Stephan Brown, Study Abroad-Nicosia, Cyprus Week 5

“Home is where your friends are” – Miguel Olivares

     It has been over a month since I have been in Cyprus and so far I experienced little to no homesickness. Occasionally I think about my family, friends and what I used to do with them back home, but I never felt sad about any of my thoughts. During our daily bro talks, my good friend Miguel told me that, ” Home is where your friends are” .This quote made me realize that home is not just the place that you lived at all your life, home is anyone or any place that makes you happy.  Thanks to all my friends from everywhere for making me feel at home, I love you all!

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(Miguel and I)

This week was a very special week for me because I got to experience my first carnival ever in Limassol, Cyprus! Carnival is a yearly festival that happens a week before Lent in most Roman Catholic countries and includes  lots of costumes, music, dancing and drums. Majority of the Global Semesters decided to stay in Limassol from Friday to Monday and we all generally stayed in apartments that were within walking distance from each other.

Our trip to Limassol began bright and early at 8:30 am so we could pack and eat before our bus left at 10:30 am. About 2 hours later we arrived in Limassol and the first thing you notice when you get off the bus is a beautiful beach

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(Augustas from Lithuania!)

Now before I continue I would like to mention that every time we travel there is always a struggle before we reach our destination and when we leave our destination( Literally every time! LOL). After a brief moment of happiness from taking in the beauty of Limassol we realized that we had no idea where our apartment was and how far it would take to find it….and BAM! the struggle begins!.. 2 hours later, a million footsteps and many conversations with locals we finally found our apartment! (I think I literally died from dragging my luggage and walking everywhere, but I enjoyed the sights :))

Once we got settled into our room the guys and I decided to go on a hunt for food…We discovered that many restaurants do not open during the day and we ended up eating at McDonald’s (European McDonald’s taste very different from America but it was still enjoyable).

Later that day we ended up exploring the main street where we ended up stopping at a new store on every block. Our first store sold costume supplies for carnival and of course we had to stop in to try on everything,

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(Miguel rocking the Jigsaw mask)

Our next stop was a tattoo shop where Caleb and Aaron priced some of their tattoo ideas. The shop was very dark, had a demonic looking throne and an awesome guard puppy. I really wanted to take that puppy home 😦

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(Joey AKA the dog whisperer)

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(Miguel AKA King Tequila )

Later on the girls finally arrived and we all came together to explore the nightlife down in Old Port!

I also want to take the time to give a special shout out to Bethany and Abby. Bethany you are now my favorite southern bell with a heart of gold and you know how to have a hell of a good time. Abbey you are beautiful with an awesome smile and you know how to have fun as well! I am really glad that I met you girls and I look forward to all of our future adventures together! 🙂

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(Bethany, Myself and Abbey)

Old Port was filled with hundreds of people dressed in every costume you could think of. Every pub was filled to the max with people and the whole town was just one big celebration. Friday night was a successful night and it was a great start to our Carnival weekend…BTW this was the scariest clown statue that I ever saw, but we had to take a picture with it.

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    (Myself, Miguel, Aaron and Augustas)

The next day started out with all of us getting brunch at a British restaurant called Shakespeare. We all ordered the British breakfast and It felt like home when I took a bite out of the pancakes I ordered (Thanks Shakespeare for the awesome food!)

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For the rest of the day we all decided to get wine and go to the beach to enjoy the nice Mediterranean air and sea.  We were at the beach for the rest of the day and it was honestly the most peaceful thing we did all weekend :). I felt calm, peaceful and most importantly I felt happy to even be at such a beautiful place. Augustas and I also made a new feline friend at the beach as well. We named her Tiger; The cat queen of the beach!

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(Meet the King of the Go Pro and The Ice Man aka Caleb and Joey!)

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(Myself and Augustas)

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(Tiger was the nicest cat ever! Miss her already :D)

The next day and our last night in Limassol we got to experience the Carnival Parade. As we walked along side the parade we got to see thousands of people dressed in every type of costume you could imagine. All of the floats were super colorful and everyone in Limassol was filled with enough energy to power the whole country of Cyprus. The streets were filled with silly string and confetti and the music was blasting to the highest volume. My friends and I even jumped into the parade and managed to get the crowd to cheer us on and Caleb’s Go Pro made everyone want to take selfies with us.  We danced with many groups in the parade, we took pictures with everyone and Miguel even managed to ride on a float! After the parade was over the whole city center turned into one huge party with EDM music, food and lots of lights! I ended up meeting so many new people and I ran into a lot of familiar faces as well. We ended up concluding our night by laying on the beach with our Lithuanian friends were we talked about life and stared at the stars. Carnival has truly been my favorite experience so far in Cyprus and I am so sad that it is over!

Limassol Carnival 2015 will always be in my memory 🙂

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(Lithuania, Jordan, Venezuela and the United States all in one Go Pro Selfie!)

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(WE WERE IN THE PARADE!)

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 (Augustas, Aaron, Miguel, Myself)

Limassol Carnival 2015 will go down in history as the best parade/ party I ever got to experience!

P.S. For everyone who did not experience Carnival before, you need to make it a priority to go at some point during your life! It’s an unforgettable experience.

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