CYPRUS: Paphos & Limassol

Posted by on Jul 30, 2017 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

“Would that I go to Cyprus,

the island of Aphrodite,

where the Loves dwell,

who charm mortals’ hearts,

and to Pafos fertilized without rain

by the streams of a foreign river

flowing with a hundred mouths.”


Pafos became the center of the ancient world through the myth and celebrations devoted to Aphrodite. The worship of love endured throughout the centuries until it became a Hymn to Love from the lips of St. Paul, the Apostle.

PAPHOS – Unesco World Heritage Site


HOUSE OF AION – Reception Hall






                                            HOUSE OF THESEUS










                                           HOUSE OF ORPHEUS

THE HOUSE OF ORPHEUS – (2nd-3rd century A.D.) Only a small part of the building has been excavated by the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus.




                               HOUSE OF DIONYSOS

Luxurious Roman residence with an atrium and an impluvium, a central open court surrounded by a colonnaded portico, and a wealth of mosaic floors. It was built during the end of the 2nd. century A.D. and was destroyed in the first half of the 4th. century A.D.,probably due to earthquakes. The house was constructed on earlier buildings, the earliest of which was a sanctuary carved into the natural bedrock.

The house was excavated between 1962 and 1965 by Dr. Kyriakos Nikolaou, then curator of the Department of Antiquities.

“NARCISSUS” MOSAIC – Late 2nd/early 3rd. cent. A.D.

Representation of Narcissus, son of a river-god and a nymph, admiring his reflection in the lake water.

I dedicate this mosaic to our current terminally self-absorbed president, and all of the folks out there toting around selfie-sticks.

Here’s a little ditty I made up to use in lieu of cursing as people get in the way of my shots with their endless selfies.

It’s sung to the tune of the late, great Frank Zappa’s “Po-jama People”.


                           “SELFIE PEOPLE”

Well some people’s cold
And some people’s hot
And some people’s not very
Quick with the shot
And some people do it
And some sleep right through it
And some of them take selfies
If only they knew it


Well, the selfie people are boring me to pieces
Feel like I am wasting my time
They all got sunscreen up and down ’em
A little smartphone’s always on ’em
And some flimsy, rotten selfie-stick besides


The Selfie people!
The Selfie people, people!
Sure do make you sleepy
With the snapshots they take
The Selfie people!
The Selfie people, people!
Mother Mary ‘n Jozuf, I wish they’d all go away!
The Selfie people!
It’s a new selfie people special…
Take one home with you, save a dollar today
The Selfie people!
The Selfie people, people!
Wrap ’em up
Roll ’em out
Get ’em out of my way
Hey  na-na-hey  na-na-hey  na-na-hey
Hoy! Hoy! Hoy!
Wrap ’em up
Roll ’em out
Get ’em out of my way


The Selfie people!
The Selfie people, people!
Lawd they make you sleepy
With the snapshots they take
The Selfie people!
The Selfie people, people!
Get the fuck outta my shot!
I wish they’d all go away!


The Selfie people!
The Selfie people, people!
Wrap ’em up
Roll ’em out
Get ’em out of my way
Hey na-na-hey  na-na-hey  na-na–hey
Hoy! Hoy! Hoy!


The song has quite a lot of similarity to the original, and although an abbreviated version, it helps to pass the time which would normally be spent cursing under my breath waiting for them to clear out so I can take my photo.

This way I avoid flooding my system with cortisol, and I get to take the piss without them being any the wiser. It also alerts them as to my existence which tends to speed up their annoying, narcissistic pursuits.














“The Rape of Ganymede” Mosaic – Representation of the mythological scene of the seizure of Ganymede. The god Zeus, having transformed into an eagle, carries Ganymede away.

GEOMETRIC MOSAIC – Late 2nd/early 3rd century A.D.

Mosaic floor with geometric motifs and objects of everyday life.


SWASTIKA – This swastika is left facing like the Buddhist swastika, and is the opposite of the Nazi version.


“PEACOCK MOSAIC” – Central panel illustrating a peacock with full display of its blue tail.


AGORA – (2nd – 4th century A.D.)

These buildings are situated in the center of ancient Paphos. To the north stands the Odeon where musical performances were given. It is semi-circular in plan, and was built against a support wall. The Odeon consists of an auditorium, an orchestra, two parallel passages and the stage, of which part of the façade and the paved floor are well preserved.


                                                   THE ODEON

THE ODEON – It was in front of this monument that I first sang my newly adapted song “Selfie People”. Having to wait for ten minutes in the 95 degree heat for six people to complete their extensive photo shoot in multiple poses and combinations would normally have sent me into obscenity laden stream of consciousness. However my new musical solution proved to be a perfect solution, and left me feeling relaxed, yet vindicated.

I always knew singing to be therapeutic, but this took me by surprise. It’s a big relief since I will be taking a road trip around France with a friend in September, and I was wondering how I was going to deal with my embarrassing and offensive muttered invective. Problem solved.



                     “SARANDA KOLONES” CASTLE

The castle was erected around 1200 A.D., after the Frankish conquest of Cyprus, on the site of an earlier Byzantine fort. It was destroyed by the earthquake of 1223 and never rebuilt. The building was a compact fortress surrounded by a massive external continuous wall with eight towers and a moat.









HONDROS TAVERN – Site of my first meal in Cyprus. That tree on the right is an enormous grape vine, and you can see the bunches of large grapes hanging down over the entirety of the terrace. What a scene. The lamb was great.



PAFOS CASTLE – A small fort which stands on the ancient mole at the western part of the port of Nea Pafos was part of the coastal defense system of Cyprus.


Install a few wrinkles and a little gray in his hair, give him an Omega Speedmaster and a Nespresso machine, and he’s a dead ringer for the new father of twins. I cancelled my tour since I didn’t feel like tooling around on a Segway for two and a half hours in the 95 degree heat. The guy was cool and refunded my money even though I was past the twenty-four hour deadline. You’ve got to love that.

That would never happen in Mexico. I’m so over Playa Del Carmen. It’s like a Spanish speaking Marrakech. People lie constantly, and are just after your cash 24/7.

Come to Cyprus instead, but do it in April/May or October when the weather is pleasant.





                                      THE TOMBS OF THE KINGS

The Cemetery has been excavated by the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, and according too the archaeological evidence, was used during the Hellenic and Ptolemaic periods. Due to their monumental character, the tombs are described as “royal” but in fact they never served as resting places for kings. Rich citizens and probably high officials of the Ptolemaic state were buried here.

The architecture of the underground funerary monuments imitates that of the houses of the same period, a practice also followed in Alexandria. They consist of a stepped dromos, a central atrium and burial chambers provided with many loculi for single burials. Often, the tombs are plastered and covered with frescoes; in many cases, entrances to the various local imitate temple façades. 
















TOMB 3 – Four Doric COLUMNS support each side of the roof. The capitals on the columns are plain topped by a frieze of triglyphs and metopes


Burial chambers with niches have been carved onto the western and eastern walls of Tomb 3, some of which still preserve their funerary niches.



TOMB 4 – TOMB FOUR has a columned atrium and is accessed by a dromos consisting of thirteen steps.






TOMB 5 – This is one of the largest tombs to be discovered in the necropolis and it covers an area of 390 square meters. The tomb has a columned atrium and a dromos that leads to a vaulted entrance in the northern portico of the atrium. Twelve massive pillars support the roof of the portico. The tomb in its original form was used in the Hellenistic and Roman period.





TOMB 6 – ROMAN PERIOD – A table for offerings was built here, and the place was used for burials.




THE DIRT NAP – It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that people will go to mitigate the effects of “the dirt nap”. The Pharaohs of Egypt took it to its greatest extreme, however the practice still goes on in the post-modern world. At least with the pyramids we are left with some monumental wonders of the ancient world. The modern grave is a sad and feeble insignificant marker for a life. Millions of acres of land are squandered on housing and real estate for the dead while so many of the living go homeless. Beautifully crafted wooden boxes are interred to rot along with the billions of dollars spent in the pursuit of satisfying superstitions and sentimentality. Everywhere I go, I see beautiful oceanview property filled with decaying corpses who have little appreciation for their new retirement homes.

The money would be better spent turning these depressing money pits into beautiful public parks that could be enjoyed by all, and if need be have an eternal flame and a proud structure surrounding it where the names of loved ones could be etched into it. Then the deaths could end up creating a little beauty, and having some real meaning in perpetuity instead of wasting valuable resources. Family and friends would still have a beautiful place to gather, pay their respects and honor their loved ones. In addition, they could revel in the positive impact the person’s passing has had rather than dwelling upon endless grief stricken ruminations upon death that is part and parcel of the graveyard experience. Why not build something that celebrates life instead?

Of course the mortuary industry would wet themselves, and do everything possible to discourage such an idea.

I have always enjoyed the memorial benches that people purchase to remember the departed. They are usually located in peaceful areas with beautiful views, and the most important thing is that they are useful and appreciated. In fact, along with the dumping my ashes in three French rivers plan, I think I would like to arrange the purchase of a few benches in some of my favorite countries as well. Of course, I would write the copy for the plaque, and the kids can handle the arrangements.

I think the inscription will go something like this:





John W. Hollister (aka: The Travel Zealot) 4/2/57 – whenever

One Hundred and ? Countries Visited.



BAYWATCH CLUB – A fake, bedazzled Neil Diamond muddles his way through “Sweet Caroline”. Two nights before it was a half-naked, spurious Lady Gaga. Looking forward to some good Jazz in Paris.



                LIMASSOL – HOT AS THE SUN – NO AC

LIMASSOL PROMENADE – Very Pretty Seaside Boardwalk





THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! Vandalizing modern art in such a fashion. Then I took a long look and realized that the sculpture was clearly a giant, abstracted nut-sack and prick, which probably inspired the vandal into interfering with the piece in the first place. The graffiti is reminiscent of Jean-Michel Basquiat and could be seen by some as actually enhancing the sculpture. Or maybe the heat is just getting to me.












  1. BigD
    September 7, 2017

    I didn’t realize the ancients had such a presence in Cyprus. Those MFers could really get around.
    Great pictures as always, and I liked the song, although, I am the guilty owner of a selfie stick. But I promise I only use it when absolutely necessary, I wouldn’t beat a dead horse with a selfie stick 🙂

  2. The Travel Zealot
    September 7, 2017

    Big D,
    I won’t begrudge you the ownership of a selfie stick since you are probably capable of using it in moderation. Unlike these people who drive me spare with their narcissistic photo shoots. The Selfie People in my Zappa adaptation shoot more poses at any given time than are required for a full spread in Vogue.

    If you missed the Nimes visit in 2015 prepare for some well preserved Roman structures. By no means are they ruins. There is a beautiful temple, an exemplary coliseum, and an aqueduct called the Pont du Gard that is out of this world. Of course you could always check out the 2015 stuff as well. You will find them to be nicer than most of what you find in Rome!

Leave a Reply