To start off the trip to Paphos there was… a ride on the bus. But once we arrived we toured Kourion Archeological Site. We got a glance at what a Cypriot town looked like centuries ago. The bathhouse of the town was dug up and we were able to see one aspect of their day to day life. My favorite part of all of it was the amphitheater we were able to see. It was amazing to see they were able to build something that large. When I heard this was only a third of the original structure my jaw dropped. People tested out the acoustics and they sounded fantastic. Plus, being able to see the ocean behind it added to the whole experience.
Our next stop was the Birthplace of Aphrodite. This might be my new favorite place in the world. The view from the top of one of the rocks was breathtaking, even on a cloudy day. Climbing up to the top was a challenge but one well worth the wait. It’s easy to see why every ancient leader who visited fell in love with that place. It makes you feel like you’re on top of the entire world. The blue expanse that meets the horizon is inspiring and made me want to set sail and try to catch the setting sun. The water was so clear I could distinctly see rocks on the shore. I am most definitely going back to that place at some point of my life.
We then ate lunch at probably the weirdest place so far. They had this pink pelican roaming the property and it tried to “bite” someone at my table. It kept staring at me as I was trying to serve myself salad. Definitely one of the weirder experiences on the trip but the town surrounding it was lively.
Next, we went to a series of mosaics in Paphos. These were displayed in the old house of Dionysus and featured many different stories of ancient Greek mythology. We saw tales of Apollo, Poseidon, and Narcissus to name a few. There was one mosaic significantly older than the rest. It was cast in a different style which I find fascinating. It never would have occurred to me that the Romans would change the way mosaics are done. Pre-Roman mosaics were made with any black or white rock they could fine whereas for Roman mosaics the rocks were picked by their natural color and cut into cubes. It was a very interesting connection to see.
Finally, we visited the Necropolis known as the Tomb of the Kings. We walked around two of the burial chambers, one restored and one left untouched. It was so cool to see how the ancient Cypriots treated their dead because of how different it is from the way we do it.
Finally, we got to explore the town of Paphos and I got to go in the Mediterranean for a bit. The ocean was cold but very refreshing. It was also very tame which came as a surprise to me.