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Pole to Pole

Day 50: Limassol and Akrotiri

Limassol, Cyprus 
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The Polycarpu wedding.
Michael Palin - Pole to PoleSeeing families around the swimming-pool of our hotel reminds me of the summer holidays our family have enjoyed and the one I'm missing at the moment. Basil, detecting a sniff of homesickness, cheers me up with an account of a local festival he dropped in to see last night at which he witnessed the crowning of Miss Grape 1992. Her prize was £15 worth of chicken and a large fish.

There is a copy of the Sunday Times in the hotel - the first up-to-date English newspaper I've seen for two months. Gorbachev is to disband the Communist Party. The Ukraine and Estonia have declared independence. I have to read it again to believe it. Only ten days ago we were in the Ukraine, which even optimists thought would not see independence for thirty or forty years, and in a Soviet Union whose existence was inseparable from communism. Only five days ago the country was led by a group of hard-line generals. The USSR has blown up in spectacular fashion.

We are to spend this afternoon with the British forces at the RAF base in Akrotiri. Here very little has changed, or that's how it seems. There is a water shortage, which means that pitches have to be watered with 'treated effluent', i.e. sewage, but there is still polo and cricket and cream teas and brass bands.
Limassol, Cyprus 
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The Polycarpu wedding.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 50
  • Country/sea: Cyprus
  • Place: Akrotini
  • Book page no: 110

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