Monday, 24 January 2011
Here I am in Pafos waiting for my birthday!
And as I am here I thought, that this week, I would share some of the magic of Pafos with you.
If you are wondering where Pafos is, it is in Cyprus and Cyprus is an island situated in the Mediterranean Sea. It is also a divided island and occupied by both the Greeks and the Turks. The Attila Line (known more commonly as the 'Green Line' because it was drawn across the map in green ink) is the boundary separating the North (Turkish) part from the South (Greek) side. A wall and barbed wire divide the capital of Nicosia.
Pafos is on the coast in the Greek part of the island. It is seeped in history. The top photo, taken in Kato (lower) Pafos shows the excavation site of the 4th century AD Christian basilica. Amongst the ruins there are mosaics, Corinthian capitals and columns of green and white marble imported from Greece. One of the columns (seen left of centre and by the wall ) is described as St. Paul's Pillar where the apostle was whipped 39 times for preaching the Gospel - more than three hundred years before the marble reached Cyprus. The church is the 15th century, Ayia Kyriki church where Catholic and Anglican services are held.
The next two photographs are of the medieval Fort and the fourth photograph was taken while I was enjoying a boat trip (on my last visit in November) and shows the walk along the harbour. Beyond the trees is the Byzantyne Castle or the Saranda Kolones (40 columns), names after the number of columns found during excavation. An archway of this castle can be seen in between the trees. This castle is now in a World Heritage site which also houses an Odeon, a reconstructed 2nd century ampitheatre, and the Pafos Mosaics. The Mosaics are decorated floors in Roman Villas, the House of Dionysos and the House of Theseus.
The Upper town or Ktima Pafos is on the hill looking down on the harbour and is where schools, businesses and the old market can be found.
This week has been hectic but great fun. On Monday, I went up to the old town and wandered round the market meeting old friends. On Tuesday I walked down to the harbour, shopped, had a coffee and met my good friend Boris, the artist. he does such wonderful paintings of Pafos. On Wednesday we (I'm travelling with the SAGA holiday company this time) went on a little excursion to Polis, Latchi and the Baths of Afrodite. I first visited those baths over 10 years ago and they have not changed. At that time my friend described it as a large puddle and it still is; I think I was expecting far too much or maybe these Baths are overrated. Yesterday, I went on the local bus to Coral Bay which is sadly deserted at the moment. Cyprus, like everywhere else is suffering from the economic crisis. Tourists are not flocking here in such great numbers as they were a few years ago and many things have closed down either permanently or until later this month. Even, the sunshine has deserted us this week and I only managed to occupy a sunlounger by the pool on Wednesday afternoon. Hopefully, the sun will return next week.
Tomorrow, we are taking a trip to Nicosia and this time we will be able to walk across to the Turkish side which is an indication of how things are improving between the Greeks and the Turks over here.
Next week, I will be visiting Omodhos and Lania and hopefully the sun will return and I can occupy the lounger with a good book. It is also Valentine's Day so do pop along and find out something of the history of this magic day.
Thought for the week: Life is what you make it!