Final dig days

Thursday 8 August. After a few days of helping out in different squares, it’s the end of the dig season. And the last day at the site. It’s a 5.00am start zzzzzzzzzzz so we can all be at the dig site to sweep tortously so that Pam can take final photos in the pre-sunrise gentler light. Cries of ‘that hasn’t been swept! ‘It’s still messy there!’ ‘DON’T STEP THERE! I JUST SWEPT IT!’ Pam arrives majestically at the site atop a cherry picker. ‘EVERYONE OUT OF THE SQUARES’ Then, ‘OH CRAP! THE SUN IS RISING! PICK UP EVERYTHING! CHELSEA, THERE’S STILL A DUSTPAN IN YOUR SQUARE! EVERYONE OUT! Archaeologists, students and volunteers scamper in all directions trying not to be in the final photo of the whole dig site.

Then after the photos were finalised, Pam showed us sections of a Roman Road alongside the 21st century road adjacent to the dig site.

And with that, the dig was finished! Some post-dig cleaning of the school where we had stayed, then off to Larnaka for some R and R….

And since this is my last post relating to my Cyprus adventures, I thought that I would include some info about Cyprus and its austerity adventures.

I have not met a single Australian tourist whilst here. But there are heaps and heaps of British and Russian ones. Lots of British people are buying real estate here and making Cyprus their permanent home. This is for a variety of reasons. The climate, of course. Fringe benefits such as the fact that the Cypriot equivalent of the Poll Tax is way less onerous than the British one (or whatever they call it now in the post-Thatcher era). And the real estate here has become more affordable due to the economical situation.

Here’s an article from Wikipedia about the Cypriot economical adventures of the last 12 months which sums it up….it’s kind of complicated:

The Cypriot economy has diversified and become prosperous in recent years.[88] However, in 2012 it became affected by the Eurozone financial and banking crisis. In June 2012, the Cypriot government announced it would need €1.8 billion of foreign aid to support the Cyprus Popular Bank, and this was followed by Fitch downgrading Cyprus’s credit rating to junk status.[89] Fitch said Cyprus would need an additional €4 billion to support its banks and the downgrade was mainly due to the exposure of Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Popular Bank and Hellenic Bank, Cyprus’s three largest banks, to the Greek financial crisis.[89]

The 2012–2013 Cypriot financial crisis led to an agreement with the Eurogroup in March 2013 to split the country’s second largest bank, the Cyprus Popular Bank (also known as Laiki Bank), into a “bad” bank which would be wound down over time and a “good” bank which would be absorbed by the Bank of Cyprus. In return for a €10 billion bailout from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Cypriot government would be required to impose a significant haircut on uninsured deposits, a large proportion of which were held by wealthy Russians who used Cyprus as a tax haven. Insured deposits of €100,000 or less would not be affected.

The upshot is that a lot of Cypriots, especially in the middle classes, have lost a lot of money. Although they are friendly and helpful, they are a bit disgruntled. The Government has gone in arbitrarily and taken their money, there’s basically very few jobs around, and quite a few people want to leave….

But despite this, Cyprus is a really safe country to travel around (you have to watch out for the drivers, though, who are a bit enthusiastic). Cypriots are great. They love their meat (ask for the lamb dish on the menu and you’ll be served a whole one) and they invented haloumi cheese, Food of the Gods. And EVERYONE has been here, poking around. The Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Persians, the Romans, the Ottomans, the British, etc etc.

And the Cypriot Museum is sensational!


~ by margoforte12 on August 10, 2013.

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