Saturday, 12 August 2017

Droushia Day Out

Today was one of our regular Droushia days out when we explore the island either visiting somewhere new or revisiting somewhere we haven't been to for a while.  These are great days - they put us back in touch with why we fell in love with the island and we come home feeling blessed - Ain't we Lucky?  yes we certainly are.

Today was a Veasey organised day and we were being picked up at 9.00am.  We now refer to this as kick off time because Rob, who is somewhat less time driven than John, could never be late for a kick off!  John seems to think there may have been some crowd trouble down at Triandafilos Street which delayed the residents this morning - a tad harsh as today Rob was pretty much on time!!!  Our trip today was centred around Curium and we took the old road rather than the motorway which meant we got up close and personal with the Rocks of Aphrodite or Petra tou Romiou where amazingly they are in the middle of constructing a huge stage in readiness for some performances to be held on 4th and 5th August as part of the European City of Culture programme.  We went up to the cafe which sits above the rocks to grab a drink.  Enticed by the offer of fresh orange juice we were swayed from our original thoughts of coffee and John is now pleased to report he has part shares in an orange grove!

Our next stop was to take a quick look at the Stadium of Apollo which is an example of a very early athletics track - not big enough to house the thunderous chariot racing a la Ben Hur though.  Apparently it was construction somewhere between AD138 and AD180.  It was 187m in length and wide enough to accommodate 8 runners.  It had seven rows of seating for up to 6,000 spectators!  The stadium is the only excavated stadium in Cyprus and is modeled by Bobby doing his Usain Bolt impersonation.

Next Stop was Curium or Kourion whose entrance fee cost only marginally more than a freshly squeezed orange juice but provided much more satisfaction!  I dont think I have been there for over 20 years, John seems to think we have but I can remember a photograph of me stood next to an old Doric Pillar with a rather dodgy perm and I seem to remember having said hairstyle in about 1992 and I shall have to dig out the photograph to verify that.

Kourion was closed to the public in 1994 for some time and is now a well organised archaeological site with a reasonable amount of shade to protect you - particularly on a hot sunny day in August!  There were quite a lot of people there but as the points of interest are spread out over a large site you don't actually feel crammed in.  You now start at the Amphitheatre and work your way around from there.

One of the mosaics features a fish - Diana and I instantly recognised this fish as being the subject matter of our traditional art course which we did in November last year.  The pattern we used was exactly the same and we used the traditional method of creating the mosaic back to front before turning it over to see the finished result.  We cannot think that the vast mosaics which have been uncovered were constructed in the same way - how on earth would they have turned them over?  I have tried to find out but so far have failed.

There is loads to see here - you cannot help but marvel at the scale of the site and how skilled the workmen of the time must have been - they built on a grand scale without the aid of modern technology, they had heating and plumbing - something some of the old ladies in our village are still  without.  Not only is there loads to see but the site itself overlooks some of the most beautiful scenery and beaches and we were blessed with a cooling breeze coming up off of the sea.

We spent a good few hours wandering around the site until we got hot and thirsty and decided it was time for lunch (factored in today to take account of John's resident tapeworm).

When we decided it was time to head back to the car we had reached just about the furthest point from the entrance which is the law of sod!

John's knee was beginning to give him a bit of gyp so we took it slowly and stopped for a can of drink before heading off for lunch...

...the report on the remainder of the day will be tomorrow!

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