Paphos is the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2017, but it is hard to recognize any culture apart from posters claiming the title and a simple sculpture near Paphos Fortress. Now I haven’t yet seen the rest of Paphos but as for the nondescript tourist strip at the harbour and seaside known as Kato Paphos there is not much culture. I’d dare say the most culture I’ve seen is British in the way of all out British pubs.
Kato Paphos is not an interesting town, and there are Made in China souvenirs all over the place. It is evident that they cater to young people and groups of friends as some of their items include hand carved wooden penises – made in Cyprus. Considering how hard it is to find Cyprus made souvenirs, I wonder why they have to chose to make something that tacky on the island. At least carve a wooden Aphrodite since this place according to the myths is her place of birth.
Yes, Kato Paphos is a tourist resort town on the dramatic Cyprus seaside. The inhabitants I imagine live inland and far away from the lobster coloured tourist crowds.
We are some of these red-coloured tourists staying in our own hotel apartment at a large hotel complex and while I might find the experience as bland as the buffet of our resort hotel, I enjoy it after our busy days in Larnaca. While I wanted to see the rest of Paphos and discover more of the area, I have fallen to the enjoyment of reading a nondescript and easygoing chicklit or two.
It is Easter in the Greek Orthodox world (and the rest for that matter) which means that much is closed down while the Greek Cypriots are celebrating the resurrection of Christ. And yes, I know we should have taken part in what apparently is an amazing experience – the Easter celebrations in the Greek Orthodox church. But we have been so deadbeat every evening returning home that getting up to find a church in this tourist area has seemed too much.
You might wonder how we can be deadbeat from doing nothing, but well we have been around the area.
Days in Paphos
On the day we arrived we hadn’t much energy after countless nights on a stone madras in our boring Larnaca hotel. Reaching our new place of residence in Paphos had us pleasantly surprised as the rooms are so much more warm and friendly in their blue and beige colours and with the sun easily reaching the inside of the hotel. As a Scandinavian I appreciate light and three days in a dark and grey hotel room has been like a prison sentence.
This new found freedom and the fact that the sun was shining despite weather reports claiming rain and thunder had us enjoying the pool area for a large part of the day.
We made it to the harbour and up Leoforos Poseidonos in search of the Tourist Information which we found closed for Easter. We also made it to the ruins of an early Christian Basilica and the St. Paul’s Pillar Chrysopolitissa which we can see from our balcony. But in comparison to our usual travel routines we didn’t manage much.
Tombs of the Kings and a seaside walk
On our second day, we went for a walk starting at yet another ancient ruin namely the Tombs of the Kings. It has nothing to do with kings and is mainly the necropolis of higher ranking citizens from Hellenistic and Roman times. After visiting Petra most necropolises seem unimpressive, and this was not much more than a few holes in the ground and loads of British tourists having their cultural activity for the day.
However, the archaeological site lies with views of the dramatic coastline and energetic sea. With two kilometres back to Paphos the coast offered a gorgeous walk.
We began with a small picnic in the shade of a palm tree before starting out on what will be my best memory from Paphos.
What I like about this place and which I feel saddened is not happening all over the world is that even with resorts stretching down to the sea, it was possible for people to walk the entire stretch of the coastline. And what views it offered. Not only of the violent waves as they crashed towards the rocky cliffs of the coast, but also of the thousands of wild flowers covering the ground in yellow and purple with small flashes of red.
The walk took us all along the outer rims of Kato Paphos and the main archaeological park to the harbour area. It was such a beautiful walk and with the wind cooling us off, we didn’t realise that we had turned into boiled lobsters until we reached our hotel room and could see our reflections in the mirror and feel the burn on our skin. I seriously need to cover up both against the sun and against the laughing recognition from other tourists.