Tango in Limassol
After the cruise, we arrived back at Cyprus's main port of Limassol. 2 and a half years ago when we were in Cyprus last, there was no tango scene, and so we had to go to Greece to get our fix of Tango. Fortunately about 2 years ago, a tango scene sprung up in Cyprus, and there is a Milonga in Limassol every Friday night. This suited us perfectly, we decided to stay the night in Limassol at the Curium Palace which is the hotel that hosts the Milonga. Niki's parents dropped us off, and we checked in. we were both very impressed with the Hotel, although at the bargain basement price of 65 Cyprus Pounds ($185 AU) per night we were expecting to be impressed. I went for a swim while Niki drifted between reading and sleeping beside the pool.
After all the food we had consumed on board the cruise we decided to have a light lunch, a salad or something, nothing too much. We went for a walk, and found a restaurant called "La Mer" and sat down to order. Niki ordered a Seafood salad, and I ordered Sheftalia (traditional Cypriot sausage) with a side salad. The first thing to come out was the side salad, and I kid you not, it was huge, the bowl was twice as tall and twice as wide as a normal soup bowl, and we honestly thought that it must have been the main salad that Niki had ordered, but they insisted it was the side salad. They then started to bring out some bread and 3 dips, then some chips and potato salad. At this stage we questioned them about it saying "we didn't order this" to which they replied "it comes with the salad". They then proceeded to bring out another 6 side dishes, beetroot, black eyed beans, fasolia (Cypriot style white beans), Ocra... and this is before they bought out the main dish. Finally Niki's salad arrived in a massive tray the size of two and a half regular dinner plates, followed by my Sheftalia (4 sausages) and accompanying side of steamed Veggies. So much for a light lunch. We ate as much as humanly possible (less than half of what was on the table), and then sat back and let them clear the debris. As soon as they had cleared everything away, they then bought out a complimentary desert which we were forced to eat at gun point. The food was absolutely fabulous, and I would recommend it to anyone who is visiting Limassol, I would just suggest that you only order for half the amount of people at the table.
That night after a dinner consisting of an apple and half a banana, we went down and joined in the Milonga. We met Julia, the woman responsible for starting the tango scene in Cyprus. She is a beautiful tango dancer, and after dancing with some of her students, she is obviously a very good teacher. It was great to see the budding scene in Cyprus, and they seemed fairly good considering it had only been going for a couple of years.
I met one guy there, Ismail, who saw me sweating profusely in the Cyprus heat after coming off the dance floor, and he told me to save my sweat because tango sweat is Holy. He was a real character, and he also teaches tango in the Northern (Turkish occupied) side of Cyprus. We went to a Milonga run by him in the northern part of Nicossia a week later, I must admit it was the first time I've ever had to show my passport on the way to a Milonga.
It was also an amazing experience to dance with women who knew almost no English, and be able to communicate in a common language of Tango.