Cyprus Travelogue. April 17th 2005

Antique Paphos - the archaeological excavations

Sunday must be a good day to see the excavations of the old Paphos (300 BC and upwards).

It is an exciting area with many ruins and you sense that much more is hiding below the carpet of yellow, red and lilac flowers; but excavating is probably expensive, and one of the houses has been excavated by a Polish museum.

Amphiteatre in the old Paphos From the area with archaeological excavations in Paphos. Floor mosaic (peacock) in Dionysus' house. Floor mosaic in Dionysus' house in Paphos. Floor mosaic in Dionysus' house in Paphos.  Floor mosaic (hunting scene) in Dionysus' house in Paphos.  Floor mosaic in Dionysus' house in Paphos.  Floor mosaic in Theses' house in Paphos.
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The houses' ground-plans are quite big and there are many pretty floor mosaics with hunting scenes and motifs from the Greek mythology in the houses of Dionysus, Theses and Aeon.

The mosaics are said to be some of the prettiest in the eastern Mediterranean. The area lies next to Paphos' harbour with a great view over the sea and the land up to the mountains.

Yes, they knew where to build in the old days, and the entrepreneurs of today must be annoyed that they cannot build here where the sea view would boost prices.

When we have seen enough we have a light lunch at O'bar. Many tourists pass wearing shorts and pouches - human marsupials.

Relaxation and evening in Paphos

After lunch we settle in a narrow shadow on the balcony and relax. At six we walk towards the sea and turn into the street with restaurants and bars. Here restaurants lie side-by-side competing for The Ugliest Front Award.

Squeezed in between such architectural horrors is a tiny medieval church. Built in sturdy stone it will probably outlive the temples of food and drink.

Car promenade in Paphos.

We enjoy an ouzo with sea view on the corner of Artemidos Street we found yesterday. An endless row of cars drive both ways on the beach road. Many young men just drive round and round with open windows and music at full power. One particular four wheel drive passes at least six times.

A guy with rastafarian hair and hunchback sits down next to the pavement. The hump turns out to be an iguana that makes many stop and chat. Maybe that is the whole idea.

When the blue half hour has passed we go to Othello's, a tavern on the way home that Axel and Nina recommended too. Outside we say hello to a small grey cat that is very happy to have company. So happy that it follows us into the restaurant where it also greets the other guests politely. Then it is seen by the waiter and immediately chased out.

Othello's Tavern in Paphos, Cyprus.

My first course is melon, and Helle's shrimp cocktail. The shrimps are bathing in Thousand Island dressing, which definitely isn't Helle's favourite, but with no trouble at all she gets some with no dressing.

Helle's main course is Tavas, a kind of delicately spiced hash - I sense cumin, cinnamon and coriander. I get a very tender and tasty kleftico. Along with this we get a bottle of Keo's ordinary Othello red wine.

Helle is tempted by crème caramel for dessert, and I get crêpes suzettes flambéed in orange liquor - yummy! For finish Cyprus coffee with brandy. We pay about 30 Cypriot £ for the feast. Helle warns me that the hostess kisses cheeks, which I defend against by keeping my arm stretched and stiff when we shake hands. Not a bad place.