Northern Cyprus – First Full Day and Seeing Some Sites
Sure, the toilet seat was broken and the button to flush it had to be pushed multiples times, once to flush another to stop it from flushing at The Malpas Hotel & Casino. And yes, the shower drain didn’t work, causing the basin to overflow spilling soapy water all over the bathroom floor. At least the shower had good water pressure, unlike our last place, really good in fact. So good we couldn’t use it to full pressure due to the drain problem. And sure, the balcony of the room overlooked the driveway to the main building at the hotel, giving us an occasional wake-up when a loud car raced up the hill to the hotel, at least it didn’t reek of cigarettes like our previous room.
After the morning showers were complete we walked over to the main building where the breakfast buffet was served. The room was set up with multiple rows of buffet food to the right, with a bunch of large round tables to the left. Each table could seat 5 to 6 people, yet since most of the guests were couples, each table was underutilized. After getting our food, we first attempted to go outside and enjoy the nice warm morning weather with our breakfast, but just as space inside was poorly utilized with more tables than people, so was the outside seating area. They had most of the tables set for four people and taking up unnecessary space that could easily be split to add more two people tables. We ended up back inside at the larger table since the outside was all full.
As we ate and discussed our plan, it was a quick decision to spend our first day on vacation relaxing by the nice large circular pools. The pools, or pool since they were connected, were surrounded by nice lounge chairs to relax in, shaded umbrellas to keep our pale skins pale for the return to Ireland. There was only one real flaw with the pool experience, and it involved the music they had playing the whole time. Over to the side of the pool was a small building with tables, a bar that serviced food, and above the bar were two speakers that they kept nice and loud. Plugged into the speakers was a (I’m assuming) three or four disk CD changer that they rotated CDs through. A Spice Girls CD, a Backstreet Boys CD, and a summer hits of the 90’s CD. Remember Mambo Number 5 anyone? We got to hear it a lot. Oh, and one more CD. I don’t know what it was called, but we named it Shitty Turkish Dance Club music CD.
Before heading to the pool, we made a quick stop in the spa to book a couple of massages for the next day. It took a while to book them because the lady working the counter didn’t speak any English, which was getting annoying. After all, we were at a hotel where 90% of the guests were native English speakers, and we had yet to interact with anyone who could speak more than 10% English. I know that is an ass-hole English speaker statement to make. But come on, who is your clientele? If I had a business in Ireland and 90% of my clients spoke a specific language, I’d be inclined to learn that language.
Seeing Some Sites
After a day of relaxing by the pool and another day of not being able to eat breakfast outside, due to the table arrangements, and slow table service and clearing them we decided to get out of the resort and see some sites, going into town and check out the Kyrenia Castle.
In town, I got a much-needed haircut and barber style shave from a proper Turkish barber, which was great. I’d love to find a place in Dublin that did a nice shave and proper haircut. And when we arrived back at the hotel, we visited the Turkish bath for body scrubs and foam massages that left us feeling clean and rejuvenated. I have to give them props for the massages. Basically, the lady takes you into a large batch steam room, wets and soaps you down, and then proceeds to give you a massage and scrub. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a happy ending, which unfortunately wasn’t offered, but the massage was still worth it.
Wednesday was a long day with a visit to Buffavento Castle. There are three levels to this castle that have continually been built up over the centuries.
From there it was to Bellapais Abbey. Both beautiful locations and well worth seeing.
Tired and hot we made our way back to the pool for some relaxing in the sun, and occasional swim to our favorite bands from the 90s on rotation.
Having gone all week without getting an outside table for dinner, we decided to wait for one to open up. So we sat in some open chairs on the side and watched. It wasn’t long before a table opened up and I started walking over to it to grab it before anyone else. At which point one of the people working there tries to sit another couple at the table. I didn’t even know it was an option to get one of them to seat people. Anyway, I went up and say that we had been waiting on it. The waiter of course, not speaking English tries to sit them anyway. Luckily the other couple does and was nice and let us have the table. As previously mentioned there was plenty of seating at the table, so we offered to share, but they decided to sit inside. The waiter never came back to take our drink orders. The lack of service in the cafeteria-styled dining room was a running theme throughout the venue. They probably would have made twice as much money off us in tips if they had bothered to check on us at any time.
After a lovely outside dinner, waiting back in our room was the welcome smell of sewage coming from the ventilation or drainage system. Yes, it smelled like shit and piss.
Note: All pictures were taken with my GoPro, so that’s why they are all funny looking.