We’ve spent the past few days in the southern coastal cities of Limassol and Pafos, which have been quite nice. The heatwave which hit Europe last week also made it to Nicosia, and in 37 degree temperatures we never made it to Peace and Freedome day on the other side of the Green Line—but on the coast it’s been a bit cooler so we’ve been fortunate in that way.
There isn’t much to Limassol itself in terms of attractions but not far outside the city is the last remaining tower of a Crusader castle called Kolossi (Mike, Google this and you’ll probably come up with some good info). The tower is in great condition despite its years and this is probably the most impressive castle in the southern part of the island. Also nearby Limassol are the most famous Roman ruins of the south—Kourion—and while there are some nice mosaics and a column or two these were not as impressive as Salamis in the north. Actually today I even saw a postcard of the Salamis ruins that said Kourion on it—another way for Southern Cyprus tourism to make the south sound better than it really is at the north’s expense! (For what it’s worth, I think the north clearly has the best attractions on the island).
The one exception to this is the set of 2nd to 5th century Roman mosaics at Pafos, which are quite spectacular. Wendy, who is our resident expert on this sort of stuff, reckons they are the best mosaics she has ever seen, and that’s saying something, since she’s seen about a billion, and dragged me to most of them.
Yesterday we took a break from sightseeing and spent the whole day at a water theme park near Pafos which was loads of fun and a very well done park with about 15 different rides/activities. Today we did some more watery things by going to the beach near Pafos harbour and to a pool, as well as checking out the Tombs of the Kings (a UNESCO World Heritage site) nearby.
Tomorrow we’re going to the one mountainous area of the south, Troodhos, which is supposed to have some nice hiking trails as well as numerous churches with some of the best frescoes on the island. Hopefully it will be even cooler up there and we’ll be able to enjoy the forest and nature for a few days before it’s time to head back to Doha.
Internet is expensive here, and uploading photos is long and arduous, so I’ll put up some more when I get back to Doha on the weekend.