Our host in Paphos was perfect. She was super sweet and went out of her way to make sure we were comfortable and well taken care of. Right as we arrived to her apartment she started making us dinner, a simple yet delicious pasta with meat sauce. Though she preferred sleeping in Saturday morning, she made sure we had directions and suggestions for the day.
We started off at the Tomb of the Kings, conveniently located less than a minute down the road from her apartment. I didn’t have much in terms of expectations for this site, but it turned out to be quite impressive. The Tomb of the Kings is a huge necropolis built around the 3rd century AD for the rich and famous in Paphos, not actually kings. They just called it the Tomb of the Kings because these rich people didn’t want to be buried in peasant tombs so they modeled them after kingly tombs. Or something like that. Like all other public touristic sites in the Republic of Cyprus, the Tomb of the Kings is very clearly marked on the road and only 1.70 euro.
There are more underground tombs on the site than I expected and though I was surprised at first to read that Lonely Planet gave a generous three hours to explore, I soon understood why. It’s a huge ground, you don’t even see all of it when you first enter, and you can keep wandering around and exploring all the tombs for a while. My favorite was one that had this huge, wood-carved door locking away some mysterious tomb. The most famous tomb, with some fancy Doric columns, was not as interesting to me, though that may have something to do with the evil-looking pigeons that were hissing at me when I was inside alone and the flocks of old, English tourists that soon scared them away.
While we could have probably stayed there a bit longer, we were all anxious to get moving to the highlight of the day, Ancient Kourion. We had to get back on the B6 highway toward Limassol and the journey took longer than we remembered, but we finally arrived.
The ampitheater, the main draw of this site, was also the least impressive to me. I was more drawn to the beautiful old mosaics and the crumbling roman pillars overlooking the coast (plus the new cat we made friends with). I’ve never been to Ireland, but I felt as if this view must a little similar to the rolling green hills and cliffs on the ocean, and I think I have an idea now why people think it’s such a beautiful country and are drawn to it. From the ruins of Ancient Kourion you can see the most spectacular views and be awed by how stupidly pretty it all is. It seems quite impossible that this was real life. You can also see some of the cliffs where they tossed sacrilegious touchers of the temple of Apollo into the sea.
After drawing ourselves out of our stupor, we finally made it back to the car and headed back to Paphos after a quick pit-stop at some random Cypriot town. We spent the night discussing everything from electricity to architecture to conspiracy theories with some of our host’s friends and it was a pretty interesting was to spend our last night in Paphos and wrap up my first official couchsurfing experience. Unfortunaly, I ended up leaving my sandals behind. Such a bummer, I really loved those sandals and all my other ones look like crap. I guess now I have no other choice to go shopping…