My next adventure: Istanbul/Eskişehir (Türkiye) – April 2024

Limassol – October 2023

Day 5 (Limassol) – The Larnaca Airport Experience (Part 2) + Where Next

One of the good things about these ‘touristy’ countries (as opposed to places such as Armenia) is that the infrastructure that they do have i.e. airports and accessible taxis are well used making for a smooth journey.

We booked our return taxi with Johns Cyprus Taxis once again and within a hour, we had arrived at Larnaca International Airport. As per Bristol, said airport has a dedicated special assistance service who guides you through check in (and translates if necessary) hence all that is required is for one to go through security and head to the gate to await the Ambulift.

Ones trip to Cyprus concludes the 2023 travels and you are now most likely wondering where 2024 will take me? As I mentioned previously, over the past two years, I have rolled around a large portion of Europe whilst the world has become accustom to COVID hence it seems the right time to venture further. In February, one is heading to the tourist city of Sousse in Tunisia with a day trip to El Jem (either via an accessible taxi or a non-accessible train depending if one wishes to take Superbunny for the day) followed by 5 days in Malta once again in May.

I mentioned previously that the next few years are shaping up to be a great time to travel as a wheelchair user, particularly in Asia where major infrastructure projects are being completed whether that be accessible metros in countries that don’t have access to accessible taxis or simply the importation of fully accessible vehicles. The world is definitely opening up (just need to source some portable ramps in said countries now and we will be sorted!)…

Day 4 (Cyprus) – Troodos Mountain Drive and Omodos Accessibility

Today we finally exited the city of Limassol and took a trip around the Troodos Mountains and the village of Omodus. As I mentioned previously, we were struggling to find a semi accessible way out of the city at a relatively low cost hence we decided to hire a car for the day from Enterprise. At least we were upgraded from a Nissan Note to a Kia Sportage which served it’s purpose well…

Last night, we tried out the Bolt app (equivalent to Uber) to order a taxi as we found a bar a little way out of the centre with good reviews (really not that great in reality!) which worked perfectly. However when we attempted to order a taxi to the Enterprise place which is a few miles from the hotel, every driver declined our request…wouldn’t get that in Yerevan would you?

After the hotel successfully booked a taxi, we picked up the keys and headed to the cooler climates of the Troodos Mountains. Our first stop was the village of Omodos which is one of these touristy places that people visit when in the Mountains…

On first glance, it seems like a quaint Cypriot village, that is until you drive down to the FREE car park (with disabled spaces and toilets) and see the hoards of coaches and tourists. One decided to pick the day when a cruise ship (comprising of mostly British) docked in Limassol, you could have almost imagined that you were visiting an English village bar the weather!

Accessibility wise, it’s relatively smooth until you reach the centre (where the shops and restaurants are) within which harsh cobbles have been laid, one thought that Riga was bad! Nonetheless we ploughed on and soon discovered a number of stray cats roaming the place hence one was able to dine outside (with said cats).

We then set ourselves a challenge to see how far we could drive up Mount Olympus (not the mythological one…that is in Greece) which we managed to do quite successfully until we reached barbed wire which we later discovered is due to the British owning the summit..

There are various lookout points along the very winding roads where you can pull up and admire the picturesque views…

Tomorrow we head back to Bristol via Lanarca airport for the final time for 2023. You can safely say that one has explored a VERY large proportion of Europe within the past two years…think it’s time to go further afield?

Day 3 (Limassol) – Lack of Public Transportation and The Paradox Museum

Well the answer to that cliff hanger was neither! I think that one has relied too much on public transportation systems on previous travels whether that be metro, train, bus or taxi hence becoming a stumbling block when these are almost non existent.

We began by asking the hotel to book us a taxi to a popular village in the Troodos Mountains for which reception gave us a look that said that it’s not possible, we then tried to book through the Cypriot version of Uber which only showed 5 taxis within a 10 mile radius, bearing in mind that we are in the middle of a bustling city let alone in the Mountains. There are buses from Limassol into the Mountains, however these are conventional coaches which are difficult enough in a manual wheelchair. Plan B was to visit the ancient city of Kourion via the Hop On, Hop Off bus until we discovered that it has been recently suspended leaving us with limited options. The other plan was to catch a boat from the Marina…could we find one! Anyway, we have decided to hire a conventional car for tomorrow (luckily one of us brought a driving license) as it seems that it will be the only semi accessible way to get out of this city and into the Mountains!

Back to today, after a wander around the Marina trying to search for a boat, one decided to stop off at TGIs to make an alternate plan. Now, a member of staff was outside with a pigeon practically stroking it hence I’m guessing that they have an odd relationship but as soon as the individual came back inside, said bird followed…we ended up in McDonald’s! The pigeon is now following one around the city presumably because of the loss of earnings from me exiting the restaurant rather quickly…one is touched by the follower?

One of the main tourist attractions in Limassol is The Paradox Museum which is full of optical illusions i.e. upside down rooms. Disabled individuals gain FREE admission and the majority of exhibits are wheelchair accessible…

For those that aren’t, you may be able to make it work…

It’s a perfect way to spend an hour or two on a hot afternoon…

As I mentioned, we have rented a car (from good old Enterprise) with the aim of driving around the Troodos Mountains (finally!) and explore a few villages…

Day 2 (Limassol) – Castles and Churches

Limassol is a very walkable city and all the main sights within the boundaries are within a 20 minute radius. In addition to the existence of drop kerbs in appropriate places, the centre is laid with a smooth surface which is perfect for rolling around…

Another thing that I noted was the number of stray cats within the centre meaning that pigeons dare not to land…good news for me! Anyway, one of the sights is the Limassol Castle which dates back to 1590. Although one didn’t venture into the museum (which I believe is up a few steps, however there must be an accessible entrance I am sure), we did a lap around the outside, it’s a little more bumpy but still enjoyable…

It was then onto the Marina, not before passing some picturesque churches (via car parks)…

The Marina has recently been redeveloped with shops and restaurants lining the waterfront, the best bit though is that the same smooth surface has been laid here also…

Along the Marina and the promenade, there are various piers and boardwalks, however it is questionable how safe these structures actually are…

The plan for tomorrow is a little unknown at present, we either catch a taxi up to the slightly cooler temperatures of the Troodos mountains (and Superbunny stays at the hotel) or visit the ancient city of Kourion…decisions decisions!

Day 1 (Limassol) – The Larnaca Airport Experience

I swear that the more one flies to destinations, the quicker it feels! Anyway, to round off this years travels, I decided to head back down to the Mediterranean and explore Cyprus, in particular, the cosmopolitan city of Limassol.

As the city is located between Larnaca and Paphos, one had a choice of airports. I chose Larnaca as it is the islands biggest airport meaning less chance for Superbunny to be mishandled by the baggage handlers. After a 4 hour flight from old Bristol, we touched down at said airport where we were almost immediately greeted by the ambulift (partly due to the airport wishing to turnaround the plane before a thunderstorm rolled in), however they insisted on taking Superbunny with the rest of the luggage for us to collect inside the terminal. Instead of wheeling it into the terminal, said baggage handlers decided to haul the 105kg chair onto a trolley which they wheeled out and then simply walked off leaving us to get the thing ourselves…memories of Riga, don’t you think?

As the intercity transportation in Cyprus isn’t really geared up to accommodate electric wheelchairs, one booked an accessible taxi to the hotel courtesy of Johns Cyprus Taxis.

We are staying at the NYX Hotel in Limassol which is a stones throw (well a dual carriageway) away from the promenade and the Mediterranean. Although the room isn’t exactly accessible and makes one have vertigo with its swanky design, it does have a rooftop bar and pool overlooking the Mediterranean and the ever increasing skyline…

Tomorrow is about being a tourist and checking out the main sights of Limmasol…

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