I recently read in Condé Nast Traveller that Cypriot beach towns, such as the infamous Ayia Napa, are slowly rediscovering their lost voices from years of drowning in all-inclusive party goers that have long overlooked their beauty and character. Those who are less interested in Irish pubs and more so in what the local catch of the day is, will once again be able to wander slowly through charmed streets as we enter a new age of appreciation for sustainable and local travel.
I t’s not just the sight of fruit trees that filled me with so much joy on that holiday, but the flavours from the table that absolutely stole my heart. It was in Cyprus where I started to fall in love with the smell of pine trees, the sound of crickets and the taste of freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning sun. As a little girl, it wasn’t the beaches I particularly remember but rather the local tavernas. I fell in love with stuffed peppers, halloumi and whitebait. I’m sure it had a lot to do with wanting to be like a grown-up, but I was only 10, and already preferred snacking on anchovies and olives than sausage and chips from the kids menu. I’ll always think of Cyprus as a sleepy place with unbeatable flavour that sparked a love for not only these olive-oil drenched tastes, but a yearning to discover more.
After all these years and undoubted popularity, I wonder if Limassol will return to how I remember it to be; delicious old tavernas criss cross table clothed tables that line the streets and fields of lemon and orange trees that bring this place to life. I recently read in Conde Naste Traveller that Cypriot beach towns, such as the infamous Ayia Napa, are slowly resurfacing and rediscovering their lost voices from years of drowning in all-inclusive party goers that have long overlooked the beauty and charm of these places. Those who are less interested in Irish pubs and more so in what the local catch of the day is will once again be able to wander slowly in the streets as we enter a new age of appreciation for sustainable and local travel.
This made my heart jump a little, as until now, I haven’t felt compelled to return to the Cypriot island since I last visited (which was over 8 years ago) because I was concerned as to how my little town of Limassol would have changed to keep up with the ever-growing tourism demands. Since reading that article however, I’ve started to reminisce about the smells, flavours and sights from that trip and my child-like curiosity is somewhat becoming more and more prominent. I might have to give up soon enough and just say yes.
Although childhood memories become somewhat sepia-toned as the years go on, I fondly remember small moments from that trip. Such as the old path leading up to our villa and noticing an abundance of lemon and orange trees that separated the villa from the main road. It’s still one of my favourite things in the world to stop and notice, and one of the reasons that draws me to the Mediterranean and it’s zesty way of life. It’s quite possibly a subconscious reason why I ended up spending a year in a Spanish town filled with these beautiful lemon trees.