2003-09-19

Third day of vacations. We are starting to feel the spirit… :)


First, the traditional by now part of English breakfasting in the hotel restaurant, swimming pool fights, lots of photos, and the like. An interesting note about English breakfasts in this hotel: while food is of a proper quality, the combination of products makes it impossible to have one proper English breakfast. Each day a different component is missing: beans, eggs, sausages… Strange feeling of a trend. :)


Today we decided to have a real adventure for us and for our 4×4 friend. Akamas. And I am not talking about some sandy beaches in Akamas Peninsula 20 minutes away from our hotel. I mean real Akamas. Firstly, we took a different road to Polis, which laid through the many villages and a mountain. Some spectacular views there. All photographed, of course. :) Then, a cultural visit to Baths of Aphrodite with some more pictures taken there.


…and then a real thing. The arrow sign said: “Fontains of Amorosa”. And the road sign below it show a brick and claimed: “No entry”. Of course they meant all those normal sedans and saloons which are not ready for the rough part of the “Rough Guide to Cyprus” book. :) Some nice driving with the top speed of 5 km/hour over bumpy stones, red sands, between rocks and cliffs with the sea view to the right starting 30 santimeters to the right and 200 meters below the car. :)


First sandy beach we found was not actually a beach, but rather a sandy field surrounded by rocks which were vulcano lava long long long time ago. Nice view, but totally unprepared for beach tourism. So we continued deeper into the nature…


The second place we found was rather nice, so we decided to stay since it was a long late into the afternoon. Quick picnic with sandwitches and beer. The beach turned out to be a sneaky bastard. Sandy shore turned into a shallow rocky bottom. One had to walk few hundred meters for the water to get deep enough to cover shoulders. Rocks were terrible for walking with lots of staff growing over them. The water was warm though. Overall, it was good enough for one in time in 5 years, but not more often. :)


Back in Paphos we thought that it would be nice to have some real restaurant food today. First choice happened to be an Italian restaurant. We found it rather quickly, but unfortunately it was totally booked and hopelessly busy. So we continued with the second choice which was Metaxa restaurant. Luckily, they found a table for us. Excellent place with very nice service, excellent dishes (chicken liver, souzoukakia, and mushroom stake) and reasonable prices.


Joy and happy we are back home for a traditionally game of poker until it’s bed time. :)

2003-09-18

Second day of vacations. This one starts from the morning. Kind of English breakfast at the hotel restaurant, then fun in the swimming pool.


A bit of planning followed with us deciding to rent a 4×4 car. It turned out that most of the rental offices that you could find by just travelling along the streets were out of cars. It’s unbelievable how many people are renting cars in the middle of September in Paphos. So, we got back home empty and started to call every rental office that came up in our mind or in the directory, or in Hazard’s invaluable book (“Rough Guide to Cyprus”). Luckily we find Budget Rentals where the last Suzuki Vitara is waiting for us. Good.


Back to home to prepare a lunch box for our picnic trip to Akamas Peninsula. That’s just a warm up. :)


In the evening, we tried cooking shrimps for first time. It turned out to be much easier then we thought. Actually, it’s even much easier and faster then cooking mussles by Hazard’s recipe. :) Just drop them into boiling water for 3-5 minutes and they are done. That’s the simpliest way of doing it. Numerous variations on spices and other ingridents are possible.


Second search expedition for K-Cineplex. It failed again, but not as misarably as yesterday. We managed to find some Oasis cinema which was built and equipped before the World War II, I beleive. We stayed to see a rather boring movie – “View from the Top“. If you’ll ever have a chance not to see it, use it. :)


Back at home, using the Internet we found out that there is …. [DRUMS PLAYING] …. NO K-CINEPLEX CINEMA IN PAPHOS!!! :) That’s one funny thing. :) Whatever…

2003-09-17

It’s the 17th!!! No, 17th of September is not my birthday. Nor it’s a national holiday. And it’s far enough from Xmas day. And not the paycheck day. And it’s not even a Friday or Saturday…


No, it’s the first day of my vacation! Actually, it’s our vacation, not only mine. Olga, Hazard, and I are going to Paphos until Sunday of this week. And we are officially on vacations, on days off, out of the office, disconnected from the civilization and unreachable for the world. At least as far, as we can do it. :)


In order to darken a little bit the bright colors of the day, Hazard has his most black and unlucky day of his life. First, he was woken up early in the morning (before our trip to Paphos) by collegues who managed to press the dont-touch-the-red-auto-destruction button. That made him spent half of the nice morning working in the office. He used the opportunity of office connectivity to prepare the vacation notebook with all kinds of mp3s and DivX movies. But, the dark powers killed the notebook with electric shock right into the hard disk after few hours of copying files. He decides to get his butt back home where he finds out that wind played with his freshly washed clothes drying outside. Not a big issue you might say, but still…


Finally, we take off to Paphos and I am driving just in case. :) We check in at the Mayfair Hotel appartments, which seems like a nice place to stay for a few days. We are on the ground floor of a huge two bedroom flat which has an empty parking lot on one side and a swimming pool on the other. The swimming pool was actually much closer then parking lot. It was only 10 footsteps from away from the kitchen or our bedroom door. Lots of fun we shall have! :)


Lunch and shopping for vital items at Paphos Woolworth. Hazard’s blackest day continues with the news of evil powers stealing his credit card. Whoops! And if you still don’t believe in daemons and other scary staff, the worst of all happenned. It took Hazard about 3 hours to configure dial-up on his PC. He had all the wierd problems with modems, cables, mouse, power supply, phone, settings, and whatever else was possible in that day.


Evenings in Paphos are really really quiet and if you find yourself there you have to think about how to entertain yourself. We decided not to push it the first day and just go to the cinema. I had a memory of seeing K-Cineplex cinema in Paphos so we started a search-and-enjoy expedition. Numerous attempts to find the cinema on the same streets, turn-arounds, sneaky manouvers, etc. Driving until it was too late to even call the staff for help. So, we got back to home and played a little poker. Obviously, dark powers were against Hazard, but I am not going to describe their disgusting behaviours. :)


Off to bed, when everyone started to fall asleep. Good start! :)

2003-09-13

Saturday is a beach day again. This time there are 5 of us (with Lev’s son Mushrik added as a bonus). Governor’s beach is a choice for today with kind of freezing water which I could stay in the longest. :)


Staying without swimming-ready water on the beach is a kind of tricky thing. One must find something to do. So we did. Aparently, there were rich flora and fauna in the water, so we started to collect all the sea grass into a one giant heap on the sand. Sounds boring, but that actually proved to be lots of fun with everyone participating. Lots of pictures of this fun are expected from Hazard. :)


Food time discovered us in a rather average taverna on the same Governor’s beach with everyone suddenly getting very interested in machine selling fake tattoos. I wonder how this will all end… :)


Back in Limassol we are in a mood to see “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” in the closest cinema, but our plan failed miserably due to a tricky part of figuring out the film schedule. Instead, we decided to have a fast trip to brewery just to check it out. Recently it was nothing but a disappointment, but we are full of hope. On our way to brewery we stop at the “Time Elevator”, which we wanted to visit for a long time.


Now, Cyprus “Time Elevator” is something similar to “Malta Experience” for those who know. The idea is to entertain and educate tourists with a short (about 30 minutes) guide to Cyprus. The difference between “Malta Experience” and “Time Elevator” is that Malta’s approach is education-oriented, while Cyprus approach is aiming more at entertainment. And it is definitely a place to go if you’ve 7 CYP and a half an hour. The effects are very realistic with sound in the headphones, chair feedback and wind and water coming onto you. :) Very nice job. I forsee another visit “for details” in the not so distant future. :)


Brewery, on the other hand, turned out to be a no different disappointment from any of the recent ones. I think it’ll be a long time and someone’s real good recommendation until we will go there again. Pity. :(


End of the day was met at Hazard’s place with red wine and game of… you guessed it – poker. :) Overall, a good and bright day to be remembered. :)

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines


Grokking the GIMP most of the day.


In the evening, I went to see Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines with Olga and Hazard. The movie turned out to be better then I expected with lots of old-time shooting, smashing, and general kick-ass action. Arny’s butt is still there and got some real nice whipping by Kristanna Loken who played an evil, smart (kind of), fast and totally advanced TX model robot. A must see movie for those who enjoyed the first two parts.

2003-09-09

Hazard managed to find some time to publish three more photo albums from our recent adventures. Annotated they do await you in the “Photos” section of this site. :)

Some effort I did spend recently on learning Emacs. This is the third time I try to familiarize myself with it and it’s the third time I fail. I come few steps further every time though. ;)

In general, there are some nice bits of everything and anything integration in Emacs, which, I suspect, might fasten the work a bit. Extensive documentation on functions, keywords, etc. cperl mode has some nice features for perl programming (like parens staff, and pod2man window). Unfortunately, I haven’t found yet how to work with menus without using the mouse and how to change the appearence of Emacs color-wise (like “:set colorscheme something” in Vim). Web browsing, mail, and news are also yet far away from me configuring them in one go. :)

Vim still rocks my world! :)

Lots of perl coding at work. My CVS usage is getting advanced enough for me to notice the drawbacks of using it. Subversion is now shipped with new version of Red Hat Linux distribution, so I might try it. arch, I hear, is much better also, but I don’t think I am in a mood of downloading and installing of software control on all my machines. :) But times change. :)

Rough Guide To Cyprus

Saturday again. :) This time we follow the instructions of the newly acquired by Hazard book – The Rough Guide to Cyprus by Marc Dubin at al. So, we go to Akamas all the way behind Polis and very close to Baths of Aphrodite. There’s a little tavern with fish meze on the menu. :) And then the sea – first, it has this magnificant dark cyan coming into dark blue color. Then, the waves. Waves are rather big, but very friendly. It’s like the sea is in the mood for swimmers today. :) Riding the waves is fun for those who don’t care to swim to much. :)

Back to Limassol for everyone to fall asleep suddenly.