It’s Carnival Time!!! Hoorah!!

The Bunting was hanging right down the Coral Bay Strip when we went to dinner last night – WHY I asked, what’s happening I asked Stavros, only to be told it was Carnival Time in Cyprus, and the festivities all related to the Greek Orthodox Easter.

After some research on my faithful laptop it seems that because of Easter falling on April 8, 2018 it is the earliest Orthodox Easter for the last eight years, a date which won’t be equalled again until 2029. Which means in Cyprus we’re about to hit one of the most decadent fortnights of the year… Count back the 40 days of Lent, allow another 14 or so for the upcoming festive period, and – fanfare please – it’s Carnival time!

Shops have been full with thousands of fancy dress costumes, more than I have ever seen in the UK for Hallowe’en, with every costume and mask imaginable.  It seems that Cyprus takes its Carnivals very seriously.

It seems that Limassol is the true home of the Cyprus Carnival; even as far back as the 70s, local revelries were described as “two whole weeks during which the people of Limassol do little else other than party every single day, drinking, dancing and staying up all night. There’s lots of fun, practical jokes, and some love-making: the three elements which the people of Limassol live and breathe during the days of the Carnival.”

These days, little has changed there is 14 days of parades, parties, dances, competitions, exhibitions and serenades enticing thousands to the town. 

Having never been to one of the carnivals it was the ideal opportunity especially when Kate (Phill’s lovely daughter) was visiting and it was right on our doorstep in Coral Bay to get out there amongst the crowds to support all the local businesses that were taking part.  The Coral Bay Strip was closed for the day and the music from the many speakers strategically placed down the strip made for an amazing carnival atmosphere.  

Lots of photographs were being taken by families and friends of the amazing floats that had been created and the atmosphere was buzzing.  It seemed that everyone was participating on one way or another.  Kate and I really enjoyed seeing the kids all dressed up and dancing.

This took my back to my childhood where there was the Carnival in Ayrshire where they had the floats going through the town and they crowned the carnival queen and everyone knew everyone in the community. 

What an amazing day with streamers and spray foam and string!! Who knows we could be on the float next year – keep an eye out !!

———♥♥♥———

“Chuggy” can stay !!

Yippee we have now received confirmation that ‘Chuggy’ our Jeep Grand Cherokee can stay in Cyprus without having to pay the €12,000 emissions tax which is charged in Cyprus when bringing a car into the country.

It had always been my intention to bring Chuggy here to live. After all it had four doors, air-conditioning and tinted windows. So it was a great car to drive if going any distance and if there were more than 2 of you.

We discovered on the last day before leaving the UK with Chuggy that we would be charged around €12,000. However we also learned that one person can bring a car to Cyprus and provided they are living in Cyprus and that the car has belonged to the person for more than 6 months that the emissions duty can be avoided on production of an assortment of papers required by Customs. It has taken 8 months to get the letter confirming acceptance otherwise Chuggy would be on another ship bound for the UK holiday for him over.

Our first stop the other day was the Customs Office who advised us that we had to first of all go to the Ministry of Transport to get a form stating the car’s emissions which they take from the UK Log Book. Also as I’ve never registered a car in my name I needed to obtain an ‘A’ number (owner identification reference). Once this was issued and we had the necessary forms relating to the emissions we had to go to the Clearing Agent who clears the car through customs. Oops forgot to say that in advance of going to the clearing agent we had to go to the post office to get 2 x €1 stamps and at the same time I got 2 x €2 stamps which would be used later during the car registration process.

The car had been cleared and we returned to Customs to provide the confirmation that the car had been cleared to be brought into the country and that we had an exemption from paying emissions. One thing the log book didn’t have was the engine number so once the car has been registered we need to return to Customs to provide this information.

All that done and we were onto the next step which is to have the car MOT’d which is going to be tomorrow. MOTs are done once every 2 years in Cyprus at a cost of approximately €35.

Next week we will take the car to be registered and pay the annual tax which is circa €960 (and the 2 x €2 stamps).  Chuggy will then lose his UK identity 😂😂😂 and become a Cypriot 🇨🇾 for a while. You can see he is definitely getting used to looking for shade when he stops.