13.04.2016 – AT PAPHOS

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WE MEETING IN THE MORNING FOR BREAKFAST.

THE RESTAURANT IN THE HOTEL HAS A FRONT TOTALLY OPENED FACING THE MAIN STREET. THIS CREATES A FEELING OF SPACE IN THIS AREA, WHICH INCLUDES A BUFFET BREAKFAST COUNTER AS WELL AS A BAR WITH HIGH STOOLS. A FEW TABLES ARE ALSO PLACED OUTSIDE.

THE BREAKFAST SELECTION INCLUDES MUESLI, TWO TYPES OF CHEESE, MEATS, SLICED TOMATOES AND CUCUMBERS AND OLIVES. THERE IS ALSO JUICE, TEA AND COFFEE AND SOME PASTRIES FOR DESERT.

AFTER BREAKFAST WE HAVE “TRICKED” RUDYS TO COME TO OUR ROOM. IT WAS THEIR FOURTH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. A WEDEL’S TORTE AND A CANDLE WERE A GOOD SUBSTITUTE FOR A WEDDING CAKE, PLUS SOME “BUBBLES” I HAVE SECRETLY BOUGHT LAST NIGHT. A QUICK WEDDING TOAST AND IT WAS TIME TO VISIT PAPHOS. THE CITY IS WELL KNOWN SINCE ANCIENT TIMES, AND IT EVEN WAS A CAPITAL OF THE ISLAND AT ITS HAY DAYS. IT WAS THE PLACE OF WORSHIP OF APHRODITE. THE CITY IS ON THE OFFICIAL UNESCO LIST OF CULTURAL AND NATURAL TREASURES OF THE WORLD’S HERITAGE.

THE FIRST OBJECT WE VISITED WAS THE AYIA KYRIAKI CHRYSOPOLITISSA CHURCH, SURROUNDED BY SEVERAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES ACCESSIBLE THROUGH SMALL OVERPASSES. NEXT  IS THE WATERFRONT WITH SEVERAL YACHTS AND ALL SORTS OF BOATS BERTHED THERE. A BIG FORTRESS BUILT TO PROTECT THE PORT DURING THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE RULE IS DOMINATING THE AREA. THE FORT WAS REBUILT BY CONSEQUENT RULERS OF PAPHOS AND CYPRUS – IT LOOKS IMPOSING FROM OUTSIDE, BUT NOT SO INTERESTING INSIDE.

THE BIGGEST ATTRACTION OF PAPHOS ARE THEIR MOSAICS. THE ENTRY TO THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK IS 4€50 p/p. THIS PARK IS HUGE WITH NUMEROUS RUINS OF TEMPLES, HOUSES, BATHHOUSES AND A THEATRE. THE MOSAICS ARE ATTRACTING THE MOST INTEREST. HOUSE OF DIONYSOS, AION, ORPHEUS AND THE THESEUS‘S VILLA ARE AMAZING.

THE MOSAIC IN DIONYSOS HOUSE COVERS 2000 m2 OF THE FLOOR AREA. IN THE AION’S HOUSE THE MOSAICS DEPICT GREEK MYTHOLOGY, IN DIONYSOS HOUSE A SCENE OF TRIUMPHANT PROCESSION OF DIONYSOS , PERSONIFICATIONS OF FOUR SEASONS, PICTURE OF DAFFODIL  AND SEVERAL OTHER IMAGES FROM MYTHOLOGY, ANIMALS AND BIRDS. PEOPLE SHOWED HUGE ADMIRATION AND APPRECIATION OF THE ART.

WHO WERE THE ARTISTS AND CRAFTSMEN WHO SELECTED COLOURS OF THE MOSAICS, THE TYPE OF STONES AND GLASS? WHO DESIGNED THE PAINTINGS – THEIR VARIOUS PART? WHO WERE THE ARTISTS, WHO WERE ABLE TO USE THOSE SIMPLE ELEMENTS AND CREATE IMAGES, MOVEMENTS, SMILES, ANGER AND POUR LIFE INTO THEIR CREATIONS?

IT TAKES LOTS OF TIME TO SEE ALL THOSE MARVELS OF ANCIENT TIMES. THE MAP OF THE TERRAIN OBTAINED AT THE ENTRY IS VERY HELPFUL. THERE IS ALSO A VERY GOOD SIGNAGE IN THE SITE.

WE RETURNED TO THE HOTEL AFTER A FEW HOURS; OUR “YOUNG COUPLE” ARE HUNGRY, SO WE STARTED TO SAMPLE SOME OF THE  FOOD FROM YESTERDAY’S SHOPPING ON OUR BALCONY. IT WAS DECIDED TO EXTEND OUR STAY IN PAPHOS FOR ANOTHER DAY. IT WAS THANKS TO A BIT OF GOOD LUCK AND VERY HELPFUL STAFF OF THE HOTEL, THAT IT WAS ALL ARRANGED QUICKLY. THE STAFF IN THE HOTEL IS VERY HELPFUL AND POLITE. WE RESTED FOR A WHILE AND WENT OUT.

PAPHOS - IN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK

PAPHOS – IN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK

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WE ARE GOING FOR DINNER TO A TAVERN IN UPPER PAPHOS. THE FULL NAME IS 7 ST. GEORGES TAVERN. THIS EATERY IS RECOMMENDED BY LP. I LIKE THEIR SUGGESTIONS. APART OF A SMALL NUMBER OF EXCEPTIONS, e.g. THE PLACE HAS A DIFFERENT ADDRESS OR IT IS NOT AS GOOD AS DESCRIBED, THEIR OPINIONS ARE GENERALLY SPOT ON AND THE FOOD IS NICE.

IT IS ABOUT 4 km DISTANCE FROM OUR HOTEL TO THE TAVERN. HOWEVER, WE CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT A WALK TO THE RESTAURANT WOULD DO US GOOD. NOT ONLY WOULD WE CONTROL OUR GREED, BUT ALSO WE WOULD TAKE CARE OF OUR WEIGHT.

ON THE WAY WE ARE SEEING LOTS OF STRAY CATS. THEY WERE INTRODUCED HERE IN IV CENTURY BY ST. HELEN TO CONTROL A SNAKE PLAGUE. THEY SURVIVED TILL NOW AND ONE CAN SPOT THEM EVERYWHERE. THE CATS ARE EXTREMELY COMELY WITH A VARIETY OF FUR – LONG, SHORT, SINGLE COLOUR OR MULTICOLOURED; WHITE-GREYISH, BLACK, WHITE AND GREY, ORANGE. THEIR COATS LOOK CLEAN AND THEY ARE NOT GAUNT AT ALL. THEY BEHAVE WITH DIGNITY LOOKING PHILOSOPHICALLY AT THE WORLD. THE CATS OBVIOUSLY REALISE THEIR VALUE AND KINDLY LET PEOPLE PAT THEM. THEY DO NOT MIND A YELLOW COCONUT CHEESE THOUGH!

WHEN WE FINALLY GOT THERE, WE HAD A FEELING THAT IT WAS TOO EARLY TO GET IN THE TAVERN. WE WALKED AROUND THE BUILDING – IT WAS EMPTY. SO WE DECIDED TO GO A BIT FURTHER AND CAME ACROSS A SMALL CHAPEL WITH TWO CAVES WITH VOTIVES. VOTIVES WITH PHOTOS WERE PARTICULARLY FASCINATING. WE WENT BACK AND HAVE MANAGED TO GET A TABLE EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE NOT BOOKED IT EARLIER.

THE OWNER OF THE TAVERN CAME AFTER A WHILE. WHEN HE LEARNED THAT WE ARE FROM POLAND, HE TOLD US ABOUT HIS PARENTS’ POLISH FRIEND WHO USED TO GIVE HIM POLISH CHOCOLATE. THEN HE EXPLAINED HIS RESTAURANT’S WAY OF PROVIDING FOOD. THEY HAVE NO MENU! THE KITCHEN SERVES WHAT IS COOKED ON THAT DAY. FOOD IS SERVED IN SMALL PORTIONS. THEY SERVE SORT OF SET OF ENTREES-SMALL DISHES CALLED HERE MEZE, UNTIL GUESTS TELL THEM THEY HAD ENOUGH. I THINK THE SEQUENCE OF SERVING IS SET UP TO SOME SORT OF SYSTEM. WE ORDER SOME WINE. AFTER A WHILE A PLATE WITH FOUR PORTIONS IS SERVED WITH AN EXPLANATION ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS.  AFTER THAT WE TRIED AUBERGINES, BEEF, LAMB AND TART. I’M SURE WE TRIED 6 DISHES. WE HAVE FINISHED WITH A DISH OF CHICKEN AND, AS THE OWNER SAID, ALMOST EVERYBODY HAS THIS AS THE LAST DISH. THE TASTING WAS INTERESTING. THE BILL FOR THE FOOD AND WINE FOR FOUR PEOPLE WAS €92.

AFTER THE DINNER WE WALKED BACK HOME AGAIN. ON THE WAY, IN ORDER TO FACILITATE HELP WITH OUR DIGESTION, TREAT OURSELVES TO A CYPRIOT SPECIALITY ZIVANIA IN THE ROADSIDE BAR. THIS IS AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE  WITH A SLIGHTLY MOONSHINING TASTE. FOR CONNOISSEURS THE AFTERTASTE IS OF THE ITALIAN GRAPPA.

WHEN WE REACHED THE TOWN CENTRE LOTS OF RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS WERE STILL OPEN. TIME TO BUY SOME SPICES, SWEETS AND GIFTS.

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