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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

19 November 2022

Back to Paphos

Saturday 5 November

And so we left the mountains and headed back to Paphos for our evening flight home. We had entertained some ideas of doing a bit of shopping for interesting or quirky gifts, local artisans and designers. Doesn’t seem like there’s much of that – Cyprus is perhaps a bit too much of a sun, sea, sand destination for that. Paphos town itself (and we got a good look, as roadworks turned Google Maps around in circles and loops) is just dusty, modern, struggling in places and dull.

I’m getting ahead though. We stopped in Omodos first, a bigger village in the mountains that does have a few gift shops (and more than a few tourists!) but none very interesting. The country drive from here back to Paphos was beautiful again, with huge valleys, dusty green agriculture turning red-amber in the autumn, brief white-washed villages and a bizarre little cave in which the bones of 183 local saints are interred.

The tiny and eerie-smelling cave of the saints

In Paphos we focused our time on Nea Paphos, the remains of ancient Greek & Roman Paphos that occupy the tip of the peninsula beyond the harbour. There’s less masonry left to see than at Kourion, but what they have instead is some absolutely amazing Roman mosaics. Far and away the best I’ve seen anywhere, with shades of stone used to give three dimensions to these ancient figures on the floor.

Astonishing floor art from 2000 years ago

One last bite to eat, an adequate plate of food at eye-gouging (London and then some!) prices on the harbourside. Then we’re away to drop off our trusty little Kia Picanto hire care and get to the airport in plenty of time to drip around for a couple of hours.

The labyrinth as a mosaic

I really loved Cyprus, it’s a very easy place to relax and enjoy. We saw far more of the fields and hills, mountains and forests, than we did the beaches and blue sea. But that’s us. The food we had was always tasty, if massive in portions, and I honestly doubt whether we ever ate anywhere that wasn’t resoundingly aimed at tourists. But I could come back easily, there’s loads more to see another time.

Sunset on Cyprus

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