Cypr Europa

Cyprus – An Island of Hot Dreams

Cyprus smells of the sun and the wind from the sea. It tastes like a sweet Commandaria and mezedes appetizers. Its landscape, ancient mementos and handicrafts delight all. Moreover, it is always so warm there that time seems to flow slower, making it more congenial to relax and dream.

The symbol of love that we all desire, and also that of Cyprus, is the Aphrodite’s Rock. Actually, it is several rocks, decorating this special part of the coast, where according to Greek mythology a beautiful goddess emerged from the sea foam. Apparently on land there awaited for her three Graces: Euphrosyne, Aglaja and Thalia, who from then on always accompanied her and served her, embodying the features associated with great beauty: grace, pleasure and joy. During a trip to Cyprus one definitely has to come here to pay respects to the goddess and receive as a gift the promise of fulfilled love. The picturesque part of the coast is easily accessible from the road joining Limassol and Paphos. Fantastic views of the sea spread from the cliff and the beaches stretching at the foot of the cliff are covered with colourful and smooth pebbles. If only Poseidon is not angry waves delicately caress the beach and their movement is accompanied by a light rattle soothing the emotions. Lovers readily compose hearts and initials out of the pebbles. It’s best done not too close to the edge so that they will remain untouched. But if they’re not careful, the water will destroy the patterns, a merciless reminder about the instability of feelings. The pebbles are also considered to be aphrodisiacs, so nearly every visitor takes a few from the beach as a guarantee of happiness. Who doesn’t believe in the pebbles, hangs a piece of paper on a “wish bush”. But the most persistent ones swim around the rock at sunset. It is hard to say which recipe for love is best. One thing is certain, it is the most romantic place at sunset.

At the edge of the coastal cliffs, west of Limassol there are the ruins of ancient Kourion. The amphitheatre is a showpiece of the ancient city discovered by archeologists. The round shaped stage is surrounded by stone seating arranged in semicircular form. There is a great view of the stage from every seat. And if we look up, we will see the horizon, where the azure depths of the sea meet with the blue of the sky. Performances, dance shows and concerts are held in the theatre to this day. However, peace emanates here on most days. From when the theatre was built in the 2nd century, thousands of characters have been through the place, including dancers, singers and actors, playing the role of heroes in tragedies, drama and comedies. They were either moved, or enjoyed themselves thoroughly, going down in glory among applause and cheers, or in disgrace with insults thrown at them. Only the rocks witnessed all the shows, which took place here. But the stones are silent, also letting us dream of everlasting fame. The theatre in Kourion is one of the best preserved ancient monuments on the island. Nearby there are remains of a stadium, an aqueduct and baths. With the passing of time and with nature’s help only some mosaics scattered among the ruins have remained. The most beautiful represent the tribulations of gladiators and a meeting of Odysseus with Achilles.

Cape Greco lies between the well known Ayia Napa and Protaras resorts. It is decorated with another fragment of the cliffy coast in Cyprus, that is protected due to its nature attributes. There are beautiful views of the sea on the edge of the cliffs, and the climate of the place is emphasised by a small church with white walls leading to the interior through blue doors. And even though the popular beaches nearby are crowded with tourists, here the only noise that breaks the silence is a bird’s cry. People coming here dream of meeting the Sea Monster from Aya Napa. The desire to look for and the atmosphere of mystery and terror are fanned from time to time by the local papers about the appearance of gigantic and difficult to identify creatures. The fishermen add their two bits worth, whispering about a monster from the depths sometimes pulling on their nets. They do admit that they haven’t encountered much damage so far and they call it Aby Filio Teras, the friendly monster. These legends have a history as long a Cyprus itself. The monster from Aya Napa is identified with the mythical Scylla, which the brave Odysseus encountered during his wonderings. Scylla, the daughter of Hekate and Poseidon’s beloved, at one time was a beautiful woman, who was turned into a terrifying monster resembling a dog with six heads and twelve legs by one of her rivals jealous of the ruler of the seas and oceans. And that is how the Cyprian kaleidoscope of dreams again touches on a love note. However, the fate of Scylla teaches us that such desirable feelings are associated with pleasure as well as with danger.

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