Our last stop in Cyprus was Paphos down in the southwest corner of the island. Just last year it was named a European Capital of Culture, though I can’t say I actually understand why. We enjoyed our stop – nice hotel, nice beach, good food, some good ruins, Mark found a little store where I could replace my dead iPad – but Capital of Culture? There were a lot of pubs and clubs but that isn’t normally what I would expect from a Capital of Culture.
At any rate, it was a good stop. Our hotel, Almyra, was right on the coast and while it didn’t have a beach per se, the pool was nice, the sun beds had good views, and the food at the Greek restaurant was fantastic. Along with cats everywhere and a nice Indian restaurant for dinner, what more do you need?
Like so many places in this region Paphos has some interesting history. It was in Paphos, for instance that one Saul of Tarsus passed through and (allegedly) converted the Roman proconsul to Christianity. And it was here that Saul was first identified as Paul in the New Testament book Acts of the Apostles. How’s that for history?
The major tourist attraction in town – besides just the sea and harbor and all that – and the reason Paphos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Paphos Archeological Park. Over the last several decades they have unearthed four major Roman villas, each with substantial mosaic floors that were buried for many hundreds of years. To be honest those mosaics were really the only part we found interesting in the old ruins, but they were worth, you know, 45 minutes of your life.
And thus ends our two-week, five-stop tour of Cyprus. Between the sea, the beaches, the history, the cats, and the food, it was definitely worth the time. And great value, too. Oh, and one last strange thing to note. It seemed as though all the taxis on the island, perhaps every one that we used as we moved from place to place, were Mercedes Benzes. And not old, crappy cars; they were comfy luxury cars. I don’t understand the economics of that but it sure made our drives around the island pleasant.
Now we’re off to Crete to spend time with friends.