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Today, we arrived in Limassol, Cyprus.

When we stepped outside onto the balcony for our pre-breakfast cup of tea, we could see bunkering operations in progress down below us. This is where the ship takes on fuel and water, often provided by a service vessel parked very closely up alongside.

After breakfast, we caught the free shuttle bus into town, and the first place we headed towards, after a quick consultation with Maps.Me, was the medieval fort. I think it’s fair to say that it doesn’t look very promising from the outside; it’s very square-looking, and quite plain, but we could see that there were people looking out from the battlements high up, and that’s why we were prepared to pay the €4.50 each entrance fee.

Imagine our surprise then, upon entering, finding that it is so much more than that. There were three floors of interesting exhibits and rooms, with clearly laid-out plaques and information boards telling us wat we were looking at.

The grisly remains of a headless, armless skeleton in the basement kicked things off, with gory details of a violent death, and as we climbed one floor after another, the grim history of the building and its use as a prison was duly brought alive. When we eventually made it up to the roof and battlements, we weren’t disappointed by the views across the tops of the town. €9 well-spent indeed!

Once outside again, we spent some time looking at the various artifacts laying around the base of the fort, within its grounds, dominated by a large olive press that looked like an oversized thumbscrew.

From the fort, we meandered through the adjacent, narrow streets. There were a few crafty stalls here and there and not a lot else; the ruins of what appeared to be a disused mosque caught our attention, and the cathedral seemed promising, but a service was underway, so we didn’t think they’d appreciate us poking around. Eventually, we headed towards the seafront, and the promenade.

Limassol seemes like a pleasant enough place, but there wasn’t a great deal to charm us or make us feel it is somewhere where we absolutely have to go back to. It was Sunday, and therefore was very busy; it’s clearly very popular, with lots of families enjoying the hot weather, and a day by the sea.

We walked the length of the promenade to the point where it turned into a beach. One look at the masses of bodies, multi-coloured loungers and canopies was enough to dissuade us from wanting to go any further. Instead, we settled down on the rocks nearby, took our shoes and socks off and enjoyed a refreshing paddle in the cool, shallow water.

On the way back, we retraced our steps, pausing in a cafe for a snack and a cold beer, and a bit of people-watching. This was followed by a spot of fountain-filming and one last wander around the tourist harbour before catching the shuttle bus back to the ship.

Peter Woolley

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