No blog last week as a) my wife and I were on holiday in Cyprus and b) I left my laptop in security at Newcastle Airport. I was on the plane and about to go through photos when I discovered that my laptop was missing. You can see my wife’s comment here. In Cyprus, we spent 4 days in Paphos and 3 days in Nicosia. We stayed in a hotel overlooking Coral Bay (Photo 1) which is12k from the town of Paphos. In Paphos itself, the undoubted highlight was a visit to the World Heritage Site containing extensive mosaics. The range and size of the mosaics are amazing and the photos on the website show the detail of mosaics which covered whole floors of large rooms. When you think that each piece of mosaic was hand chipped from stone and then laid by hand, you realise the extensive work which went into making these mosaics. The houses on the site were owned by wealthy Roman or Cypriot people and they show an amazing level of sophistication. We also went to the Tomb of the Kings, (Photo 2) where you can see an extensive range of burial chambers which date back to 300 BC. It’s worthwhile doing your homework before this visit, or buying the book, as there is no signage at any of the catacombs.
The main purpose of our visit was to attend a Greek Cypriot wedding party in Nicosia. Our friends’ daughter Fiona married Costa and the were married in Scotland on the previous Sunday. The Scottish wedding’s meal was followed by speeches from the bride’s father, the groom and the best man, another Costa. the best man stole the show as at the end of his speech, he asked the bride and groom to look into each other’s eyes. He then said that he had been studying statistics of marriage. to the newly wedded couple he said “You are now looking at the person (pause) most likely to murder you!”. In the evening , there was traditional Scottish dancing including Strip the Willow. The Cypriot wedding party had an excellent meal but no speeches, but it did involve us in traditional Greek dances such as the Syrtos. This was danced properly by a group of guests but then everyone else was invited to join in. (Photos 3 and 4). It was a great evening and an introduction to a different culture. More on Nicosia in the next posting.