Today we embarked on our journey to Paphos for an overnight trip. We made numerous stops on our way that included some very historically astonishing sites. Our first stop was the Kourion archeological site which are the remains of the island’s most important city-kingdoms. I loved seeing and learning about the remains of the House of Eustolios which was adorned with beautiful mosaics and an intricate bathing complex. The remains are now integrated with wooden roofs and bridges so that people can enjoy the site all around. The baths were especially interesting to look at because I was trying to envision how they would have looked in their prime time with water filled and adorned with nice soaps and flowers and such. The outdoor theater was a wonder to see as well. We saw a man singing at the center and everyone heard it all throughout the theater. I was very impressed with how they must have built it to ensure that sound is heard everywhere. I love seeing impressive structures like this that were built well before and technology was available to assist the people building them. The entire site was surrounded by a cliff that served as a nice natural defense and also made for a beautiful view of the sea around it and the mountains in the back.
After the ruins, our next stop was Petra tau Ramiou, also known as Aphrodite’s rock. I loved hearing the story of her origination that accompanies that area. I thought that the legend claiming that it has powers to provide women with beauty and men with eternal life was very entertaining and I would definitely try it if given the chance. We all took some really nice pictures there and I even brought back a few nice rocks that I found. There was a large rock that everyone climbed but I decided to sit that one out because I didn’t have the right shoes nor am I a big fan of heights.
Our final destination before lunch was the Tomb of the Kings. Just thinking about the fact that I was standing in the place where high-ranking officials and aristocracy used to be buried. Unfortunately, we did not see any of the remains but it was still an incredible experience. I was also amazed by the fact that it was a monolithic structure, carved out of a single large rock.
After the tombs, we enjoyed a nice lunch at the Pelican Tavern by the Paphos Harbor. It was pretty neat that there was a live Pelican walking around the restaurant as entertainment while we ate, but a little scary too. After lunch, we headed over to the Paphos Mosaics. This was probably my favorite part of the day, as I was in awe seeing all the beautiful and intricate mosaics. It was incredible to think about the amount of time and precision that went into making these without having any tools or technology available at the time. Each told a beautiful story and truly showcased the artist’s vision and talent. I was inspired and now am planning to learn how to make mosaics, obviously much smaller than the ones we saw, over the summer.
After a day full of a lot of interesting cultural visits, thoroughly guided by our enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tour guide Dimitra, we finally arrived at our hotel in Paphos where we checked in and headed back out to explore the town.