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Cyprus – vacations

xasamboulia1On Monday i returned from my 4 days in Droushia with two friends. It’s the 3rd time in the space of 1 year that I’ve been there and there’s so much to see. It’s new to me and I’ve been to places i have not been there at all or at least it’s been many years since.

Highlights

Friday – On our way to Droushia we stopped for (expensive and awful) coffee at Petra tou Romiou. At least we enjoyed the view. We found ourselves in Latsi around lunchtime for souvlaki before heading for the hotel.

Saturday – We visited the St. Raphael church in Pomos and we had lunch in Argaka (Saint Barbara) with a wonderful sea view. Before that, we had tea and cake at the Herbal Gardens in Ano Akourdaelia. This place is truly a hidden treasure. At night we went to Polis to watch the APOEL game and then had dinner at the (expensive but excellent) Old Town restaurant for steaks and lamb chops.

Sunday – It was mostly a relaxing day for us with lunch being our only break from the (wonderful Droushia Heights) hotel as we went to Kathikas and the Farmyard restaurant. It was a surreal experience because the place was packed with British expats who live in the area. The Sunday buffet was excellent.

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Monday – This was our leaving day and we wanted to make the most of it. We headed for Agios Nikolaos and the Bridge of Tzelefos. I’ve never been there before and it was brilliant. On the way we went past Petra ton Hasampoulion which is more impressive than the photos give it credit. We then stopped at Omodos for a walk around the village and lunch. A bit disappointed with Omodos as i thought it was a bit too touristy. Finally we ended up in Platres for coffee and cake while playing two games of Hanabi. On our way back we had car trouble on the Nicosia-Limassol highway and had to abandon my car. We called for a taxi and rescue line. Even that could not ruin this trip. 🙂

A few conclusions i’ve drawn from these great vacations.

Firstly, that there is so much to see and explore in Cyprus. Secondly, holidays can be expensive in Cyprus. Although the hotel was reasonably priced, a lot of the places we visited were expensive. For example, in Platres the coffee and cake was €10 per person (Forest Park Hotel). Thirdly, i love the driving bit in spite of getting us lost in Paphos on our way back and then with our car troubles.

Finally, i want more of this in my life.

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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Travel

 

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International TableTop Day in Cyprus – April 5th 2014

The Cyprus Boardgamers Group has slowly been growing over the past couple of years with Game Night! at the Ayioi Omoloyites Cultural Worskshop which has now become weekly event in our calendar. On Saturday April 5 is the International TableTop Day. This is basically an arbitrary day chosen by Will Wheaton and Felicia Day to celebrate the hobby with gatherings taking place all around the world on that day.

So, we’ve decided to join in with an event of our own!

It’s going to be very relaxed affair with group members, together with friends and family, gathering around tables at the lovely Ayioi Omoloyites Cultural Workshop to play boardgames for most of the day. The Workshop has a small collection of board games but everyone can bring their own board games they wish to play.

This is an open event where anyone can join in and discover a hobby that brings people together and provides so much joy. It’s a hobby I’ve personally grown to love over the past few years.

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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Board games

 

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Cyprus National Football Team – the team that nobody cares about

File:Cyprus FA Logo.png

On Tuesday night i went to GSP Stadium to watch the Cyprus National Football Team play it’s final 2014 World Cup Qualifier match against Albania. We drew the game 0-0 and finished bottom of the group with just 5 points. Albania was the team above us with 11 points. It’s one of the lowest points in the Team’s history.

The problem is that nobody cares.

Players

First of all most of the players don’t seem to be really bothered or proud to be playing for the national team. It just seems to be a nuisance to them. It’s remarkable that i thought Dossa Junior, who was born in Portugal but is now a Cypriot national, was the team’s most committed and best player against Albania. In fact, he was also one of the few players who applauded us the fans at the end of the game. It’s clear that we lack the quality to compete and Cypriot clubs use mostly foreign players but it’s not only that. There is an evident lack of pride for this team and shirt.

Fans

That lack of pride is also evident in the stands. There were a couple of hundred people at most on Tuesday. Not once did we cheer on the team. Even during a good 10 mins spell we had in the 2nd half. Most football fans in Cyprus either don’t care for the team or are just happy supporting the Greek National Team. Greece has given me the proudest and happiest moments in sports which will probably never be surpassed. However i wish people gave some of their love to our team as well. It will never reach the highs that Greece offers but that’s missing the point. We are who we are. A small island of less than a million. Support that. Even the Brazilian and Italian national teams get more support from Cypriots.

Media & CFA

Finally the media and CFA. There is absolutely little to zero coverage. I had to click on 2-3 links to dig up articles in the sports newspapers on the day of the match. Even the day after it was almost impossible to find something to read. It’s all about the clubs. The CFA again pays more attention to clubs instead of the National team. The interim manager is atrocious. His substitutions on Tuesday reminded me when i was playing Sensible Soccer and Championship Manager when i was a teenager. The ticket price for the game was EUR10. How can you expect people to show up after all the above when they have to pay EUR10. Especially during times like these. Do the 1+1 offer again. Even free tickets. These have been done before. That’s one way to make it more attractive.

In the end it seems that we will only start paying attention again if by luck and only luck we get a team of good players again and start playing better. Then all these people and institutions will give their attention to the team for a few years.

Planning and vision? Do we even have these words in our vocabulary anymore?

Pride for the National team? Please…..

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Football

 

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Estonia Vs Cyprus

Estonian geeks developed the code behind Skype and Kazaa (an early file-sharing network). In 2007 it became the first country to allow online voting in a general election. It has among the world’s zippiest broadband speeds and holds the record for start-ups per person. Its 1.3m citizens pay for parking spaces with their mobile phones and have their health records stored in the digital cloud. Filing an annual tax return online, as 95% of Estonians do, takes about five minutes. How did the smallest Baltic state develop such a strong tech culture?

The Economist – read more

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2013 in Recommended articles

 

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Parks & Recreation (Ayios Demetrios Park)

Parks_And_Recreation_Logo

I don’t miss London life for the most part. I only spent my university years there and after i left, i honestly never looked back. The city life does not suit me. However, i did love the parks whether it was for playing football, jogging, walking and of course book reading.

This is something I’ve missed since coming back to Nicosia. Of course a lot have changed since then in this small and ugly miniature of a city. I’m fortunate enough to now live close to multiple small sized, green areas that litter Nicosia.

I will be posting about Nicosia’s parks every now and then (basically until i get bored or forget).

Let’s start with the one i most recently visited.

The Park of Saint Demetrios (Ayiou Demetriou) which is situated behind Makarios Hospital and the Municipality Sports Center of Strovolos.

This is actually a bigger and more organised park than i had realised. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you have children) it has a playground and a cafeteria but it also has benches (with backs!) scattered around the park. It has a enough thick foliage so that you can sit in the shade and is large enough to remain relatively isolated from most walkers, runners and cyclists.

Anyway, depending on the weather the park provides a good alternative to the air-conditioned (one hopes) Nicosia coffee shops.

Here are a few photos. I will post a greater variety of photos at a later date. Again, i might not…..

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Strategies for playing at war

Wargaming.net have offices at the renovated building near the Presidential Palace in Nicosia. I knew the company was behind the MMO World of Tanks but i was under the impression that this was a Russian company. It’s actually Belarusian.

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Link – click me!

“Tanks are cool,” says Mr Kislyi, who at 37 was born long after those battles ended. Wearing a well-cut open-neck shirt and a big grin, he looks nothing like a hard-bitten warrior. He does have something to smile about, though. His company has 1,600 emp­loyees, up from 120 three years ago, and revenues have soared from €18m in 2011 to €218m last year, all thanks to World of Tanks.

 

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Friday: Timesheet submitted

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My weekly highlights…..

1. My patience tank for the accounting profession is running on reserve.

2. My client facing skills.

3. PASYDY going on strike to protest against layoffs in Greece.

4. The fact that buying this generation’s consoles is not in my thoughts and plans.

and

5. Days like this…

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2013 in T.G.I Zolos

 

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