Pafos


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Pafos

Pafos harbour (without pelicans)
Pafos lies in the west of Cyprus, just below the Akamas peninsula. It has a nice harbour where the tourists assemble to enjoy the sun, sea and restaurants. There is supposed to be a pelican here, but when we were on holiday, he was on holiday too. He probably took his holiday somewhere in Africa.The medieval fortress in Pafos has a striking resemblance with those in Larnaka en Lemesos. For once, we didn't go inside. But we bet they have the same photo-exhibition.

Pafos castle

We went for a walk a bit North of Pafos. We started at a monastery (of course, on Cyprus all walks start at monasteries) and came along these antennas at the top of the first hill.

 Antennas on top of a mountain

 

The Cypriots love to put something on top of mountains. In this case, the monastery was in the valley, so they opted for the antennas. From this place you have also a great view over Pafos (looking the other direction, of course). The vineyards are still in the winter sleep. At places like this you realise it is only January. 

Vineyards and trees

Donkeys are still used by farmers for the work at the land. They can carry big loads and can stand waiting for their bosses to collect these loads for hours if necessary.

A donkey that looks like Leon's father

According to Leon, this donkey looks like his father, but I don't see the resemblance. 

Agio Neofytes

This tree is in trouble

Neofytes

Our walk also ends at the monastery: Agio Neofytes. That is fortunate, for our car is parked there. When approaching the monastery from the mountainside, we could peek at the monks on the courtyard, but now the place seems deserted. Only at the museum with religious art and old maps of Cyprus we find a monk, who sells us a ticket.  
Close to the monastery are the caves where a hermit lived for years. It must be pretty boring, for he covered almost every bit of the walls and ceiling of the caves with pictures of saints. 

The hermit's place

Inside the cave there is a sign "Please don't sit at the table of the saint". It looks very inviting, though.

Cats

Typical Cypriot view: cats. They all ran to Leon when he took the camera out. But apparently they were more interested in Leon than in the camera, because they didn't come to Mirjam when she took over. And Leon is allergic to cats. 

Neo Pafos

Back in Pafos, we go to Neo Pafos. In spite of its name, these are the remains of the old Greek city. There are lots of mosaics and some buildings. It covers a large area, which may be one of the reasons that it is on the Unesco World Heritage List.  

Mosaics at Neo Pafos

Arches

More mosaics

Avagas Gorge

Another thing you should see when going to Pafos, is the Avagas gorge. When going with a guide, you can approach it from the upper end, but that path is very hard to find. Almost as good is walking in from the down end. This way it gets better every meter. 

That is, if you dare to enter the gorge after reading all the warning signs at the entrance. Beware, flash floods (the actual text is a lot longer, but the meaning is the same). Beware of falling rocks. Never enter when an earthquake might happen. Watch out for snakes. Etcetera, etcetera.

Avagas gorge

Aphrodite's rock

The Greek goddess Aphrodite is born on Cyprus. Or actually, she is born from the foam of the sea around this rock, on the beach close to Pafos. In ancient times, lots of people came here to join in the fertility rituals here and at the nearby temple. In Greek, the rock is called Petra tou Romiou.

Aphrodite's Rock

Sunset at Aphrodite's Rock

It is a good place for pictures of sunset - when the sun cooperates. In our case, the day before and after we were here, we had the most magnificent sunsets with orange skies. When we were at Aphrodite's Rock, this was the best as it got.  You might know rule number one of sunset photography: never look back when you think you've seen the best and are on your way back home, it might force you to take out your camera-equipment again. We looked back, but it didn't get any better than this.

 


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