Friday, December 28, 2018

Day 3 in Cyprus

Day 3 in Cyprus and what a great day it was. Weather was back to beautiful so we spent the whole day outdoors. We started our morning at an Olive Oil farm. (Olive oil is one of the biggest things produced here). The farm was gorgeous and we even got to do a taste test with some warm bread. We spent the rest of the day in Paphos which is the city our airbnb is in. What a gorgeous place. We saw the Paphos Castle, a shipwreck, the King’s tombs, walked through old town and their market, St. Paul’s pillars and Ottaman baths. But the highlight of the day was dinner with our friend Yiota Charalambous and her family at a traditional Cyprus restaurant. The food was amazing and the company even better. What a perfect way to end the day.

One of the biggest olive trees that we saw at the Olestro Olive Farm.  Olive Groves are considered a natural wealth dating back to the beginning of Greek and Roman times.  People would be punished for cutting down their olive groves.  The olive tree has the ability to grow new shoots and so it almost never dies.
  There were a lot of animals on the olive farm, and the girls enjoyed feeding them
 Finley's favorite animal is a donkey.  (she has quite a fondness for Eeyore from Disney).  She was so excited to get to feed and pet a donkey at the farm.

 They had acres and acres of olive trees
 After walking around the farm, the owner led us into his shop and showed us how the olive oil is made.  This is the actual machine that turns the olives into the oil.  We watched a video before seeing this and it said it takes about 3 months for the olive oil to get a clear appearance.
 We passed a Carob plant and museum.  We took this picture for Mat's parents because they used to run a health food store, and used to sell Carob.

 After the olive oil farm, we drove back into Paphos (which is actually where we were staying) to spend the day exploring.  Our friend Yiota lives there too, so she had given us a lot of recommendations of what to see.  One of them was "The Place" which is where local artist showcase their wears
 Along the ocean they were getting ready to ring in the new year, so we took advantage of their large 2019 for next year's Christmas cards

 This is a shipwreck right off the coast.  It is the Edro III.  It crashed in 2011 during a severe storm.  Everyone on board survived.

 Along the coast of Paphos

 Our next stop in Paphos was the Tomb of the Kings.  No kings are actually buried here, but it is believed it was a burial ground for the wealthy and higher class.  It is a UNESCO heritage site.  Built during the 3rd century B.C.  It was used until the 4th century A.D. It was rediscovered in the 19th century and looted.  It wasn't until 1977 when the full area was excavated to the way it looks today.

 Strange boat along the water
 Our next stop was Paphos Castle.  Originally built as a fort in 965 A.D. to protect the port.  It was destroyed in an earthquake in 1222.  It was rebuilt again in the12th century to once again protect the port.  And again it was destroyed in 1570 by the Venetians.  Soon the Turks invaded the island and they restored the castle.  Under Turkish rule, it was used as a prison.  In 1935 it was declared an ancient monument.  
 There is very little to see inside the caslte (and there is just a small fee to enter).  Mostly people visit it to go to the top and take in the view of Paphos.
View of Paphos from the top of the castle

 We came across this statue along the port.  It is called Sol Alter.  It pays homage to Aphrodite.  The statue represents a young woman who is looking after the birth place of Aphrodite and wants to be like her.
 Our last stop was St. Paul's Pillar and Church.  The Pillar is found on the grounds of the remains of Agia Kyriaki church, Panagia Chrysopolitissa Basilica Ruins, and the Gothic Church Ruins.  
 This church was built around 1500 A.D.  We could not go into the church - it was blocked off.  
 The ruins of the Gothic Church and the Panagia Basilica surround it.  It is hard to place where one ends and the other begins, but there are several maps on the grounds to help you sort it out.  Tie Basilica was enormous in size.  It was originally built in the 4th century A.D. and it had seven isles.  Mosaics covered every floor (and you can still see some today on the site).  The Basilica was destroyed during the 7th century.  The Gothic church was built around 1300 A.D. At one point the Gothic church was converted into a mosque.  Eventually this was destoryed in the 16th century.

This is St. Paul's Pillar.  According to legend, St. Paul was tied to this pillar and beaten (for preaching Christianity).  It is said that Paul visited Cyprus around 45 A.D.  and entered the city of Paphos.  

We walked past this church on our way to dinner.  There was a wedding going on.
 The restaurant where we ate with Yiota and her family.  This is the oldest traditional tavern in Paphos.  The food was AMAZING.  She ordered for us and we had course after course of delicious food until we couldn't eat another bite.
 Yiota and I know each other because her daughter and our Finley have the same diagnosis of RDH12 Lebers.  I am grateful to have her along this journey with us.

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