It all started in the winter of 1997...
My school planned a first-ever travel program for students. This concept of travel was relatively new for the students in Dubai in the late 90s era. I honestly was very excited. The school decided that travel should start with a country with a beautiful historic background, rich cultural heritage and it should be very scenic. Hence begins a journey to Cyprus.
A meeting with all the interested parents at school had already started. Travel planning, itinerary, ticketing & visas, accommodation and all things important for travel had already begun. Discussions, excitement, nervousness had reached an all-time high among the parents, school, teachers & the students. It was a very time for everyone. The teachers and the school planning a trip, the parents were nervous about letting their kids go for 2N/3D trip, the students' excitement for the journey and being nervous about not being with their parents. The adrenaline was higher; I guess higher than what we felt during exams.
Anyways moving on further, after a few days of immense planning, do's & don't's; the day arrived when we had to travel. The group travel with the school was amazing. It created a memory for life. Getting the boarding pass, clearing the security & immigration were done in a jiffy. Seriously the life & the energy in Dubai International Airport is superb. We travelled on Cyprus Airways, and after an amazing onboard experience, we finally landed at Larnaca International Airport. After clearing all the necessary formalities at the airport, collecting our luggage, we got on to the Hotel Bus. The drive from the airport to our hotel was absolutely breathtaking.
Located in the Mediterranean Sea, an island so beautiful surroundings by clear waters, the atmosphere is so serene, calm and with the Christmas festivities going on, Cyprus was stunning.
Since we travelled in December, we had to pack our winter wear. The first day was at ease, exploring the areas near the hotel on our own. Wow, that was fun !!!. The fun starts the next day when we all went for the city tour. The museum's, church, the architecture of the city, the snow-capped peaks were mesmerising. I was seeing snow for the first time, must admit I froze because I realised I didn't prep my self for the snow. Brrrr !!!
The main highlight of the trip was the rich cultural heritage that we witnessed when we set our foot in the Lefkara Village. The village folk for their traditional attire and were very humble and greeted us warmly. As we explored we got to see the beautifully embroidered laces (the hand made speciality), the traditional silver wear was a treat to the older students who had keen interest to shop. The beautiful architecture of the village and the yummy Cypriot delights were a treat to both the eyes and the tummy. On the whole, the day was well spent.
The next day, we had our journey back to Dubai, so yes emotions of a little sadness of leaving the beautiful country and the excitement of meeting our families giving them the entire account of what we saw and explored were what each and every one of us felt.
Touchdown Dubai...it's been nearly 20 years now, but it feels like just yesterday that we were having the time of our lives in Cyprus. Thank you, Cyprus for this beautiful memory and experience.