Monday, February 28, 2011

Paphos ~ Mosaics I

We had previously tried to access the necropolis and Kato Paphos (old town center) via the beach promenade, but ended up turning around and driving through Nea Paphos into town.

One of the prettiest walkways we stepped on, but not exactly what we were looking for today. The Roman mosaics are another reason why Paphos on the whole was named World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. We parked in an empty lot and asked some of the locals who were playing backgammon where to head in order to find the mosaics. Their directions were vague at best, but we followed in the general direction of everyone's hands.
We passed the church of St. Anthony, Agios Antonios...
...and this beautiful cathedral, when we finally....
....reached a small gate in an unobtrusive fence that was partially open and close to this sign advising us to stay on the pathways, which were indistinct at best, but we were used to that by now.
It certainly looked like an archaeological site, but where were the mosaics?
Ah, there we go! We were walking straight across them! Beautiful. Amazing. Astounding...
...that they'd let people just wander all over them!
Portions of pillars and columns were lining the still not very well defined pathways.
If this piece had been less heavy, we'd have taken it home. My friends shirt adds much needed green to the image. We marvel at the concept of hands-on history, or rather feet-on mosaics, and examine the artwork beneath our occasionally bare feet with our bunions, hands, and eyes. Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa towers in the background.
We slowly begin to wonder whether we could possibly be on the wrong side of the fence, or the stone wall, since all other visitors seem to remain far away from all these treasures. Just as I climb around some portions of what I want to respectfully call historical debris, someone yells out to us that he thinks we should not be there. My friend responds, you are probably right, and proceeds to take pictures. Can you believe people!
But we took the next chance to escape the hallowed grounds....
...and in the process missed the pillar to whom Saul of Tarsus reportedly was tied and flagellated. You can see it to the left of this tall column, white marble with a round top, beneath the pine. We hasten to avoid further verbal lashings...

...and take our final shots from the legal vantage points outside.

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