Sleeping in and a first look around town.

Larnaca Travel Blog

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After my extremely long night, not feeling well, and stressful experience finding the hotel, I just slept until I wanted to get out of bed. I had set an alarm for 10:30 which was unrealistic given that I didn’t get to sleep until almost 06:00.

 

So, I got out of bed at 13:40 feeling like I had been run over by a truck. I had a protein bar and some water as I hadn’t bought groceries, yet. I showered quickly and went to the front desk.

 

The very nice woman told me where I could find the Saturday market which by now was winding down but, should be able to find what I want. She also told me where to go to get the fresh bread, milk, and cheese.

 

I headed out, in a flash.

I got a bit confused as I was navigating the Old Town streets again, daylight didn’t seem to help find anything quicker.

 

I saw a truck with produce baskets on the ground behind it. I was there. But, most all of the farmers had left. There were two that were almost finished loading in the big lot but, all else was bare. I went back to the one truck. I picked 3 apples, 5 carrots, 2 tomatoes, 4 cucumber, and 3 potatoes. My total was 1 euro 25 cents (about $1.80). That was cheap. I thanked him and went one my way. I made my way to the bakery. They had many, many sweets and desert options. I would try some, later. I bought a multigrain brown bread, some milk, and juice.

 

I took the groceries back to the room. I had a quick snack and then headed back out. I knew that I didn’t have much time.

 

My first stop was to be the Church of Ayios Lazaros.

I had read about their Byzantine museum and wanted to see its icons. Apart from Baroque, Byzantine style is second favorite period of architectural and artistic expression.

 

The church is magnificent in its rich details. I love the low domes with the corrugated look to the roof tiles. The bell tower details are the most amazing where you can clearly see the elements of Byzantine expression. The colonnades had many gravestones built into or attached to the church wall. There was also an area behind the church where there were many stone tombs, decorated in different styles, including Baroque.

 

The Church of Ayios Lazaros was built in the late 9th century and is named for Lazarus of Bethany, the subject of a miracle written about in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus raises him from the dead. Sometime after the Resurrection of Christ, Lazarus was forced to flee Judea due to threats on his life. He traveled to Cyprus.  He was then appointed the first Bishop of Kittim which now modern Larnaca.

The account says that he lived for thirty more years and on his death was buried there for the second and last time. The Church of Ayios Lazaros was built over the reputed (second) tomb of Lazarus.

 

While walking around the church, I saw a sign asking for visitors to respect that this is a place of worship and dress accordingly. I, having just come from Amsterdam and my last trip in the Faeroe Islands, put shorts on immediately so, I wasn’t dressed accordingly. I could see inside and decided to race back and put pants on and a jacket.

 

On the way back I stopped a larger grocery and picked up peanut butter and jelly and some other meal possibilities. It’s only a few blocks so; I am back at the church 20 minutes including the grocery stop.

 

I was excited to walk inside.

This is my first Cypriot Byzantine church.

 

The stone work is amazing and Icons everywhere. The ornamentation is exquisite in its execution. The chandeliers are grand but, they do not detract form the beauty of everything that they are lighting.

 

There are literally Icons everywhere. The altar is a very tall wall of nothing but Icons the whole width of the church and the height as well, unbelievable.

 

I made a donation and lit a candle my family and friends, health and happiness. I do that wherever I go. The very nice man tells me to walk wherever I want.

 

I walk to the other side of the church. There is a little old lady, she smiles at me and I smile back.

She asks me where I am from and I told her. She seemed very excited that I was American. She asked where I am from, as well. When I told here that I was from Louisiana, she smiled and told me that was one of here favorite places.

 

She saw me looking around and proceeded to tell me about the wood plank covering where there was once a center dome. It was destroyed by the Turks in 1974. She said that he Turks destroyed many beautiful things in Cyprus but that they keep their faith and a good spirit. She urged me to go close to the wall of Icons.

 

I went up to the third level, one level below the wall. I smelled food and there it was, a table of beautiful cakes and deserts……it smelled so good. I took a picture of it. I took many pictures along the wall and of many individual ones, as well but, there were so many people praying an kissing the icons that I didn’t want to get in their way. I’ll come back for closer inspection.

 

A mass was starting, so I took a few more pictures and then made my way out. As I was walking out I found some fascinating details of colorful painted metal on the chandeliers.

 

I walked from here, as fast as I could, to the beach. I could see that not only was the sky overcast but, the clouds were angry. The light was almost gone as well.

 

I walked along the beach towards the fort. It was peaceful and breezy. The waves were gently lapping at the shore and the water was surprisingly warm.

 

I stopped at a souvenir shop and picked up on postcards and a surprise.

 

Now, it was back to the hotel.

I needed to rest and relax and feel better. I plan to get up early and head out to the southeast and enjoy. It’s supposed to be a sunny day. I hope that it will be.

 

I blog a bit and watch Empire Falls (HBO) which is fantastic.

 

Off to sleep, I go. Please let me sleep in right hand drive!

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Larnaca
photo by: ewooce