Our final day in Cyprus took place at the beach in Larnaca. While most of the group stayed on the beach, I wandered off down the seaside away from the height of the tourism. The sand eventually faded to a boardwalk, which in turn disappeared after some time, leading me to cross the street and venture into the residential areas tucked away behind rows of clustered storefronts.
Each area had its own little charm. The first neighborhood I explored began with a ceramics studio, decorated with an abundance of plants of all varieties and some handmade signage. The houses surrounding it were equally vegetated. Eventually, the backroad I was walking along led me back to the main road, depositing me on the front steps of a small homemade lemonade store. I continued walking down the road until I reached another neighborhood, this one home to a cat resting in the shade of a towering bush. The streets were narrow and poorly paved, lined with small, white houses with clay roofs and blue trim. Eventually, I turned back, grabbing a lemonade from the shop I passed previously. It was run by one man.
Overall, my trip through Larnaca was a reminder of the two sides of Cyprus: flashy tourism and modest residency. While the lemonade I bought was made by hand in front of me by the owner, the ice cream and cold drinks offered near the main section of the beach were all premade products sold by chains. As I made it closer to the beach on my return trip, the houses quickly faded away and were replaced by restaurants and merchandise stores. After a week of intense tourism, it was nice to catch a glimpse of the “real” parts of Cyprus just in time to leave it all behind.
I also got put in a hole.