It has become somewhat of a tradition that Mum and I go somewhere for a little girlie retail therapy just before Christmas - for the past few years we have been on an organised coach trip to Nicosia taking in Marks and Spencer, Ledra Street (both sides) and Ikea but this year Mum fancied going to see the marina at Limassol. Dad was not so keen so I said I would go and drive - taking the Peugeot so that I could use the cruise control to ensure I did not get done for speeding!
The weather is most definitely on the change - the mottled sky at sunset last night is testament to that but it was reasonably warm when I set off good and early this morning - I thought it would be a good idea to get to Limassol before lunch then we could go and get some lunch somewhere together. Plus there are the awkward opening hours in Cyprus and it is Wednesday and this can mean half day closing!
The drive down towards the main road was very pleasant - everything is beginning to green up and the sun and clouds meant that there were lovely colours across the mountains. I took a steady drive down to Mum's and found her sitting outside in the sun waiting for me to arrive.
Just outside the entrance to Jumbos there is a lovely florists that has been there for years. Today it had an amazing display of poinsettias outside.
Mum and I took a look around after we had done our Jumbos shopping - we were just being nosy really as we didn't want any flowers but it was nice to have a look at what they had to sell.
As I said Jumbos only occupies the top floor of the mall where Orphanides used to be so you walk in at ground floor level along where all the small shops used to be and they are all locked up - I would have thought that the footfall going to Jumbos would have encouraged retailers to take up the small units but it is rather odd walking through this long deserted corridor of locked up lock ups. When you get upstairs it is massive - bigger than the Paphos one although really much the same stock only more of it. In the Paphos Jumbos you are corralled through the shop so you don't miss anything - some people find this irritating but I don't mind - in the Limassol one you can wander willy-nilly and it is easy to miss something and before we knew it we were at the tills and we weren't even sure we had been everywhere. On the plus side the tills were manned and there were no queues.
Architecturally it is quite nice I suppose but there is nothing to do at the marina other than have a coffee or press your nose up to the windows of shops that house such expensive and exclusive goods that they have security guards outside.
Mum and I had a little wander along looking at the boats and then tried to get into the cultural centre but failed miserably - we were going to grab a coffee but as they all seemed to serve filter coffee and Mum likes to make her own so it isn't too strong we decided to move on somewhere else and grab a spot of lunch.
It looks like they are building more and more shops and flats at the marina - I guess it appeals to a certain type of person but Mum and I said we preferred the old port and the old buildings. I would imagine if you lived there you wouldn't actually know you were living in Cyprus - all the eating establishments are internationally known eateries like Wagamama and Costa Coffee although there did seem to be one place that mentioned Souvlaki.
We decided to make our way to My Mall - we don't think we have been there for at least a couple of years so hoped there might be some different shops for us to mooch around plus we had a fair idea of how to get there although we noticed that apart from one sign saying that we were only five minutes from the Mall (if you drive like Lewis Hamilton) there were no other signs until you were right on top of it.
This Mall has an ice rink right in the middle of it which provides some interest if you are sat at Costa Coffee inside. I have threatened to book John in because he always looks at ice skating and says it cannot be that difficult!
We stopped for lunch and then took a walk around the Mall. I think that the one in Paphos is actually better. There are much the same shops in each although the La Maison in Limassol is now twice the size it used to be and twice the size of the one in Paphos. There is a Sports Direct in Limassol but we didn't venture in as we didn't want anything from there. Mum treated John to a couple of packets of crumpets from Marks and Sparks but apart from that we didn't buy anything else!
As I drove home the sky was very moody and there was a strange sunset over the beached ship at Oniros. I managed to stop to take a bit of a photograph and then carried on back home.
John had enjoyed a peaceful day home alone so we decided to nip out to Fitos to have something to eat together. I have to say that Johanna makes a fantastic stifado and I really enjoyed it. John went for his old favourite pork chop - yummy
Weather most definitely on the change tonight...