Saturday, January 31, 2009
This is what Jessica would get for free in Cyprus (maybe 7 treatments). If we see a real change we may try to get her treatment in Germany. If we can not afford it, because they do have it here we would consider going to Cyprus again for the full 8 week recommended protocol. Juergen would maybe go for 4 weeks, then I would go for 4 more weeks. We could rent a very cheap apartment and take Jessica everyday to have her therapy. Just a dream. We will see. I'm just so happy we may be able to try it. I never expected such a gift! The sad reality is insurance probably will not cover this therapy for autism. It would probably cost us less money to go to Cyprus and have it there.
I got an e-mail from the diving school in Cyprus. They said Jessica could use their oxygen chamber for free. They would arrange it with their doctor. Isn't that great!!! Nicole is excited about taking diving lessons. The other kids are so fixed in the now I think they can not comprehend what we are planning. They wanted chocolate milk for breakfast. I said no. They whined. When Juergen said do you want to see the house we are going to rent in Cyprus, they said no. They have to cry about their milk first. There has got to be a spiritual lesson there.
Friday, January 30, 2009
I'm just putting this here for myself and my brother Rick to look at. These are ideas of things to do with the kids in Northern Cyprus. They have diving schools for kids. They take the kids down 30 meters. That sounded really cool! What also sounds interesting to me is one of these schools has a HOC(oxygen chamber). I wonder what they would charge me to take Jessica into the chamber once a day for a week? This is a very good autism treatment. Maybe Juergen could go dive with the kids while Jessica and I breath oxygen under pressure? If Jessica gets oxygen therapy and 12 days of sunshine (vitamin D) she will be so happy & healthy.
ice skating – a new ice rink has opening in Nicosia near the Ataturk Stadium, call ahead to check opening times on +90 392 225 5378.
Go-karting – the ZET International Karting Circuit is just outside Nicosia, you can call them on +90 533 866 6173 for directions and to book yourself in.
Castle climbing – Kantara, Kyrenia, St. Hilarion and Buffavento are all exciting castles with gory histories to explore; there are many scary precipices and lofty heights to scale so that children bored by history and historical places can find something to keep them occupied anyway!
Cinemas – the majority of cinemas in North Cyprus show films in their original versions with Turkish subtitles. There’s the Galleria cinema in Kyrenia (tel. +90 392 815 9433) and the Lemar cinema in Karaoglanoglu (tel. +90 392 822 3565) or alternatively you can ask The Rocks Hotel in Kyrenia (tel. +90 392 815 2238)
Beach clubs – there are beach clubs springing up all over the island and all beach clubs have various activities for kids so check the local paper or call ahead and find out what will be happening on a given day – try of the following: -
Camelot Beach Club – Alsancak – tel. +90 392 821 1369
Escape Beach Club – Alsancak – tel. +90 392 821 8084, 8330
Mosquito Beach Club – Alsancak – tel. +90 533 863 4191
Vogue Beach Club- Catalkoy – tel. +90 533 863 4191
Kids clubs – the larger, more family orientated hotels and resorts have ‘kids clubs’ where residents can offload their children for the day safe in the knowledge that they will be entertained and well looked after. Contact your travel agent for details of which hotels offer these facilities.
Water parks – Acapulco (tel.+90 392 824 44) and Oscar (tel. +90 392 815 4801) hotels both have fantastic water parks for residents and non-residents. They have slides, huge pools, flumes and even organised daily pool and poolside activities for children in the summer. Additionally there is a dedicated water park in Catalkoy called Octopus (tel. +90 392 853 96 74)
Learn to dive – there are dive centres all over North Cyprus and all the main hotels either have their own dive schools or can arrange for your children to be taken daily to a nearby dive school. Your kids can do a trial dive before you sign up to a full course to make sure they really do want to go ahead and learn. Make sure any instructor is fully qualified though, and ask to see the dive school’s accreditation and insurance!
Paint balling – at SunSet Beach in Lapta you can go paint balling, they also have many other fun activities for you and your children and offer membership options from 2 weeks to 6 months so why not call them for full details before you even arrive in North Cyprus and have a full entertainment itinerary planned for the whole family? Tel. +90 533 865 4959.
Paragliding – if your children are thrill seekers and fancy jumping off a mountain try Highline Paragliding tel. +90 542 855 5672.
Wake boarding – contact SunSet Beach in Lapta - tel. +90 533 865 4959.
Boat trips – go to the harbour in Kyrenia and take your pick, there are many companies offering a whole array of boat trips.
Horse riding – try the Catalkoy Riding Club tel. +90 392 824 4030
Dog walking – go up to the Kyrenia Animal Rescue Centre near Buffavento Castle in Arapkoy between 9am and 1pm and take a muttley for a well earned stroll.
Cycling – you can hire bikes from many of the main hotels in North Cyprus or try Holication Travel in Karakum. Tel. +90 392 815 0516
Quad biking – try Kid’s Quads – tel. +90 533 876 1863 or Northern Heights Quad Tours, tel. +90 533 868 5711
Fishing trips – the Amanda Suzanne offers fishing trips tel. +90 533 842 9965 or +90 533 877 9607
Games workshop - Charmed Craft & Gift Shop in Ozankoy, tel. +90 392 815 2853
Golf – you have the CMC Golf Club near Guzelyurt tel. +90 533 840 1798 or +90 542 851 3884 or the brand new and seriously flash Korineum Golf & Country Club in Esentepe tel. +90 392 600 1500 to find out about rates for rounds and maybe even a few lessons
And a final couple of idea to keep the children entertained during your well earned holiday in North Cyprus, how about archery in Catalkoy, tel. +90 533 846 7463 or bowling in Nicosia, tel. +90 392 223 2388?
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Offshore, the famous sea turtles of North Cyprus mingle with a fantastic range of fish that draw divers from around the world. These splendid creatures come ashore on the golden beaches in May to lay their eggs, about 40 cm down, before carefully re-covering them with sand and heading back out to sea. Then, two months later, in July, baby turtles hatch through their leathery eggs and dig their way to the surface before scuttling out to sea to meet their parents.
Modern developments have driven the turtles from all but a few of their nesting sites in the rest of the Mediterranean, but the quieter bays of North Cyprus and the Turkish shoreline offer breeding sanctuaries for the 300 green turtles and around a thousand loggerhead and caretta caretta turtles that live in the region. It is impossible not to be in awe of these fantastic creatures and the beauty of their natural habitat.
Turtle Watching on Alagadi Beach
Indeed, as well as nesting on approximately 88 sandy beaches around Girne, on the Karpaz Peninsula and Gazimağusa Bay, Alagadi Turtle Beach, east of Girne, is dedicated a specially protected area for these endangered Green and Loggerhead Turtles. The Ministry of Environment of North Cyprus works together with The Centre for Ecology and Conservation at The University of Exeter in Cornwall to monitor these creatures and work for their survival. The Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT) also works with teams from British universities to study nesting sites and release baby turtles securely into the sea at this “Turtle HQ”. You too can watch and help the turtles at Alagadi beach, join the SPOT team on their nightly surveys of hatching activity
Turtle Protection in Northern Cyprus
In an effort to protect the turtles, the Department of Environmental Protection has introduce measures between the months of May to October, prohibiting access to any beach between 10pm and 8am, as well as forbidding fires or lights on the beach and use of a speedboat within one mile of the shoreline. These safety measures also warn against throwing plastic bags into the sea, as the turtles can mistake them for jellyfish and die as they try to eat them.
Cyprus relies on Tourists for 50% of their economy. The tourists are not coming in the normal numbers. There are so many beautiful villas to rent at very good prices. When you travel with a party of 8 a villa is much cheaper then a hotel. Juergen is getting very picky about just what he wants for a vacation home. I think we are starting to settle on Northern Cyprus. The views are so amazing, and the villas so much larger and private then the very popular South. I have inquired about a few places. I like this one the best. I don't know if it is available but it has a nice web site. You can get a virtual tour. My favorite spot is the sun porch on the 2nd floor (1st floor if you are in Europe). The view is wonderful and I could just see Rick and Nicole painting there. This house also has a private beach. Imagine...a private beach on the Mediterranean. So I am waiting for an answer from the owner. If not this house then one almost as nice. What a privilege and joy to plan this amazing trip!
UP DATE - It is not available but I may have found something else that is very nice (understatement).
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Now this is the North part of the island. It is the Turkish side. It has fewer tourists and cost allot less then the South Greek side. They say that the North has a water shortage. I'm not sure how bad that is? Has anyone been to the North of Cyprus? Would you recommend it? I personally love to go to places that are less touristy. When I walk on a beach I don't like to step on people.
Thomas got a 1.5 on a German test this week. He was getting 4's and 5's on his German tests last year. We are so proud of the progress he is making!
Nicole made a giant pinata for a Spanish school festival this next weekend. She still wants to touch it up with some gold. I had to show it off! It's stuffed with candy. She has already got a rope on it, and painted the rope to match the sun. Pretty cool.
SAP is going to lay off 3,000 people. I think Juergen is safe but I'm not 100% sure. I am very sorry for everyone everywhere that has lost a job, or lives with the fear of being laid off. Juergen and I first got married during a recession. He had just finished his PhD but couldn't find work as a typing teacher. It was pretty difficult. You feel pretty helpless when you are not sure you will be able to pay your rent. Now we have a house mortgage and 5 growing kids. By the grace of God Juergen will continue as a fully employed worker. I always knew this global slow down would hit close to home. Like I said I think he is safe but maybe not.
Yesterday Juergen was saying we should pay less. Today he says we should pay even more to get more. We will be in Cyprus for Juergens 50Th birthday. He now wants a view of the sea. I got a good offer on the cute stone house in the mountains, but it doesn't have a view. A view is important to Juergen. He loves to look out on a wide landscape. I guess it's the feeling of freedom...total freedom. My brother Rick is an artist, and so is Nicole. I would love a view that they could paint. In fact the thought of my brother painting with my daughter is really awesome to me! She could learn so much from her talented Uncle! So I am probably going to turn down the village stone house (sad). I am back on line searching for a view (with 4 bedrooms and a pool) that we can afford! The good news is I have the airline tickets. I have 4 months to find the perfect vacation house!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I'm so happy about our planned trip to Cyprus. I never thought we would do anything close to this this year. I was on-line for two days trying to get a cheaper price. I saved us 40% on everything. The house was even 60% cheaper then another house I had been looking at. My brother told my dad he could get the days off work. He plans to come. I got you a ticket Rick, so you have to come now. Really I think God is just blessing us with this trip because he wants to bless my brother. He has had a very difficult few years. Things are finally beginning to turn around for him, and we get to tag along on his "trip of a life time"!
Here is a little information about the small village we hope to stay in. I write this for my brother Rickey because he may jon us there. For the rest of you it's just free information. Can you hear my joy? I feel like dancing! My heart dances just thinking about going to this beautiful land...
"Half way on the road from Nicosia or Larnaca to Limassol the white Lefkara hills catch the attention. The name Lefkara is attributed to the light color, almost white, limestone (Lefka ori – white mountains). The picturesque villages of Pano Lefkara, Kato Lefkara and Kato Drys are perched in these southern foothills of the Troodos mountains, 10Km from the Nicosia-Limassol highway and a short distance from the beach and the cities of Nicosia , Limassol and Larnaca. Once an administrative center with a population of more than 5000 at the beginning of the 20th century, Pano Lefkara today has a population of about 1000 and boasts a unique architecture that remains to this day. The stone-built houses are separated by narrow winding streets. Occasionally a balcony, with flowers hanging over the narrow street, joins the upper levels of the houses. Places to see in Lefkara are the Church of the Holy cross in the center of the village, the Handicraft museum and the Wax museum. Lefkara is a popular destination for day visits, but remains quiet and almost undiscovered for longer stays. Yet, there is accommodation in Lefkara, restaurants and coffee shops. According to folklore, Leonardo Da Vinci visited the village and bought an altar cloth, which he later then donated to the Milan cathedral."
I've spent way too much time on the internet looking for a vacation house we could afford in Cyprus. I think I found one. I just need the OK from Juergen to book it!
UPDATE: The house did it!!! I just booked the flight and Praise God we are all going. It is a 3 1/2 hour direct flight, but with the time change we get to Cyprus at 2am. I hope I can get us a rental car at that hour! What a dream!!! I even saved 800€ on our very cheap tickets.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
My brother Rickey might come to see us in May. Maybe Rick and I can go to Cyprus for a few days (say 5 days) and then hang out in Germany with my family the rest of the time. We could even take a weekend trip to Paris. It would save my family allot of money, and I still get to go to the wedding in Cyprus. What do you think Rick? Sort of the see Germany, France and Greek Cyprus in 14 days package. Not so relaxed but fun! I would want you (Rickey) to paint a mural on my garage door. Something with dandelions blowing in the wind.
Cyprus is an island that is divided between the Turks in the North and the Greeks in the South. I think the North looks really nice, but it's guarded by UN peacekeepers and it has a water shortage. No wonder the vacation houses are so cheep! Juergen says he would feel better about going to the Greek South. It is part of the EU. So now I am looking at the South. It cost more. You don't get the space (it looks crowded). I did find one very cool looking villa with a pool. I emailed the owner to see what it cost. It's probably a case of "if you have to ask you can not afford it". When you are a family of 7, you have to ask about the cost! You can get a flight to Cyprus from Germany for under 300€. That is a great price…but again, we have 7 people!
Friday, January 23, 2009
My sister says my comment box is broken. I will try to fix it. In the mean time look at these pictures of Northern Cyprus. I am looking at vacation houses in the area of Kyrenia. I found some for about 400 Euro per week (villas with private pools and 4 to 5 bedrooms). Now that's value! I also found out that it's cheaper for us to rent two small cars then one mini van. I still don't know if we will go, but I think I can get us there for a two week family vacation and stay within our vacation budget. A good friend is getting married there in May, and Juergen has his 50Th birthday the beginning of June. Wouldn't it be cool to spend his birthday in Cyprus? Rickey (my brother) are you coming to visit us? Do you want to go to Cyprus for two weeks? I am dreaming, and just two days ago I had zero vision!
We got a wedding invitation from a very good friend. The wedding takes place at the end of May on the island of Cyprus. Now I don't know if we can go, but I've just spent the last hour looking at vacation homes. That will cheer a person up. How beautiful! I want to be warm!!!