Saturday, 15 December 2012

Wot? #4! You're kidding!

It's mostly pics anyway so I might as well continue.

The last day we visited the 'Tombs of the Kings' or at least of the rich Paphos elites. Fantastic. It had been both a necropolis and a quarry for a bunch of folks through the ages up to the Mediaeval. The studies had tied it to Macedonian burial practices, so right back to Alexander & Co. but it had been reused right up to mediaeval again, the latter as housing! Here's a link if you want to see more: Tombs of the Kings

Note the sunshine. We then played 6 holes at Pebble Beach golf course - on one of those virtual systems. It was great though we were rubbish. I did get one 297m drive though. By the time we got back to the hotel we had been locked out of our room and it was raining. The cleaner let us in to grab our bags but then we had to sit for 4 hours waiting for the bus. Then it was wait wait wait all the way home. At least not as bad as the Edinburgh flight that had a 5 hour delay! Bed by 1:00 am then up again for work. Yay.

So there you go folks. That was Cyprus. That was 2012. Have a ncie Christmas/New Year.

Blimey - #3!

The next day we visited Limassol. I was disappointed. There is a small old quarter with a citadel, but sod all else to do. It's the port where cruise ships come in so they must be really disappointed unless they get out of town. Judi shopped again. So disappointing I took not a single photo, except these ones:
In case you are wondering, it's about 75mm long! Beautiful.

Next day (or was it the day before? Who cares?) we went to Polis/Latchi on the north-west coast. We thought the former was on the coast but it was up in the hills overlooking it. We walked down and through an horrendously muddy road (from at all that rain, remember?) and eventually ended up at the Med. Just where this was too, so I was happy.
There must have been more around originally as this wasn't enough to cover the beach, but we couldn't see any sign of them. 

The walk quickly brought us to a lovely new concreted pathway so we could walk in comfort to Latchi, the actual port. It was a newly created one so little character.

We didn't fancy the walk back, nor did we want to miss the bus back to Paphos, so we cheated and took a bus. That left time for another drink - this one for Judi:
Fancy, eh?

I think the entertainment was a singer that night. Lots of slap and an OK voice but an annoying habit of not singing the first letter of the words." 'Od of 'ations at my 'eet" just doesn't sound the same. (No, she didn't sing that: it's just an illustration, dummy.)

Don't all fall over - it's #2 for 2012

Here's the link to other shots of Cyprus: Cyprus Pics

However, to continue the story...

We spent half a day - mostly the sunny half, though we did have to take shelter for a while when a front came through - wandering around Nea Paphos which confusingly is old Paphos.

The mosaics were pretty cool:

 Note the swastika on the tiles above, proving how ancient and prosaic a symbol it used to be in the past. And look more closely and see what it is next to!

Anyway, you can follow the link above if you want to see more.
The ruins were interesting too. How does an entire city get forgotten like this? Where does the material come from to fill in such a large area to such a depth? 

The hypocausts front left are a familiar item to we seasoned ruin spotters (like toilets on castles). They are the spacing for under floor heating systems.

This is the agora - market come communal area, with an amphitheatre behind, and an aesclepion (hospital) to its left. Columns came from Egypt.

And here's the old Frankish castle who's bits went to Egypt (duh). 

Outside the archaeological park were some more ruins from the old city, as well as a view from later periods like the hammam or Turkish bath below.

This amphitheatre is from the Helenistic period.

Amazingly the above two photos were 5 mins apart!

Colourful, but not in everyday use anymore.

Looks nice but it's relatively new.
Judi wanted to shop, so we dodged the rain for the rest of the afternoon. Neither of us bought anything other than food and drink. That night's entertainment was a quiz, which we won.
We never finished off the prize...a bottle of champagne....

Friday, 14 December 2012

First and last for 2012?

Well, I was goaded into posting something for this year by W, and since we have just been to Cyprus I have no excuse.

Walking into the Crown Resort Hotel was a glimpse of Christmas future - in the old folks home! The median age of the guests must have been 60+ and to see them asleep in their comfy chairs brought back memories of visits to the Veterans home. Entertainment continued the theme - Bingo at 21:30 every night, and a series of organised activities so our muscles and brains didn't atrophy. Anyway, the inmates were all friendly enough. It turns out that this time of year the deals are so good (cheap flights, 33%-50% discounts on the hotel, etc) that it is cheaper than paying for 'the electric' and food at home! Especially as the deals are often "All Inclusive" as ours was. Btw, not quite all inclusive, but near enough.

Some of the decor must have raised eyebrows - we assume classical themes are being alluded to.

We had arrived with a view of lightning from the plane so new there had been some bad weather, but the next morning was fine as you can see above - and a good 10 deg warmer than Leeds!

Sadly the pattern was to be half a day of sunshine and the other half rain, and we never knew which half would be what. 

We stayed in Coral Bay, west of Paphos which itself is on the south-west end of the island. The latter was an ancient capital under a Ptolemaic governor. There are still Ptolemaic, Hellenistic and Roman ruins, as well as a few later mediaeval buildings. Arabs, Franks, Venetians, Turks - you name it, they'd all come through at one stage or another.
A small fort protecting Paphos harbour. Venetian then Turkish.
Although the ancient town is multi-layered, it is renowned for its Roman mosaics. And they are spectacular!

Here's a taster but I think I will link you to the rest. There's also an amphitheatre, agora, villas, and a later Frankish (ie crusader) castle. Apparently many of the stones from this were shipped of to help line the Suez canal which is kind of poetic since the granite columns in the agora, for instance, came from Egypt originally.

Wow! the excitement of blogging has exhausted me. I'll post part two tomorrow.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

P trying to get home

His guiding is over so off to bed early and up at 6.14 for the bus to Rome

Then at 11 onto the plane down the runway and      stop

turn round back to the departures terminal 
all off

wait wait wait

you will be flying in 4 four hours
stuck in departures all the time

now 4.30
no.... we only have a smaller plane so some of you have to stay in Rome

yes at the moment he is on the midnight plane
of course by the time he gets to Manchester no trains will be running until 5am ( oh and they have replaced the train with a bus)

some one has offered him a ride to Leeds so all going well! he will be here about 5am

and so happy I bet.

I leave tomorrow for Chelmsford and Peterborough and wont be back for 4 days. I have my training to be a trainer.

ships that pass in the night...

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

It's all negative

All around the world and what a negative experience:

  • No crashes
  • No breakdowns
  • No lost tickets
  • No muggings
  • No kidnappings
  • No murders
  • No bad weather (after snow in Chch on the first days)
  • No deadly earthquakes (only a 4.5 on the last day)
  • No All Black losses
  • No worries, mate

Thursday, 23 June 2011

It's here!

The Battles for Monte Cassino: Then and Now by Jeff Plowman  and Perry Rowe. Published by After the Battle. Available though (check that site for your nearest distributors).

Spread the word.