The weekend started with a beautiful tour of the history of the island. The first place we stopped were some Greek ruins near the coast of Limassol. Since my childhood Greek mythology had always held a special place for me, largely because of the Percy Jackson books. This is why it was so awesome for me to experience these parts of history. The first place we experienced was an ancient house next to an outdoor amphitheater. It was amazing to think that I was sitting in seats that Creeks sat on many centuries ago.
After the ruins, we traveled to Aphrodite’s rock. Our tour guide, Georgina, gave us the entire mythological story behind the goddess of love’s origin story, which was nice as I needed a refresher on some fine details. We got to climb the rock, and the scene was magical. The water surrounding the rock was some of the clearest I had seen thus far, which is saying something while in Cyprus. Also, it was pretty cloudy, which actually set the scene better in my opinion as it made the ocean and other features of the rock stand out. I sat upon Aphrodites rock for as long as I could and of course made my wish.
Next stop: ancient tombs. The tombs spanned a large area near the coast and it was very cool too see the ruins from above ground and below ground. All the tombs were excavated, which created an eerie atmosphere.
Next, we stopped at the pelican for lunch in Pafos. To all of our surprises, the first thing we saw when we walked up to the restaurant was a giant pink pelican! We came to learn that this pelican was a pet of the restaurant, and they have had their own personal pelican since the 70s. The pelican was extremely docile, and we even got some pictures with it. Then we ate our delicious food while also discussing our days in traditional Cypriot fashion.
After lunch, we visited The house of Dionysus. This ancient house is famous for its mosaics all over the floor of the house, depicting Greek myths my favorite being the story of Narcissus. While walking to and from the house, we learned from our tour guide, Georgina, about the wildlife of Cyprus, such as wild asparagus, olives, and the famous Carab tree.
After this busy day, it was finally time to check into our hotel. While everyone was getting checked in, however, i had to visit a local Cypriot hospital to have doctors check out a bite from one of the local cats I received the day prior (It was 100 percent my fault the cat is innocent). Although unfortunate, not many people can say they have visited a hospital abroad, so it was definitely an experience that will stick with me.
Once I was back, thanks to some great planning, around 20 of us walked to the harbor of Pafos for a two hour boat journey. We sailed the coastline of Pafos and experienced some amazing views before stopping at an island to swim. As the sun set, we floated in the Mediterranean, soaking up the experiences we were having. The boat tour was definitely one of my highlights of my trip, and something i will remember forever.
The next morning, we had our much needed beach day. We all woke up pretty early and enjoyed our day playing soccer, swimming and tanning. We returned back to Nicosia around 4, and then my friends and I decided to try and catch a Cyprus soccer match between Nicosia and Famagusta. Our spontaneous trip seemed to be going great as we arrived to the stadium on time, but we quickly learned that we could not buy tickets because we did not have a fan card, a card with an application process designed to reduce violence at soccer games. While this was a bummer, in our negotiations we did get to hear a gaol from outside the stadium. Nothing compares to the energy soccer fans bring, and it was cool we at least got a part of that experience.