One of the nice things about living so close to Europe is that I can be in a different country after a short plane flight. Another thing that is nice about this is I can visit some of the world’s most coveted destinations during times where the tourists are gone. It means that I have access to this town with lots of amazing sights and great restaurants without having to fight my way through crazy crowds. This is what I did on my latest vacation. I took an hour flight from Amman, Jordan to the island town of Paphos, Cyprus to enjoy this town before it exploded with tourists during the summer months.
There are some disadvantages to enjoying a tourist sight this way, the biggest of which is the weather. Most of the time people travel to Paphos to enjoy the sun and warmth along the sea shore, but when I was there, I had to bundle up and brave the wind in order to enjoy the outdoors. I was told that it was unusually cold this year, but it still made for a different spring break environment than what I was hoping for.
The businesses were a little more ambitious in getting me to go to them then they usually would as well. I believe a lot of this is because they are gearing up for the upcoming tourist season, and they are really looking forward to this season more than they have in the past. The last couple of years have hit businesses hard, and they need a good summer to bounce back, so they were pulling out all stops to attract that much needed business. There were numerous people that would point to their menus and try to engage in conversation as we walked by. My favorite was the pink pelican that was obviously someone’s pet, and the mascot of the restaurant with the same name. The small amount of tourists that were there were always drawn to this spot to get up and close to this animal that would otherwise be elusive.
On the other hand, the sights that would usually have throngs of people at them were empty. It opened them up to give them the kind of exploration that you always hope to give these historic points. I have been in Europe before where it is almost impossible to move around some of these sights, and they put you in a line to shove you along so they can get as many people through as fast as possible. That was not the case with my trip to Paphos. I could enjoy these sights at my leisure, and rarely did I see other people. If I did, we never got in each other’s way.
In a couple of months, this waterfront will be crowded with people, and I am happy that it will bring in the revenue that is need to keep this place thriving. I know that I will soon be one of the people in some other European town exploring what it has to offer, but until then I will enjoy this quiet European town before the mad rush. It is fun to get to experience it in this way rather than the usual madness that comes with the height of the tourist season, and I can’t wait to experience other European sights in the same way.