Weekend Relaxation

The last two days were my favorite of the trip so far… no business clothes were required on our visit to some beautiful tourist locations. We started off the day by picking up our tour guide (who was the sweetest, most knowledgable woman I’ve met here) and proceeded on our way to the ancient archaeological site of Kourion. Along the bus ride, she gave us some information about the plants, towns, and historical sites that we passed, which I personally enjoyed because I’ve been curiously looking out the large bus windows this entire trip.

We arrived at Kourion and made our way toward the theatre, which was a large, outdoor performance arena that fit over 6,000 people at its fullest capacity. Standing in the very center spot on the stage, you could hear your voice echo all throughout. After looking around, we continued on to the House of Eustolius, which featured beautiful tile work on the floors, and our guide did a wonderful job at explaining the meaning of the artwork and its connection to the Christian religion. I appreciated the large depiction of Ktisis holding a balance, which was a message to practice balance and moderation in life. Also, I enjoyed seeing such the water drainage system and remains of early clay piping. We finished up at Kourion and left for the location I had been most excited for since the beginning of the trip… Aphrodite’s Rock.

On the way, our guide told us to think of a wish to ask of Aphrodite while there, so I spent that time searching my mind for the perfect request. We walked down to the beach, and I was suprised to see how many rocks there actually were in that location… I didn’t actually know which one was Aphrodite’s Rock until the guide pointed it out to me. A few people climbed up the biggest rock, which I’m sure would have been a great view, but I was scared of making the climb in flip-flops. After making my wish and grabbing a few rocks, we got back on the bus and left for our third location.

At the Tombs of the Kings, we were actually able to walk down into each tomb and look around inside, which I found to be a little spooky and creepy, but other people really enjoyed it. There was also an area with a lot of stones balanced on top of each other, so I went and added a small stack to the preexisting ones. After a long morning, it was finally time for us to eat lunch.

We went to a place called The Pelican by the beach where they had, you’ll never guess, an actual pelican walking around by the tables while we were eating; I’ve never seen one up close like that and was surprised how large it was (I couldn’t help but think about the pelican in Finding Nemo). After a quick meal and some time to walk around the boardwalk, we met up with the group for a tour of the House of Dionysus, which again featured beautiful stonework on the ground. Our guide did a wonderful job at explaining the mythological stories represented in the artwork and even pointed out some of the details that enhanced the story, such as Cupid’s downturned umbrella suggesting a negative ending to a love story.

After a busy morning, we left our guide and went to a hotel in Paphos for the night. Since there was a pool, I needed to go in and try it out… the water was freezing so that didn’t last long. Afterward, I went out for dinner and had pizza with a smaller group. We finished eating, walked the boardwalk, and went back to the hotel for a movie night. It was a fun day, and I was able to get some extra rest that night.

We were able to sleep in a little later the following day and went down to breakfast around 9:30; I really enjoyed a change from eating the same hotel breakfast back in Nicosia. The weather was beautiful and perfect for a day at the beach, so we packed up all of our stuff and checked out. After a short walk down to the water, I laid out in the sun for a while (maybe a little too long…) and then left for a quick lunch before returning back to Nicosia. My sunburn started to worsen as the bus ride went on, and when I looked at my shoulders in the mirror, I knew I was gonna be hurting. That’s okay… I had a great time and was happy to have a relaxing weekend spent in Paphos.

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