Back to Symi
You may have been following the adventure via Facebook, but if not, I’ll let you know how it all went over the next few days. The important part is that the film, ‘The 13th’ was shown at the Cyprus International Film Festival and I gave a question and answer session after it. A bit nerve-wracking, but I go through it. Symi got some publicity, and the film is now one of eight up for the Golden Aphrodite award at the awards ceremony next weekend. I also met some very talented people and had a good time, with only a few hours to myself on the Sunday morning to ‘do’ Paphos; well, about one twentieth of it.
Today, I thought I’d just fill you in on the first day, which was a travel day. I stayed at the Savoy Hotel in Rhodes (not as grand as it sounds, basic, but comfortable and, most importantly, cheap) and, after an early breakfast there, took the bus to the airport. I had already checked in for that flight online and only had hand luggage, so that was easy. A quick bus trip across the tarmac to the back row of the plane which I shared with a spare captain and spare hostess. Are they called that still? In-flight customer assistants? Anyway, that was an easy flight up to Athens, waving at Symi as I flew over it. Two hours at Athens to change planes goes by quickly enough, just time for a coffee and a wander around. Then off to Cyprus (waving at Symi again as I flew back over it), again at the back of the plane, but this time with a spare rugby player and a sumo wrestler. At least that’s what it felt like; all very intimate but I was glad of the padding either side of me when we went through some rough turbulence.
I scored a bit of a hit at Larnaca airport. Straight off the plane and to the bus ticket booth, picked up my nine euro ticket to Limassol and stepped straight onto the bus which left five minutes later. Air-conditioning and Wifi, and seat belts, and an hour long journey along the motorway to the next stop. I changed buses at Limassol bus depot (glamorous), and the next one left 15 minutes later. Four euros, no wifi this time but 90 minutes into Paphos. The bus was called the airport shuttle, but we went nowhere near an airport, and I ended up in the center of town at another glam bus depot. There, I changed onto a local bus to get to the harbour from where I could have found yet another bus, or I could have called a taxi. It was only 38 degrees, so I walked the few kilometres along the seafront and to the university I was to stay at.
Arriving there at around 18:30, I was warmly greeted by the festival staff and organiser, given a badge (that read ‘Director’) and invited to the poolside party and Cypriot dancing that was due to start in 30 minutes. I explained that I ought to de-sweat and get dry first, so went to my room for a shower and change. I also slipped out to get something to eat. There was a buffet provided at this event but it wasn’t going to be ready until a few hours down the line and I’d not eaten since Rhodes. Actually, there was something on the plane, and I am still not sure what it was; a few pieces of pasta that someone had thrown some dubious sauce at. There was a selection of restaurants nearby, but an Irish Pub did baked potatoes. I know, but the staff were fun and friendly, and the meal was cheap.
I’ll leave that there for now as we are only at 19.30 on day one and this day wasn’t going to end until after midnight, so I’ll save the rest of it for tomorrow.