Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Sandwich and a view, Koulla's Sandwiches ...with your dog

Koulla's Sandwiches Cantina
We just had a short break in West Cyprus. Just the 3 of us. It was wonderful, and I'm looking forward to posting about the apartment we stayed in, the lovely hikes we went on, the beaches....

But for now, I've decided to tell you about a sandwich place we found. Because this wasn't just any old sandwich place. I think this is one of the best places to sit with a beer (and a sandwich) and enjoy the view that we have found, so far, in Cyprus.

View from Koulla's Sandwiches
I mean, look at this place!

This is Koulla's Sandwiches, just outside the village of Pomos in the West of Cyprus (on Facebook here).

I loved this place because it was perfectly simple; just a kind of 'burger van', with a couple of shady tables, a more sheltered space for the winter, bathroom, just what you need for a quick stop along the road. But, on the other hand,  perched high up on top of a beautiful patch of unspoilt coast, on a quiet part of the road with a back drop of mountains, it had just what you need to happily pass the hours with a beer or two.

Another reason I liked this place was that we had just tried to go to a beach bar a bit further on, towards Latchi, and been put off by prominent 'No Dogs' signs pinned up by the entrance. Of course I understand that not everybody is as dog-obsessed as I am, and some people don't want dogs inside bars and restaurants, but I don't see the problem on an outside patio in a low-key beach bar... 

Anyway. I was pleased to be able to sit somewhere beautiful, with my girl, and enjoy being near the sea and on holiday.   

Koulla's Sandwiches, as you might have guessed, serves a range of sandwiches, with fillings like halloumi, egg, chicken etc. They are large, filling, and cost less than 5€.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Wait at Paphos Airport Beach... with your dog

Dirt road down to beach from car park
Sage found this one, while waiting for my flight to arrive from Crete. It's a very useful spot for waiting for loved ones with your dog, or waiting for your dog's flight.

Just seconds before the final roundabout for Paphos International Airport, take the small turn on your left hand side where you see a few cars parked a bit haphazardly. It seems like some people use this as long-term parking...
Car park area
This is a great place to leave your car for that half an hour you have to kill before one person leaves - especially if you have a dog. It's free, there is some shade from trees around the edges, and from here you can walk down a short unmade road to a pebbly beach and the sea.

Airport seen from the beach
The beach is a lovely surprise. It's pebbly, and right next door to the airport, so I don't suppose it's ever going to be one of Cyprus' top 10 beach spots, but it's long, with beautiful turquoise blue water, and nobody around. That suits us just fine, when the aim is to have a run around before or after a long car journey, and to find a discreet place for a pee.

You can even watch the planes come in, to make sure you don't miss any arrivals. I definitely don't recommend this as a day out in Cyprus with your dog - but as a convenient stop before or after a flight or long car journey, it's a great find!
Paphos Airport Beach

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wander the city walls of Nicosia ...with your dog

In Toufexi Park, on the outside of the city walls
Laws concerning where pets are and are not allowed to go in Cyprus seem to be constantly changing and absolutely incomprehensible to everybody (perhaps that's the idea..).  I have read that a recent change in the law  (2010 or 11) allows dogs in public spaces in Cyrus, except for beaches and children's play areas. This is in accordance with EU legislation. However, I haven't seen much sign of this changing, at least not in Larnaca, Lemesos or Paphos, where public areas such as parks, waterfront etc. still display off-putting signs forbidding dog owners to walk their dogs there.  

Following the city walls round from Famagusta Gate
So these areas of Nicosia, around the city walls, make quite a refreshing change. By the entrance to the park area at Famagusta Gate, and a little further round in Toufexi Park are signs telling owners to clean up after their dogs, and bins to dispose of dog mess. There are even bags provided, to make it even easier. This is about as close to a dog park as Cyprus gets (with a couple of notable exceptions). 

These areas are popular with dog walkers of Nicosia, especially in the 'dog-walking rush hours' before and after work. I have been meaning to bring Sage here for a play for a long time, but never getting round to it.

The only time we've been here was for the annual Pet Festival, which is held outside the walls at Famagusta Gate, and of course the whole area was full of dogs.

There is a Facebook page for a real dog park in Nicosia, which is in a small area of Athalassa Park (dogs are not permitted in the rest of the park).

I didn't enjoy this park much when I went; there were no other dogs around, nor bins for dog poo, we got lost and carried a stinking bag of dog poo for about an hour until something close to a monsoon started and we found ourselves running through muddy fields trying to find our way out... I will try again, maybe on a day with no rain forecast, and see if I have a better experience. I would love to find a few areas where Sage can socialise and run about with some canine buddies.

At Famagusta Gate
Famagusta Gate

Toufexi Park

Toufexi Park
If anyone has more suggestions for dog parks in Cyprus, or other good dog walking spots in Nicosia, I'd love to hear any suggestions. Just leave your comment in the box below...