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38 English Bridge April 2016 www.ebu.co.uk

BILL Gardner, a regular attendee at the EBU's

Overseas Congress, has given us a wonderful

insight into the latest trip. Thank you Bill.

The Cyprus Congress was the EBU's 26th

overseas meeting, and l can boast going to 22 of

them. I have been able to play this wonderful game

in many places that l would otherwise never have

visited, and get green points in the warmth while

doing so. Thank you to whoever originally thought

the idea had legs.

The hotel was excellent, nicely placed beside a

pretty beach. Our rooms were very good and the

food was wonderful. Those who know me will

understand that the success of a congress is partly

determined by the number of greens won, but also

by the amount of food eaten, and for this, greens

don't count. The breakfasts were good, although I

do wish that foreign hotels would get proper bacon

and proper sausages - you know, the ones with meat

in. But the hotel had two people making wonderful

omelettes to order, and there were other staff frying

eggs. No nasty trays of 20 or 30 eggs baking under

the hot lamps for hours which you could use to sole

your shoes. The evening meals provided up to 20

main dishes a night with few repeats. In fact the

food gets a Bill Gardner rating of 4.5 to 4.75 stars

out of 5. Together with the first Madeira Congress,

this was the best for food.

The bridge room had excellent views of the sea

and the hotel staff were quick to supply drink

orders. One anonymous table had just ordered two

double gins and tonic which were delivered in huge

glasses. One of the customers suggested that he

hadn't wanted the tonic added as he was very

precise with the ratio of gin to tonic. The waitress

handed him a tonic and explained that the huge

measures were gin only. The drinks were wellpriced

as the measures were excellent.

Now to the bridge. This was run extremely well by

David and his team of Marilyn and Neil, with Peter

acting as congress manager. The bridge went well

for all sessions bar one, when the Bridgemates

failed. Luckily, Neil's wife Magic Fingers Winnie was

around to type in the scores from travellers, just like

old times.

The one disappointment was fewer tables. Was

this because it was the third time that the EBU has

been to Cyprus? l am aware that a number of people

have objected to the EBU's idea of having just three

or four winter venues and a similar number of

summer venues. I find it strange as some objectors

are the same people who I see year after year at the

Jersey Congress, and Jersey is a tiny island compared

to Cyprus.

My partner Dr Nes and I wanted to go to

Northern Cyprus for the day and there were several

shops offering trips. Despite a number of locals

trying to put us off going over the border it was a

very good outing. If the EBU does follow its policy

to limit the number of venues, then this hotel has

the Bill Gardner seal of approval. r

2016 Overseas Bridge in Cyprus

Photos by Winnie Morley

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