Monday, December 08, 2003

Cyprus – Paphos region

The next part of our trip? The beautiful coastal western district of Paphos (Πάφος)! Really, driving in Cyprus is so nice! And the views are incredible! And our first stop? Aphrodite's Rock. The place where, in theory, Aphrodite was born. 

I mean, it's not like we're these cheesy romantics. But the rocks in the middle of the sea, the pebble beaches, the azure sea... This was indeed one nice place to stop, relax, be together, and leave a small pile of rocks as a brief mark of our visit. 

Further on, we arrived at the Tombs of the Kings (Τάφοι των Βασιλέων). There were no kings buried here, but it was the magnificense of the tombs of officials and aristocrats that gave the place its name. Unsurprisingly, this is another super ancient site: from around the 4th century BCE. And they're simply carved into the rock, just like that! Awesome place. And we had it basically to ourselves!

Our final stop was the Paphos Archaeological Park. Massive place. Tons of historic structures from who knows how many eras. 

But the main draw (at least for us) was the many houses and their incredible mosaics, like those at the House of Aion. Here you can see the myth of Leda and the Swan (top left), of Hermes taking Dyonisius to the nymphs for raising under Zeus's orders (top right), and a beauty contest between Cassiopeia and the Nereids Thetis, Doris and Galatea, with Aion as judge (bottom right).

Then, there is the House of Theseus, so called because of its incredible mosaic depicting Theseus and the Minotaur. Theseus and the Minotaur! One of my favourite myths!

And finally, of course, the mosaics from the House of Dionysos, showing the triumph of Dionysus (top) and Dionysus counselling the nymph Akme (bottom). Neat. 

Next stop: Nicosia. 

No comments: