Polis

Bougan19 – 20th July. Bussed it to Polis, on the coast, north of Paphos. Very good idea. Slower pace, nice beach, lovely accommodation at the Bouganville Hotel Apartments. Despite the name, not a Bougan in sight – unless you count the hoons driving at breakneck speed down the road to the beach. Although Cyprus is by and large a safe country, apparently its accident rate is very high. Easy to see why. Young, hairy chested, and male. Not many speed limit signs around. What does that add up to? *Insert sound of revving engine here*.

Polis is the site of the ancient kingdom of Marion, foundedPolis Beach in the 7th century BC. The archaeological museum here has a collection of great decorated pottery excavated from around the area. Buying a bottle of water in town, I chatted with the shop proprietor who told me that basically around here, if you dig down, anywhere, you’ll find stuff. I remember being told the same about Rome by one of its residents when I was doing my European vacation thing in 1996.

This dig down and you’ll find stuff thing was proved spectacularly true recently at a local coffee shop called Costa’s, as I discovered last night over drinks chatting to some Brits. Some of them were staying at my hotel, as they did every year, because they like it so much, and one couple had, like large numbers of other Brits, relocated to Cyprus to live here permanently. Being now effectively locals, they had become familiar with the town and its stories, and relayed one to me about the proprietor of Costa's who was doing some renovations. Scarcely two seconds after the first spade had been sunk into the ground, someone stumbled upon an interesting cache of good quality Marion pottery. Many vessels were intact or mostly so, and had what it takes (and don’t ask me what THAT is) to impress archaeologists who specialize in Cypriot pottery/history/whatever, who were by all accounts thrilled. It turned out that some vessels were from Rhodes and may have been a gift from there to the King of Marion. How about that. Most of the pottery is now on display at the museum. I had only been in the place a couple of hours and I had already ferretted out a good story about Polis and its ancient history! Costas Corner

Today, at the recommendation of one of the Brits, I walked Baths of Athe paved path from the Polis camp ground west along the beach to the fishing village of Latchi. Dehydrated and hungry, I wolfed down an English Breakfast (code for hearty, fortifying and laden with carbs) before catching the bus to the Baths of Aphrodite. This natural pool and grotto was where, legend has it, Aphrodite bathed after entertaining one of her many lovers. Lots of nature trails depart from around the Baths. They look good, but will have to wait for another trip to Cyprus. I can’t venture too far afield by myself, and it’s so bloody HOT – the wrong time of year for taking on a big strenous hike. However, the beach here looks *sensational*. Will I have the energy to jump on the bus tomorrow and make a special trip back here simply to float around in the Mediterranean when I could to it at the beach at Polis just as easily? You’ll just have to wait for the next gripping instalment.

New ImageAs I type another Bougan has just broken through the sound barrier speeding down to the beach. Sigh. Slow down, friend.

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~ by margoforte12 on July 21, 2013.

3 Responses to “Polis”

  1. A lot of those road accidents happen in the mountains. If you haven’t been up into them yet, you will see lots of shrines on bends overlooking breathtaking drops. They are evidence of the high death toll.

  2. Can you bath where Aphrodite did? Does a dip render one infinitely desirable?

    • You may jest, but later on I was chatting to the owner of my hotel and he showed me a photo of two bikini clad Cypriot girls frolicking in the Baths, and in a hushed and awed voice he said that this, according to local tradition, was guaranteed to increase your *appeal*. (Now there are signs up at the Baths advising that bathing there is banned. I can only conclude that they want to keep the Cypriot birth rate down.)

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