28.09.2006 34 °C
I was up bright and early next morning to jump on a bus, and this one would take me to the ancient Roman site of Kourion. It is one of the best preserved and extensive ruins in Cyprus and has a dramatic setting perched high on a bluff overlooking the sea and the Akrotiri peninsular plain to the south. It's especially renowned for its mosaics and many have been left in situ, covered by shelters to ward off the elements.
There was no bus back however and I had resigned myself to a long hot walk in the midday sun in order to reach Episkopi, a village a few Ks hence and a name synonymous with the British Army. Together with the Akrotiri peninsula to the south this area constituted the other Sovereign Base Area which had been retained by the UK. The village was only remarkable in as much as it housed the Kourion Museum, a display of artifacts retrieved from the ruins. It was here I learned that the island had inherited its name from the Italian Cypress tree (Cypressus Sempervirens) which had been found growing here, one might have presumed it was the other way around, the island might have named the tree. Since the advent of the bronze age the island had become famed as one of the richest sources of copper and thus gave its name in turn to the metal. Amongst the standard array of pottery and statuettes there was one poignant display above all others. Still lying in situ were the remains of a young family who had perished in the city's final demise, the great earthquake of 365AD. A young mother of around 19 years old with still perfect teeth had clutched her baby to her breast and curled up into a ball. The father aged around 25 who had been found wearing a Christian motif ring had in turn tried to shield them with his body. It was heartbreaking.
The promise of an onward bus was not forthcoming and so it was another long hot slog of 5Ks to a further spot of interest, Kolossi Castle, which turned out to be more of a tower house akin to Alloa Tower.
I finally managed to stumble across a bus to take me back to Limassol.