Goodbye to Paphos!

22 Mar

Water is the theme of today’s IDEAfit photo a day image:

Early morning in Paphos

Early morning in Paphos

After another late night, I woke before 6am and decided that I might as well get up as I had plenty of things to do. I packed as many of my possessions as I could before putting on my running kit.

When I walked downstairs at 6:25am, I was struck by how beautiful the early morning light was, as well as by the silence of the hotel, which was virtually empty. Ariadne had been replaced on reception by an avuncular figure who said hello. I gave him my room key and glanced around to see whether Fiona or Mary had taken a seat by the window to wait for me. The receptionist asked whether he could help me, but I explained that I was just waiting for my friend. As I still had a few minutes, I chose to sit and look out at the view.

Shortly afterwards, Fiona appeared and as it was already 5 minutes after we had agreed to meet, we decided that Mary had opted out of our run. As we were walking down the steps to go outside, Fiona confessed that she had been very ill for most of the night and didn’t think that she felt able to run, so we agreed to go for a walk.

It was pleasantly cool as the sun had not been up for long and there was a barely perceptible breeze. We proceeded along the boardwalk to the steps down into the sea. The local people of all ages bathe here regularly. There seems to be a real camaraderie between them as well as a trustfulness – I was shocked that people had just left their mobile phones in full view on the benches.

We rounded the corner to where other people swim and sat on a bench for a while watching people. Then we walked a bit further for me to investigate where I might purchase some items that my family had requested, before heading back to the hotel.

It was only 7am, so I was sorely tempted to go out for a lovely run on my own, but I was conscious of how much packing I had to do, as well as the fact that I needed to wash, eat breakfast, check out and get into the conference room by 8:45am. I returned to my room, freshened up, put on my clothes (jeans and a thick cardigan – urgh!), did some packing and checked a few emails before heading down for another glorious breakfast. Jean and Mary were already there, but Fiona had decided that it would be wiser to get some rest in the hope of feeling better.

I started off with some mushrooms, beans, potatoes and bread, before having some fresh yoghurt with almonds and cinnamon sugar; finally, I rounded my meal off with a Danish pastry.

The conference sessions passed quickly, and soon it was coffee break time. I had the opportunity to speak to a few delegates, but there is just never enough time to speak to everyone you want to at such events. I realised that I wouldn’t be able to stay for all of the next presentation, so thought it would be politer not to disrupt proceedings part way through. Other delegates were leaving at the same time as me, so I headed into town with one of them to make a last minute purchase. I also had the opportunity to sample a delicious local ice cream – pistachio and gianduja. I was quite restrained and only had one scoop. We then hurried back to the hotel with just five minutes to wait before our taxi arrived. Then it was a short journey to the airport (and a 2 hour wait in the departure lounge), before boarding my flight.

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