The Mosaic of Life - Pafos


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Middle East » Cyprus » Paphos » Kouklia
July 3rd 2016
Published: July 3rd 2016
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Limassol to Pafos


Day 161 Monday 27th June 2016 – Limassol to Pafos



Didn’t get much sleep last night as my foot screamed at me constantly, but somewhere in the early morning the anti inflammatory I took started to kick in and I dozed for a bit. Whilst not sleeping I tried to think of what we were going to do today as we supposed to be moving on to Pafos. It was a struggle getting from the bed to the bathroom so I knew the ten minute walk with backpacks down to the bus stop wasn’t going to happen. Shelley didn’t sleep much either and so when we got up in the morning we went through our options and decided to ring the owner of the hotel and see if he could organise a taxi for us. Pavlos, the owner was able to organise a taxi to take us to Pafos for 65 Euro, an added expense as painful as my foot, but if we don’t get there, we would still have to pay for the accommodation we had already booked, even if we were there or not and so the taxi was cheaper than staying in Limassol.
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Pafos Castle
Thankfully as the morning went on my foot got a bit better and I could put a bit of weight on it, so I was able to be of some use for Shelley other than being in her way whilst she packed.



Exited the unit at 11.45 and the taxi picked us up 10 minutes later. The drive to Pafos only took 50 minutes as our taxi was a near new Mercedes and he wound it up to top speed on the motorway. As usual we had our GPS and knew where we needed to go but our driver refused our help despite him not knowing where he was and having to phone others. Eventually we made it to our new accommodation which is a holiday apartment complete with pool so it should be good for me to convalesce in. Late in the afternoon my foot had eased enough to go for a short walk and thankfully at the end of the walk was a Pub, the Greek Gods are looking after me.





Day 162 Tuesday 28th June 2016 – Pafos



Not much to report on today
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Walls of a Roman home
other than I spent most of it lying in bed resting my foot. Late in the afternoon we walked down the road to an area where there was a collection of bars and restaurants. Shelley propped me up in a chair with a beer and went walking further and discovered a lot of broken empty buildings around the area, apparently the GFC hit here just as bad as anywhere else and they are still recovering. The one thing we are finding with Pafos is that it is completely overrun with Poms, it actually seems more like a British city than Cypriot. England “owned” this island from 1878 to 1960, and I guess when Cyprus gained its independence a lot of the British population decided to stay. Hadn’t done my research too much on this city so it came as a huge shock to us at the volume of English tourism here, it is big nearly everywhere we have been here so far but this was the mother lode. Nearly all the pubs have English themes and are run by English staff and are filled with English tourists or expats, it does feel rather odd. We spent a few hours at the pub watching football eating bangers and mash and having pints of beer, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was still 25 degrees we could have been in Blackpool.





Day 163 Wednesday 29th June 2016 – Pafos



My foot is on the mend, and I put my miraculous recovery down to my fatty diet, lots of beer, and swearing when it hurts. Thought we would go for a walk around town but Shelley wanted me to recoup for another day so we sat by the pool. I managed to read some more of my book while Shelley eavesdropped on all the conversations of the other tourists swimming in the pool. Not much of a pool person myself and eventually we retreated to the aircon in our room. Late in the arvo we took our laundry for a short walk, was going to get it washed at a laundromat up the road but it closes early on Wednesday, but our undies enjoyed us taking them sightseeing. Next to the laundromat was of all things – an English Pub. Thought it would be rude of us to not shout our
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Mosaic Tiger
dirty laundry a pint or two so we stopped to rest my foot. Discovered they are having a trivia night tomorrow night and somehow we got roped in to joining another couple for the comp, we hope they know that we know nothing about English football. For dinner we ended up getting a feed at an Indian restaurant where we got the most incredible fiery vindaloo we have ever had. For the first time ever when we asked for “fiery” we got “FIERY”. We love our food hot but boy even this was a struggle at the end.







Day 164 Thursday 30th June 2016 – Pafos



Another lovely sleep in today and made ourselves toast and coffee once again for breakfast in our apartment. Didn’t hit the streets till 10.30 and did the longish walk down to the old port area. Hadn’t ventured down here until now because of my foot and discovered it was perhaps not really worth the effort. The whole seafront was lined with one bad restaurant/bar after another and only broken by the occasional souvenir shop. Been here 3 days now and still haven’t
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Pafos Castle and Harbour
heard a single spoken Greek word. Some of the guys out the front of the restaurants had a Greek accent but we are convinced they were from Southampton and just putting on an accent to lure tourists in. No offers of Moussaka and souvlaki here it was all English Breakfast and fish and chips. The guys at the restaurants were not too pushy but the ones offering cruises on the dodgy boats were fairly aggressive to the point that they were arguing with each other about stealing customers.



Wandered through the chaos to the picture perfect Ottoman Fort that used to protect the harbour and then onto the Archaeological Park, that contains the remains of the old city. Pafos was founded in the 4th Century BC and flourished under the Ptolemy’s and then the Romans. In what is a familiar pattern in this area of the world, an earthquake destroyed the town in the 4th Century AD, and before it could fully recover the Arabs arrived in the 7th to finish it off. Venetians and then Ottomans tried to breathe new life into it but got nowhere till the Archaeologists turned up in the 1960’s and discovered
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The Wall and moat of Pafos Castle
a wealth of fine mosaics. The site is vast and in the midday sun it is a struggle to get around but thankfully a lovely sea breeze kept it a bit more comfortable. Excavation work is still happening and some of the Roman homes are vast structures containing dozens of rooms. The best by far is the house of Dionysus which contains the most and best preserved mosaics all now thankfully undercover. Most date from the 4th Century AD but one discovered in 1977 in the corner of the room is from the 3rd Century BC. The quality of these ancient mosaics are amazing and was well worth the effort to view them. On the edge of the site is the ruins of a Crusader castle that was built in the early 1200’s on top of an older Byzantine Fort but only stood till 1223 when – you guessed it – an earthquake destroyed it.



To escape the heat we wandered back around the harbour and was lured into a café for a smoothie. By this stage my foot was giving me grief so we headed home to give it a rest before once again taking our
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Baby Birds
laundry for a walk. Thankfully the laundromat was open so we now finally have some non stinky clothes to wear. For dinner we headed up the road to the “Rugby Arms” pub for a feed and a game of trivia. This is a tiny pub and the barmaid also does the cooking, the food isn’t very good but considering the poor lass has to do everything I wasn’t about to complain. Only 3 other groups competing tonight but we still didn’t win, and of course everyone was English, and most retirees. A lot of the expats in Pafos are either overweight, have injuries and hobbling around on zimmer frames and walking sticks. Been stacking the kilos on of late and with my bad foot I almost feel like I have been in training to get here and feel right at home. The other night I had to help an elderly lady down the stairs at the restaurant so she could be reunited with her zimmer frame, and if she had known of my reputation on stairs I am sure she wouldn’t have taken my hand.



Trivia at the Pub was a great night chatting to everyone and
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Labyrinth Mosaic
hearing how they all ended up in Cyprus, the guy running the trivia was a younger guy called Stuart and he also does volunteer work at an animal shelter down the road so we offered to visit and help him walk the dogs sometime before we leave.







Day 165 Friday 1st July 2016 – Pafos



Been feeling more and more English everyday and to help with the conversion Shelley cooked up bacon and eggs for breakfast. We then sat down and worked out what we would like to send home and before we knew we had a mini mountain, so we carted it next door to the post office. Arrived at the worst possible time as everyone was trying to get their parcels sorted before the morning pick up. The post office was able to supply a box, the first being too small and we then ended up with their largest box. To our absolute horror it came to 13 kilos of stuff and will cost us 89 Euros to send home, but it is better than paying for excess baggage each flight. Took us nearly 2 hours
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Inside the house of Dionysus
before we got out of there and then spent the early afternoon resting by the pool and in our room.



At 3.30 we went looking for the animal shelter as we thought it would be nice to drop in and lend a hand but we ended up walking for nearly 2 hours and couldn’t find it. Was given directions last night that seemed pretty simple but we must have miss heard something and had to head home upset. Sat down on the computer and after much searching finally found where they were and discovered we had just headed off in the wrong direction. It was now early evening so opted to drown our sorrows in a beer, and headed down to the old port area for a change. It would seem that the best options for this part of town is lunchtime as prices seem to go up for dinner. Stopped at a café for a beer and was contemplating eating there when at the next table two women sent their meals back as the Spaghetti Bolognaise didn’t have any sauce (it was just pasta and mincemeat) and the mushroom pizza didn’t have any mushrooms. Needless to
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Whats left of the castle
say we didn’t eat there but looking around we couldn’t see anything much better. Settled on a less than average pizza before going onto a bar up the road and then having an early night. Cannot say that this has been our most favourite town and couldn’t particularly recommend it to anyone.





Day 166 Saturday 2nd July 2016 – Pafos



Another stinky hot day in Pafos and in an effort to cool down we opted to head to the beach. Kirsty a waitress in town had given us the tip that the best beach in the area was up at the Northern end of Coral Bay, so we wandered down town and jumped on a local bus. Coral Bay is about 10 km North of Pafos and most tourist jump off the bus at the first bus stop but Kirsty told us to sit tight and get off at the last stop which is at another beach. This beach was only small but proper white sand had been imported and so it felt more like a beach we would get back home. Unfortunately today the beach was packed, the water
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How you park around here
was cold and rather than rolling waves the water was just choppy, so it wasn’t what you would call a perfect beach day. We paid for a couple of lounges and an umbrella and then went for a dip with the hundred and one others. As I always say, being Australian and being blessed with some of the best beaches in the world we tend to be very fussy with our beaches. I am not one to lay around in the sun, so we didn’t stay long after our swim and just got the bus back.



At 2.30 we got our washing together and took it up to the laundromat to discover once again that it had closed at 2.00. After that disappointment we walked to the Pafos Animal Shelter, and today it was easy to locate as we knew where to look. Met Stuart who was busy cleaning out the dog cages and he said he didn’t need a hand today but was happy for us to look around. The animal shelter is called “Paphiakos & CCP Animal Welfare” looks after horses, donkeys, goats, cats, dogs and rabbits, and is set on a reasonable size property.
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Pafos Castle and Fishing Boat
The woman looking after the cat house thinks they may now have as many as 600 cats and we didn’t get to see all the dog compounds so am unsure how many they have but their website states that they have over 500, so as you can imagine it is a huge undertaking to look after them all. We did speak to some Expats who stated that they didn’t think their methods were sound and we can say that we didn’t particularly like how the more aggressive dogs were chained to trees (they did have shade and a kennel though), they did all appear to be healthy and their living areas were clean. They are hoping to move to a new property which should have better facilities. If you are interested in visiting them if in Pafos or want to see the work they do you can see more on their website, www.cyprusanimalwelfare.com.



It has been a stinking hot today so after spending so much time in the sun I was happy to search out somewhere to sit and cool down. Hopped around a couple of bars before we ended up at the bar we started at
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Pafos Castle
when we first came to Pafos. Our friend Kirsty was working tonight so it was good chatting with her before we leave tomorrow, and also Mike and Patsy turned up who we played trivia with on Thursday night. We had planned on it being a quiet night but in the end we didn’t get home till after midnight. Leaving tomorrow and we both have mixed feelings about this place, met some really lovely people whilst here, it’s just not necessarily a place we would want to holiday at, although we can see why everyone flocks here. Tomorrow we head to the heart of Cyprus to the divided town of Nicosia.


Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


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Donkeys at the Animal Shelter
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Cats at the Animal Shelter
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Dogs at the Animal Shelter


4th July 2016

Mini Blackpool
How funny that you got a taste of England in the middle of Cyprus :) I wonder how these pockets of British expats will cope after/if Brexit goes ahead. Glad to see Scott's foot is on the mend.
4th July 2016

Brexit Panic
Brexit was the main topic of conversation, and as you can imagine no one really knows what to do or what will happen, and sort of guessed these conversations were happening all over Europe. It was a strange experience for us, mainly because we hadn't expected so many Poms in Cyprus, but I guess if I had done my research it wouldn't have been such a shock.
4th July 2016
Ancient Pafos

Very trippy labyrinth!
Amazing that this is the same design as the 13c labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral--very curious, and not all French cathedral labyrinths have this design! The most I found on google was that the Chartres labyrinth was probably based on ones in 12c Italian churches; presumably these architects had seen this Roman one on Cyprus or ones like it. This and the other mosaics are in such fab condition. Glad Scott's ankle is better, and a resort with a pool is a brilliant place to recuperate!
5th July 2016
Ancient Pafos

Circle of life
Most of the best mosaics were undercover thankfully, but this one unfortunately was out in the open, and it was such a great piece of work. It was in the corner of a roman home that had 74 rooms, which had both of us thinking the owner must have been the Bill Gates of Pafos. I just had this image of the team of slaves out daily mopping these incredible mosaics and probably cursing them. The house if I remember was from the 4th Century so I guess this was numero uno. If in Pafos would recommend seeing these mosaics, unsure if I would recommend the town, but that might just be me.
6th July 2016
Pafos

Animal Shelter
It is always difficult for me to see homeless animals in any country. It sounds like there are many, many homeless in Cyprus.
6th July 2016
Pafos

Animal Shelter
Cyprus is over run by cats we just wished people would get them "fixed". We thought we would go to the animal shelter to give a hand but was sort of met with a cold shoulder, (except for the cat lady), which was a bit odd.
6th July 2016
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Cyprus
Glad you are getting around better. I think resting and enjoying the pub crawl has been medicinal. Maybe you should write a journal article on the healing effects for a medical journal. Better living through chemistry.
6th July 2016
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Best seller
What a brilliant idea! I could write up a medical journal that not only proves the effect of my healing methods but also maps out a pub crawl in any city in the world so others can heal themselves. So not only would I get distinguished educated medical professors reading it but also alcoholic slobs like me.
6th July 2016

Nice one guys!!!
The pic's give the town a nice Mediterranean feel, not English at all. Love that you popped into the shelter, hmmm..... let's hope it presents a caring and hopeful future for all its residents. The water looks so clear and beautiful, even around the castle, the moat? Love the mosaic's, gorgeous and the ruins. Again I have to say, love the rant Scotty, your too funny. Step with care :)
6th July 2016

Step with care?
You would think a guy my age would know how to walk down a flight of stairs. Shelley has given up the booze for a bit and I think she is doing it in case I roll my ankle again she can carry me home...or maybe its because she can just walk away and leave me?
10th July 2016

"and swearing when it hurts."
The occasional utterance of a profanity can be as good as a spoon full of sugar or a tablet full of antibiotics !!
10th July 2016

Too true
Wouldn't the "Sound of Music" been a better movie if she had sung "A mouth full of profanity helps the medicine go down" to the tune of a sea shanty.

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