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Paphos Municipal Market (Cyprus)

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Municipal indoor market in Paphos, Cyprus

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      01.02.2011 22:33
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      An enjoyable way to spend a few hours.

      Before I go on my holiday I always feel as if I've done months of shopping which probably, I have. I know my husband always complains about the amount of shopping I do. "Surely we bought towels last year and don't need to buy more new ones!" He will say or, something along those lines. I've been to shops and markets buying holiday clothes for all the family and our, accessories, essential toiletries and health products, such as sun screen, after-sun and first aid items. But however well organised I feel I've been, there always seems something else to buy. Also, of course there are gifts to buy for family who remained at home? So, when we finally arrive at our destination I find myself doing even more shopping. But in this case it wasn't just me. My seventeen year old daughter wanted to buy presents for her friends. She remembered the previous year's holiday in Cyprus, when we had visited the municipal market of Paphos (Ktima Paphos) and she had found that her money went further here than in the souvenir shops near to the harbour or in the hotel. She related the experience to her older brother and his girlfriend, as they had come with us this year but hadn't been able to the year before. The three of them were all raring to go and they encouraged mum and dad to come too. So after breakfast one day, we set off to market. We caught the bus from outside our hotel, paying the fare of 1.50 Euros each. We sat back in the air conditioned comfort of the bus. The bus drove close to Paphos harbour and we saw Debenhams. My family groaned and insisted that I was not to shop in Debenhams. I thought to myself that I might be able to sneak a visit in at some point.Then the bus continued its journey which became an uphill drive, winding around residential and shopping areas of Paphos. It's an interesting ride as this bus does take you high up, and one can see locals get on and off the bus as they go about their daily tasks. I often wonder if I would like Cyprus as much as a place to live rather than holiday, bearing in mind the intense heat. The bus finally completes its journey, terminating just about opposite to the main entrance of the market. Before going into the market it's good to have a look around and take some photos of the view from here. It isn't especially scenic, but very Cypriot in essence, therefore interesting. It is a long way down! The market is an indoor one and although still hot it's cooler than outside. Many shops have fans placed around. I carried a small hand fan and wore a towelling wristband which I used often. It is that hot, even when not in the sun. It's best to seek out the shops with lots of large fans. Indeed it is much pleasanter to dawdle over your shopping in these. Once inside it's like a warren of alleyways with shops of unordered shapes and sizes. Many have multiple entrances. Sometimes it's hard to know where one shop starts and another ends. It doesn't matter much as a shopkeeper is never long in coming up to offer assistance. In Cyprus English is widely spoken and so shopping is relatively easy. And the currency of Cyprus is now the Euro. Many of the shops sell the usual tat of souvenirs. Some have household goods. I did, however, find it generally cheaper here than in stores elsewhere in the Paphos area. The market sells the usual wares: leather wallets, purse, belts and handbags, imitation designer sunglasses are to be seen in almost every shop, as are 'fake' designer tee shirts. Fridge magnets of all designs imaginable fill spaces in the shops. Some of the items are a little on the rude side and would be put well out of the way in the United Kingdom. Most of the wares are commercial; definitely catering for tourists. But there are more traditional Cypriot craft works to be found. My son and his girlfriend bought a beautiful and intricate lace work tablecloth as a present for a relative and a very pretty smaller cloth for a small table too. They also found an attractive water colour depicting an Island scene. I think the picture was a present for themselves! My daughter managed to get all her presents for friends and, of course, having been here before we haggled. You really must bargain in this market as it seems to be expected. Because of this I would think that the prices must be over the top to compensate for the reduced final price reached after bargaining. And, as I didn't think it was fair if I was left out of things, I decided to treat myself to a chain. This was supposed to be half gold and half titanium. Whatever it is, it looks like gold. As the gold chain for my cross broke just before my holiday, and I found the price of any replacement to be excessive in England, with the current price of gold, I was pleased with this purchase. You can choose the design of chain you would like (and there is a great selection) and then the length you want is measured and cut. The jeweller then fits a link and clasp onto the chain. The jewellery shops appeared very popular in the market. Again, I haggled and it wasn't difficult to obtain the chain for a lower price than was first asked for. After a couple of hours in the market we thought we were finished shopping. We were pleased with our many purchases. Emerging into the scorching sunshine we decided to try to find the restaurant where we had enjoyed a meal the year before (three out of five of us that is). We couldn't remember the name and weren't sure of the exact location so were pleased when we managed to managed to find this particular restaurant before we expired from the heat. We were seated outside but found it too hot so changed to a table within close distance of a massive fan. This managed to cool us down, a little. We all ate a very enjoyable lunch before walking across to the bus stop. On our return to our hotel we had a most welcome and refreshing swim in the pool. Our shopping trip to Paphos Municipal Market had been an enjoyable day out for all.

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