Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Come Dine with Me- Take 2

Each evening we would usually be back from adventuring or be ready to watch the sun go down with a glass of Gin and Tonic or a beer. It looked so beautiful from the villa as you could see the sun disappear into the sea.
Some evenings Catriona and I and then Caroline as well would do Clan Fitness training whilst the sun went down. The coolest part of the day. We really enjoyed this activity and with Nathan's fitness instructor guidance I felt I made a good start to getting fit for the wedding... and beyond!
The picture does it no justice but Benji and Catriona made delicious fish stuffed with a breadcrumb mixture and also yogurt... it was very tasty.
For main they made a traditional Greek dish of Roasted Lamb, Red Onion and Lime accompanied by cous cous and Greek Salad.... it was really good and much better than the lamb I had in the restaurant on the Friday night.
My favourite part of Benji and Catriona's meal- in fact any of the meals was the espresso martinis that they made for after dinner. They were AMAZING! I will be making these a lot I think!
For Benji and Catriona's entertainment they did a drinking game called 'Can I have a pound of bacon please.' I had never played this before. First they put 18 (3 each) pieces of paper into a pint glass. Each had an international accent written on it- 'Irish' 'Norwegian' 'Italian' 'Cockney' etc.... The idea is that each person pulls one out and in the accent that is written on your piece of paper you have to say 'Can I have a pound of bacon please.' It was so so funny! The group then judge if your accent was passable... which most were not! After you have done it 3 times each and if we were anything to go by have drunk a lot of shots! Each person writes 3 more... the catch this time is you have to write your initials on top of the paper with your chosen accent on it. So if someone picks your chosen accent and can't do it you have to say it perfectly or else you do a shot as well.... I think this will be being played many times again!
Benji and Catriona with their Espresso Martinis. A very successful 'Come Dine with Me.'
Every time Caroline attempted 'Can I have a pound of Bacon please' in any language it sounded like she was Pakistani..... this was a really fun game and once you got over the initial embarrassment and realised everyone else was making a fool of themselves too the game really gets going.

Kite Surfing

Catriona, Caroline and Benji standing on the beach where all the kite surfers set up their kit. There were a few classes happening when we were there as it was a Saturday afternoon.
 It was great seeing all the kite surfers out on the water. There were about 8 out on the water. My camera couldn't take great shots of them but Benji and Catriona took some good pictures on their camera.
Chick with Caroline who was helping him to get his kite in the air. Chick brought all his kit with him in a big black travel sports bag (like you see the snowboarders have) it was really cool to watch him speed along the surface of the water. Unfortunately it isn't something you can just have a go at- you need instruction for a couple of days. I would have loved a shot. I love waterski-ing and it would have been great to try.
Chick speeding along the water. He went really quickly and I couldn't believe how far out he travelled from the shore.
The instructor who was taking the class along from where Chick set up. He could do some impressive jumps.... not that many good landings though but to be fair it looked very tough!
Chick's kite and board with the pebble beach and kite surfers in the water in the background. I was really glad we went down to check it out as I had never seen kite surfing before apart from on Red Bull promo videos. It was pretty cool.

Friday night

On Friday night we headed into Kouklia (I think- Benji or Catriona will have to keep me right) to a traditional Greek restaurant. As it was Friday night they had entertainment on. In the photo above of Caroline and Catriona you can see the guy balancing glasses on his head!!!
Nathan and I at dinner. Caroline, Benji and Nathan had an amazing mezze meal of lots of tasty dishes... in trying to be healthy I ordered a lamb dish but had food envy the whole meal!
Chick and Benji.
The music all got a bit too much, loud and far too traditionally Greek for Chick's liking! He put Pitta Bread in his ears but it didn't seem to drown out the sound!!

Relaxation Day- Friday

In the neighbourhood across from Benji's parents villa is a lovely resort called Aphrodite Hills. We ate at their Restuarant Bar the first night we were in Cypres and they have great facilities.

On the Friday it was due to rain so we scheduled a group day at the Spa in Aphrodite Hills. See it here. It was really fun to be with the boys too. Nathan and I had a Duo Destress massage. We weren't in the same room but it was the same treatment based on an aboriginal massage technique. It was really good.
Nathan after his massage. In the obligatory spa robes.
Part of the deal was that we could use the infinity pool and other facilities before or after our massages. We had to be careful not to sunbathe afterwards as we had massage oil on our skin. The picture above shows Nathan laying by the pool.
The girls at the end of our Spa day. We all had lunch at the Golf Club too.... the girls had wanted to stay and have healthy wraps at the Spa but it just didn't cut it with the boys.... so club sandwiches and wedges were ordered at the Golf Club. The Spa were good enough to let us go away and then come back after lunch. It was such an enjoyable day.
After the Spa day we played tennis at Aphrodite Hills in the evening. I was very impressed with Nathan's serve.... very fast indeed... I think we might have to play tennis together more next summer.
Caroline and Benji playing tennis as the sun goes down over Aphrodite Hills.
Me umpiring the game! It was a great spot in the Umpire chair as you could see over the hills to the sea and the setting sun.
Nathan smiling up at me. We actually took 2 tennis rackets with us all the way to Cyprus in Nathan's suitcase but Chick went down to check out the kite surfing situation at the beach and drove off with them in the car! So we ended up having to pay to rent rackets after all and only ever played the once! Oh well we had a good time when we did play.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Come Dine With Me- Take 1

We decided that to add a bit of fun to our evening meals... and a little bit of competition into the holiday we would do a 'Come Dine with Me'. Each couple would have to cook for the other 2 couples and we would be scored out of ten for our meal. The categories were: Cocktail, Starter, Main and Entertainment.

Nathan and I were first up. Tried and tested Nathan made his Paella dish that he had made for friends the week before... this time however the veggies were bigger and better as we were in a warm climate.
I made jugs of Sangria as our cocktail and it tasted so good... Brandy, Wine and Fruit... what could be better!? (Actually the other couples cocktails were much better) but I enjoyed our Sangria.
For starter I made a dish my Mum makes... fresh figs, blue cheese and parma ham.... my Mum usually drizzles truffle oil over but Nathan often thinks this makes it too rich... so olive oil did the trick. It was a hit and worked well... although was not too much effort to impress our judges!
Nathan's Paella... always a triumph! The prawns tasted so so good!
Team Landels Pike ready to serve dinner.
After dinner as our entertainment we did a quiz on Spanish facts... I got loads of info off the Internet so was able to put together some fun questions. Chick and Caroline won the coveted prize of Shamu the Whale.
The winners with their prize.
Benji and Catriona. It was quite chilly at night time so we had to wrap up warm when sitting outside.
Benji and Catriona doing their forfeit- a shot of black Aftershock! as they lost the quiz.
Nathan and I at the end of our evening of hosting 'Come Dine with Me.' our night ended up being the most tame as the others was much more alcohol fueled... clearly there wasn't enough brandy in the Sangria!

Day 4 in Cyprus

One of the things I love most about being on holiday is eating outside. In Scotland you can maybe eat outside a couple of weeks a year (and even then you have to wear a sweater and wrap up.) During the day in Cyprus when we were at the house we would always have a sit down lunch together.
Greek Salad, Chicken Ceasar Salad, Mango Salsa, Pitta Breads make for a very tasty lunch!
In the afternoon on our way to the supermarket we went for a closer look to Aphrodite's Rock. On the beach were hundreds of hearts people had created out of the stones on the beach. It was lovely looking at all the different heart shaped sculptures people had made. All to mark their love at the birthplace of the 'Goddess of Love' Aphrodite.
Not only was Aphrodite the Goddess of Love but also of beauty. Legend says that if, on the night of a full moon, you swim around the middle (larger rock) you will look a year younger for every circle of the rock you swim.... we didn't try it but there were a few brave soles who swam around it.
Nathan and I at Aphrodite's Rock. Nathan went for a swim in the sea but I just had a wee paddle. 
Our group (minus me) Left to right: Caroline and Chick, Catriona and Benji and Nathan. They had all been for a swim in the water by Aphrodite's Rock.
I closer look at some of the heart shaped sculptures people had made on the beach to show their love.
Nathan and I made our own wee heart... pictured with our feet.... it was so lovely being on the beach at this time of day when the sun was setting... there was the most amazing sunsets in Cyprus.

More Day 3 in Cyprus!

When we were in the Troodos mountains we went on a short walk up to the Caledonian Waterfalls. It was lovely and peaceful until a bus load of British tourists arrived!
 After the tourists were gone Nathan and I went for a cool down in the waterfalls... it was freezing!
At the waterfalls was a female cat and her 4 kittens... 2 of them are pictured here. They were much cuter than the other stray cats in Cyprus (and there are many!) so I was convinced they were like the Disney Aristocats- lost from the Presidents Summer Residence which was close by.
Benji and Catriona were sensible and stayed dry! It was good to get out and stretch our legs on the walk.
The landscape did look very similar to that of Scotland (just the temperature was quite different) My least favourite part of the walk was when Benji saw a snake and then Nathan scared me by pretending to be the snake and frightened the life out of me as he brushed past my leg!! eeek! I don't do reptiles!
BBQ in the evening. We had loads of tasty salads, cooked meats and spicy potato wedges. A good group effort for dinner on Caroline and Chick (the 3rd couples) first night.
I loved all the fish we grilled on the BBQ. On the Tuesday night we had Tuna Nicose with Tuna Steaks grilled on the BBQ. Yum!