Sunday, 30 April 2017

Car [window] shopping

Does it count as window shopping if it is done over the internet?

I have been trying to work out what car to get when we move to Cyprus. So while offshore, I have been trying to look at reviews and contact dealers etc.

Cars in Cyprus are expensive, particularly western brands. Also looking for a 4x4, but not a big petrol thirsty one like you get in Qatar, as fuel prices are a lot more in Cyprus compared to Doha.

Would also like one that would be able to handle the hills and maybe a bit of light off roading round coastal routes and into the national parks etc.

The second hand market is also expensive, with cars holding there value better than the likes of the UK or Qatar. Another thing is leasing, the dealers don't do leasing options. All financing is done through the banks and interest rates are higher than you would expect.

Would also prefer new, so at least there is warranty comeback, particularly with me being away for half the year.

Contacted a couple of the garages to see what 2017 models they have coming into country over the next few months, or what the typical lead times are for orders.

One garage I spoke to, has some pre-spec'd cars coming in May and in July, and they are the same spec as what I was considering, so this could simplify things. They have also quoted me a price which is favourable. I suppose if they can get a sale without having to have a pre-spec sat on their forecourt, it makes it easier for them!

Will need to take a trip into the local garages in Qatar, to see if they also have the equivalent cars to get an idea and maybe help make the final decision.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Time to go home....(to Doha)

Well it has been an interesting trip to Cyprus.

From the hike up the hills, to the tears over school tests, to the viewing of the villa's, I think we have achieved quite a bit.

As I said in an earlier post, at least we have achieved the two main objectives for the trip:

  • School places
  • Somewhere to live

Now it will just be a chaotic next couple of months in Doha, getting the house packed up and shipped off to here.

Anyway, we left the hotel and headed for the airport at Larnaca. Unfortunately, due to a lack of concentration on my part, I can't remember what we were all yapping on about, but when you see a person in a fluorescent jacket step out into the road, you know it isn't going to be good. I took my foot off the accelerator and was ready to apply the brakes. Initially I thought he was going for the car in front, but alas no. It was the local police and they were pulling me over. Yes, rumbled for speeding. After a small discussion and and given we were heading to the airport, the nice man gave me a warning and a receipt for the warning.

Still hard to find the speed limit for the area we were in was as low as it was, as there was no buildings, nearby, no hazards or obstructions, just a flat, straight road in the middle of nowhere. Now we know to be more careful! So does the guy who got pulled over while we were being dealt with.

Making it to the airport, needless to say, N&M managed to find things to buy (aka makeup) and I also bumped into someone that I hadn't seen for a number of years who was transiting through Cyprus! Small world...

See you in the Summer Cyprus!r

Monday, 3 April 2017

Spot of shopping...

Today, we took a trip to Kings Avenue Mall, wanted to see what shops they had and what it was like.

Ok, fair to say it is no Middle East mall......a few of the shops that I definitely think will be used. First they had a Public, which is a bit like a Virgin Megastore, definitely up my street, and then usual clothes shops etc.

Still managed to come back with a mountain of shorts and tops for the kids....'just looking' 😏

In the morning before we left, I had sent a message to a couple of computer shops in the area, I was on the hunt for a high power PSU for the machine back in Doha, so I could complete the graphics card upgrade.

When we got back from the mall, one of the shops had replied saying they had one in stock, so Maya and I took a run out to check it out. It was Paphos Computers in Kissonerga, just along the road from the hotel, after clearing the confusion on where they were, Facebook said one thing, Google another, and just using the address on their website was fine! Arrived in the shop, exactly what I needed, so job done.

Maya and I headed back into the car and headed to have a look at cars, but couldn't find the garage we were going to originally look for, so gave up, but passed a large DIY shop and Maya wanted to have a look in there. It had everything from paint to Sofa's, Garden furniture to kitchenware, so a bit more than just a DIY shop.

I have a feeling when we move here, there is going to be a lot of general shop hunting!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Visit to Akamas National Park

Nice day and didn't want to do an indoor thing, so dragged the kids to the great outdoors.

We headed up towards the Akamas National Park, and took a visit to Aphrodite Baths and then followed the nature trail up into the hills.

Now, this is where we maybe could have been better planned! We hadn't a clue how long the walk was, and the maps for area were not the best, and neither were the sign posts. There was a sign at the bottom that pointed up the hill and had 2.5 km, I had it in my head that this was one of the trail lengths. There were numerous trails shows on the map, but these did appear on the sign posts.

After making it to the top, the sign gave no indication as to whether the trail to the left or the trail to the right was longer/shorter or even how long it was. We went with the left as it felt more 'down' than the trail to the right which looked it was heading up another hill.

After a while we stopped walker coming the another way and his '800m' and pointing indicated that we might be 'nearly there'. We did keep passing distance markers, in Km I must add, and by the 5 Km, the youngest was pooped. Then 6 Km came along....think we were out of water by this stage...Then 7 Km appeared, at least by now we were heading down and appeared to be on a normal wide track. We had just come down through a rocky gorge with narrow paths. When Sasha took a tumble and face planted, I thought there would have been more 'damage', but fortunately there were no scratches and just a few tired tears.

Looked like we were on the home straight, with the 8 Km marker being on the actual proper road on the way to the car park, so only another 500 m to go.

We got back to the car park and headed straight for the ice cream! Some other tourists were tasting the flavours before messing about with there purchase, must have been about 10 of them, they were taking ages. N&M had a hair appointment back in Paphos and time was already ticking, and this was the last thing we needed.

Back on the road we headed, and made it back to the hotel, only 10 minutes late for the appointment.

Good to get out and about however. Maya said around the 6 Km marker that she wants to do this 'every weekend', will just have to see how long it takes for the novelty to wear off!

Lots of lizard spotting and Maya was delighted to spot a big black snake slithering into the grass.

There were plenty more walks to do, but next time, I think we will be more prepared and not have any appointments that force us to rush!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Visit to Saint Neophytos Monastery

Today, we went out for a drive along the road past the Tala villa, round the back of the hill to the nearby monastery, Saint Neophytos Monastery, about 12km North West of Paphos.

Dating back to the 12th Century, the monastery is set in the hills. With the original chapel and tomb carved into the rock, and featuring the painted walls and ceiling. There is also a small museum with various artifacts to see.

You can read more about it here on Wikipedia: