Walking in the World

Tag Archives: Cyprus

Farewell to Beauty

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One last morning on beautiful Cyprus, revisiting Kato Pafos with its wonderful mosaics

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and beautiful  flowers

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before heading to the airport and waving goodbye to old friends and new.

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Fittingly, our plane flew along the coast giving us one last view of Aphrodite’s birthplace before banking and heading home to England.

14 Mar 2015

Sea and Sky

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Today was all about sea and sky. The morning was so beautiful that we went out for an early morning walk to photograph the old shipwreck just off the coast near our apartment.

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Later we drove up the  coast to Agios Georgios, a well-known pilgrimage site on the western cape of Cyprus.

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The icons in the church were lovely, and we lit candles for loved ones before walking out to the ruins of the old Basilica where there were some  exquisite mosaics of local fish, birds,  and other wildlife.

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With that theme in mind,  we drove up the coast for a nice  bit of beachcombing.

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Would it surprise anyone that we came home with our pockets stuffed full of treasures?

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Our drive home through the mountains took us nearly to the Turkish enclave, and though we longed to drive further, politics and rental car policies demanded that we turn back.

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Cyprus is, as history has shown, the island that everyone wants. It is a beautiful island inhabited by lovely people,  but there are deep political scars that remain unhealed.

13 Mar 2015

Beauty, Born and Celebrated

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Aphrodite rose up from the sea amongst the rocks just off the  coast of Cyprus. Under blue skies and banks of clouds,  we sought out the goddess and the places where she was honoured and revered.

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This veneration has been going on for millennia; this stone represented Aphrodite in the ancient Greek temple and is the palladium of Cyprus. To stand next to it,  to touch its surface,  was both humbling and inspirational.

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From Aphrodite’s Temple we stayed in our Greek mindset, visiting the ancient amphitheatre at Kourion, which has been repurposed, refurbished and rebuilt for more than 2000 years by  Greeks,  Romans,  Christians,  and modern archaeologists in turn.

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Part of a city that has now been
painstakingly excavated and meticulously curated,  we admired the exquisite mosaics and stately columns.

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Our drive around the island was stunning; spring is arriving on the island with great speed and immeasurable beauty.

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12 Mar 2015

Traveling the Backroads

Today was as grey as yesterday was sunny. We decided to drive up into the Troodos mountains to search out some frescoes in old churches. It was a delicious treat just being together, cosy, warm, and dry in the comfort of our car as we drove through the misty hills. Marvelling at the terraced vineyards and the almond trees just beginning to blossom, we followed the snaking roads through quiet villages, deep forests, and out across open pasture land.

The gentleness of the day is something that will live with me for years to come, exploring the backroads of Cyprus in the comraderie of friends who have known each other for years, and who know how to relax and be comfortable with each other.
Inside this unassuming church, Panagia tou Asinou, is a magnificently painted interior where nearly every surface is covered with exquisite Byzantine frescoes

The frescoes are amazing and beautiful paintings, as expressive and engaging today as when they were painted 900 years ago. They told stories of a divine love that is as longed-for and real now as it was then. Standing in those old churches, I could feel the reverence of all who have ever stood before these masterpieces, admiring their artistry and quickening to the inspiration they offer.

We always stop at roadside shrines when we travel; displays of daily devotion fascinate and inspire me. Driving home through the backroads we came across this lovely icon of St. George in the village of Mandria, a final blessing on our day.

 

 

11 Mar 2015

Walking Back in Time

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Our walk today took us back through layers of time. We spent hours exploring the Kato Pafos Archaeological Park where art, history, and culture weave across centuries and give us clues to the people who left their footprints on the island. The weather was quite spectacular, so the sea sparkled as it reflected the cloudless sky above, and we are early enough in the season that the grass was still green,  and the meadows filled with a profusion of wildflowers.

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The highlight for me was undoubtedly the amazing collection of mosaics, dating from the 3rd century BC to the 4th century AD, including this beauty – a large labyrinth with a spectacular centre.

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We followed our visit to the ruins with a walk along the modern harbour where we stopped for a chat with this fellow as he wandered freely amongst the fishing boats. (Yes, he is a real pelican.)

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10 Mar 2015

Arrival in Cyprus

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Many miles traveled today, but not many steps walked.  We flew from England to Cyprus, completing a journey that was interrupted by war some 42 years ago when I was a student travelling in the Middle East. It was worth the wait.

We will explore Paphos tomorrow, but this afternoon it was enough to enjoy the view from our apartment, dip my toes in the sea,  and enjoy a superb meal of local food and drink. We even learned how to say a few words in Greek!

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09 Mar 2015

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