection and surrounded by Cyprus potatoes cooked in the lamb juice. OMG, just heaven. It was also served with a dish of bulgar wheat topped with melted white cheese. Frankly, we were done by the end of it…. couldn’t have eaten another thing. We had to pass on sweet, coffee and brandy…… The lovely waiter was most concerned, “next time stop by and I will give you the rest then” he said….. With a fabulous bottle of shiraz – quite out of the ordinary, water and a beer for Bob, it came to £44 including tip. Just think about that and compare it to London or Spain or …… shiver….. Dubai!!!! Sunset came for free and it was wonderful tonight.

I have started to get enquiries and in fact take bookings for next year which is so heartening and an indication that we are going to be a little brave and grab our normality and freedom back now.

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