As we were driving towards Pafos I couldn't help looking at the mountainous landscape, which seemed entirely different from anything we had come across so far, but that was until we reached the Southern part (where we stopped) overlooking a group of limestone rocks jutting out of the sea in the Petra tou Romiou area, the land where Aphrodite is said to have emerged from the sea foam.
Infertile women or those who are lonely and unlucky in love tie handkerchiefs or scraps of fabric on nearby trees so as to beseech the Godess of love to help them. A local legend says that swimming around the jutting rock in full moon makes one a year younger with each lap, whilst another legend states that after a night spent in the arms of her lover Aphrodite returned to this same spot to regain her virginity by bathing in the sea.
We soon found our way onto an archaeological site used during the Hellenistic and Ptolemaic periods, as a resting place for Kings, rich citizens and high officials of the Ptolemaic state.
We visited a few underground funerary monuments (tombs 3, 4 , 8 and 11) which according to the type of architecture seem to have followed the Alexandria construction practice type, consisting of a stepped dromos, a central atrium and burial chambers provided with many loculi for single burials, with some having cist graves underground and other pit graves as well. Tomb 4 was quite impressive with its Doric columns and even the simple fact that there existed a water-well in its southern portico, with tomb 8 being even more impressive with an arched entrance and a limestone block enclosed by a rectangular corridor where the central atrium should have been.
Since my daughter passed away I have developed a sense of peacefulness and self reflection in regards to life achievement whenever I visit burial grounds and it didn't feel much different this time.
(To be continued)