Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Scavenger Hunt photos, part two

My oldest daughter, Marie, participated in a youth orchestra in Limassol this year, which meant two months of rehearsals every Saturday. (As well as rehearsals last Wednesday, Thursday, AND Friday, and then two performances Friday afternoon/evening!) We were able to carpool some, but most of the participants live in or a lot closer to Limassol, so the majority of Saturdays in May and June I drove her to her rehearsal and had several hours of time to myself, which I confess that I thoroughly enjoyed.
On June 15th, however, Jörn was in England and our friend Annika was visiting from Germany. She'd visited before, three years ago, and we'd gone into the mountains and done various daytrips, and she knew that we wouldn't do much with Jörn gone, so didn't expect anything, and was willing to stay home with the other children...but it seemed to me that if we could organize it, we should try to do at least one outing. However, I couldn't find much of interest in Limassol, and we didn't have time for an all-day trip, because Marie's rehearsal started at 5:00 p.m., and because of her other activities, we couldn't even leave home until 2:30 p.m. We finally settled on going to the zoo, which had been completely renovated (not that we'd ever been there before) and re-opened a year ago. We enjoyed it very much, and I left Annika and the children there while I drove Marie the whole six minutes to where her rehearsal was, then joined the others in the municipal gardens, where there are lots of playgrounds, lots of drinking water, clean bathrooms, and most importantly of all, SHADE. (The zoo had plenty of shade, too.)
The zoo is small and they no longer have large animals, but still have some typical zoo animals, such as wallabies and emus, a pygmy hippopotamus, lemurs, some monkeys, and lots of birds. They also had some farm animals (I love goats!), a small reptile house (not my favorite), rabbits, and more. I think all of us chose the otters as our very favorite animal, but although we took lots of photos, we didn't get any very clear ones. However, we did get plenty of photos of the meerkats. We were obedient and did not attempt to touch them or feed them anything, but the way they showed no fear and came right up to the edge of the enclosure, I strongly suspect that not everyone abides by the rules. The first photo is taken looking straight down into the enclosure, which happily has glass walls, so the little ones could see in without being tempted to climb in. And the second photo is taken from the same spot, but leaning over to get a photo of Helen through the glass. So there's number 11 for the 2013 Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt: an animal in a zoo, etc.


I have two photos for number 7: a sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny. The first one is one that I've actually been meaning to take a photo of for years, because it cracks me up every time I see it. (I'm easily amused.) It's in a national park, Rizoelia in Aridippou, about 15 minutes away. Lukas wanted to go up there for his birthday on June 21st, which was an easy enough thing to arrange, so we did. So I finally took the photo.

Just in case nobody else thinks it's funny, I suppose I should explain why I do... Yes, I realize that it's telling drivers to be careful and not run into people on bicycles, but every single time I see the sign, I picture wild cyclists careening around the park out to get us...

The second sign is likewise not meant to be funny, and it's not very, but it can be considered part of the next one anyway, if you prefer.
The opening times are clearly listed at 9:00-13:00 on Wednesdays, and the sign also clearly says "Open". However, it was 12:03, and the door was clearly locked. This being Cyprus, we didn't worry too much, just waited around a little bit, and sure enough, the person we were waiting to see soon showed up, carrying a loaf of bread and half a watermelon. The shops are closed Wednesday afternoons, so it made plenty of sense for him to pop out and get his lunch while he could.

In the meantime, here's another photo showing the whole place and thereby fulfilling (well, with a little bit of a stretch...) number 3: City Hall, Capitol or other similar civic building.
The man we'd come to see was the "Mukhtar". In trying to figure out what it is in English, I put the original Greek word, "κοινοταρχης" (kee-no-tar-ees), into Google Translate, since I had no idea how to spell "Mukhtar." The English word that came out was: Mukhtar. So now I know how to spell the Turkish version, anyway, but still don't know what it is in English. Anyway, he's an official, something like a notary (which makes sense in the Greek word), and we went to see him to have him notarize our signatures on the letter giving our friend Barbara, in Germany, power of attorney to sell our flat in Germany.

Oh yeah, there's that. When we left Germany four and a half years ago, we wanted to see our flat, but we couldn't find a buyer who would pay anywhere near what we needed to not lose way more money than we could afford. Finally, someone wanted to rent it, for "at least five years", and paid enough to cover our mortgage and a tiny bit more. However, she gave notice for the end of July, and finding a renter from a distance is not fun. Happily, we have a very good friend, Barbara, who was here for a week in May, and decided to take over for us. She showed the flat to something like 40 parties, one of which wanted to BUY it, and liked our price!!! And so that Jörn and I don't have to fly to Germany, we're giving Barbara the right to sign all the paperwork for us, and our signatures on that letter have to be notarized. As good Germans, we called the German consulate in Nikosia and asked how much they charge: €160 per document. We do not need an apostille, confirming that the contents are correct, only a confirmation that we ourselves signed the document. So instead we went to the local Mukhtar, who charged €3 per document (we went ahead and did two, one to send and one to keep...we wouldn't have done that for €160 each!!), and with whom we had a nice chat. And the gas (petrol) to get there was probably about 20 cents, and parking was 30 cents, whereas to drive to Nikosia would have been more like €15-€20 (but parking would have been free), plus we probably would have gone to Ikea. Much better to go to the local Mukhtar. (And yes, we also could have walked there, thereby saving 50 cents, but then we would have been forced to get ice cream on the way home to survive walking at midday in Cyprus in July, and that would have cost €3.)

Which we did, and feeling horribly conspicuous like a tourist, I took a photo of the office, especially for my blog.

On the way back to the car I took yet another photo for this scavenger hunt, but this is already too long and rambly, and the rest of the family has gotten home, so the computer needs to go off and that will be for another time.

Scavenger Hunt List
1. Open air market
2. Theater for performing arts (not a movie theater)
3. City Hall, Capitol or other similar civic building
4. Airplane
5. A sunset
6. Someone or something taking a nap
7. A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny
8. A tower
9. A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn't belong
10. A bench that is outside
11. An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.
12. A cloud in the shape of something (please specify what you see)
13. A fence
14. A stained glass object or a mosaic
15. A fire truck or police car
16. A windmill
17. Candle(s)
18. Your local pub/bar, coffee house or tea shop
19. A fisherman
20. A dinosaur
21. A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply (you cannot substitute for this item)

Bonus/substitute items. If you find any of the above items too difficult, feel free to substitute either (or both) of these items. You can substitute up to two items, but you cannot substitute Item #21:
A person wearing an outfit (or item of clothing) that symbolizes your country
A sundial

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