Where I Have Been Map

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Panama City of Cyprus...

Ayia Napa. Before we had even ventured here for the weekend, we had heard stories upon stories about how amazing it would be. We heard that the beaches would be crystal clear with warm golden sand, the restaurants would be plentiful and with much variety all along the main strip, and the nightlife... oooh the nightlife... in a city that never sleeps the rows and rows of dance clubs packed with people would be sure to continue to the wee hours of the morning. All of these proved to be true, however they left one important thing out... how the tourists ruin the high expectations.

The moment we arrived to our hotel in Ayia Napa... our adrenaline hit
an all time high. One look outside our hotel room windows and we were outside in our bathing suits in under 5 minutes. We had never stayed in a hotel with such an amazing pool area.

But it just took 50 more steps outside of the pool area to realize just what we were in store for that weekend. We traveled down a little stone path with tropical plants aligning either side of the sandy way, and just over the last sand dune we saw the most crystal blue water I had ever seen before. This beach was beautiful. We spend most of our mornings, afternoons, and yes evenings laying on this beach. We enjoyed our time building sand castles, relaxing on the beach chairs, and swimming against the waves. Except for a random piece of lettuce we saw floating around, the water was incredibly clean.

After soaking in all the sun possible, we could not ignore the growling of our stomaches any longer. We found a restaurant not far from our hotel with burgers and fries for a very cheap price. Although not very Cypriot, we took advantage of the money we would save. The next day we dined at an Italian restaurant with delicious pastas with so much per serving, none of us could finish it all. Two out of the three preconceptions of this place, the beaches and the food, had proven true... now all that was left to see was the nightlife.

The first night we met up with some of our Cypriot friends who took us to a beach dance party. This was like nothing I had ever seen before. As we walked down the wooden steps our feet met something unexpected... sand. Now, sand at a beach party sounds like they would go together. But in our minds we imagined the dancing would occur on a platform NEAR the beach. Well, we were not just NEAR the beach... we were right smack in the middle of it. The waves would creep up and wet the feet of the farthest dancers in the giant crowd.

The crowd... this was another adventure on its own. With amount of people crowded around this coastline dancing, you would assume Lady Gaga was about to come on stage and preform. There were people everywhere... and FROM everywhere. That night we met tourists from all over Europe, however most of the people there were Cypriots. The DJ at the front of the crowd played everything from Greek, to French, to American dance music. The best part was the Cypriot guys, who seem to be very respectful from what I have noticed, did not try to grab you to dance every ten seconds. They instead gave all the girls their space. With all the thing going on at this dance party, I didn't know whether to dance, play in the waves, or build a sand castle. All in all this event was something I have never experienced, and would love to experience again.

The next night was a very different story, however. We decided to explore around the main square, the clubbing wonderland for all visiting tourists. We walked into the first dance club, the lights were flashing and music booming, but the crowd was very different from the beach dance party. There was no mistake for a Lady Gaga concert here, even though Dina went up on stage, grabbed the mic, and sang a Lady Gaga song as the entire crowd cheers and took pictures. The crowd was, instead, relatively small... and consisted of many, many creepy guys.

My favorite creep of the night was a man that stood about 5 foot tall. His scruffy beard and greasy hair made him look as if showers were optional in his mind. He wore a button down shirt that he unbuttoned way further than necessary. His favorite game of the night was scoping out girls, choosing his victim, and attacking them with his horrible dance moves. The worse part was once he picked you out, he wouldn't stop dancing with you until he found a new victim. This happened to a number of girls in our group. We even developed a system, every time he would try to dance with one of us the rest would for a circle, a barrier, to keep him away. Apparently this act, stern glares, and even saying "I don't want to dance with you" did not phase this guys determination. He would just shake off the rejection and continue his tactics on the next girl.

"Find the creepy tourist" was a game of the night that proved to be far too easy. Through out our adventures that night we found ourselves getting scammed, getting offended, and getting shocked by the people we saw and the way the acted. None of these people were Cypriots.

The last place we ended up at was the nicest club we had seen, complete with two pools, flashing lights, and Bob Marly reggae music blaring from the speakers. The only thing missing was a crowd. This club didn't open until around 3 or 4 AM and stayed up until the next afternoon. Exhausted from the night, most of us went home before the club could open.

All in all we experienced a part of the island that the tourists took way too far in the crazy direction. We experienced what I can only compare to a night at Panama City Beach, something that most people go to, but never want to go back to again. I think I would go to Ayia Napa again to see the beaches, enjoy the food, and maybe go to another beach dance party. However, as far as the other tourists go, I think I'll just stick to hanging out with the Cypriots.

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