Sunday, 6 May 2012

Day 4 - Pafos, Cyprus

Hmmm ... an interesting day ...

Started off at the Pafos Archaeological Park ... I know, it's hard to believe that in a town known as THE "place to party", there's a UNESCO Heritage Park ... and it's utterly fabulous.

Over the centuries, Cyprus has had many "owners"; Greeks, Ottoman, Romans, Persians, Hittites, Assyrians and Egyptians - to name a few. Pafos was once the capital of Cyprus under the Egyptians as it is the closest point to Alexandria.

In the 1960's, a farmer unearthed amazing mosaics on the site ... and the whole area started to be excavated. What treasures were found ...

I met up with my guide - Mary Patroclou - who took me through the site - starting at the amazing mosaics. Just a few have been cleaned up and are in a museum "House of Dionysus" that you can actually walk through. Millions of small pieces of stone make up these mosaics in amazing colours ... all telling a story - whether it is the "four seasons" or of Narcissus. It's a spectacular exhibit ...

The "House" was once owned by a rich Roman ... and is in an area which was like the Mayfair of the country.

Then we visited the Odeon (the only one in Cyprus) where there were once music concerts held. We are talking about 4 BC to 2 AD ... a LONG TIME ago ...

The acoustics are stunning and there is one place where you stand where your voice can "carry" to the whole Odeon. (Amphitheatre is a whole theatre, theatre is "half" a theatre - both for plays - and an odeon is for music). There is still a huge amount of excavating to do ... but when it's finished ... I am coming back!

After that informative and educational morning - we headed into the Mediterranean for some scuba diving.

We went to the Amphorae Caves - 12 metres down ... with Cydive - the number one diver company in Cyprus ...

The dive lasted around 30 minutes and we dived through two small caves - one which had amphorae (wine pots) embedded in the ceiling - how they got there nobody knows ...

We have sadly checked out of the Almyra and are now further north up the coast in the village of Latchi -- staying in one of my favourite resorts in Europe ... more tomorrow!

With Mary
The story of Narcissus in mosaic
Front & Centre in the Odeon
"Friends, Romans, Countrymen ... lend me your ears ... "

Lovely George from the Almyra - farewell, my friend!
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