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A few more pictures from Cyprus June 26, 2008

Posted by dorigo in personal, travel.
Tags: , ,

Yesterday’s program of the CMS week in Cyprus included an afternoon off. An excursion by bus was organized to bring the 180 participants to a few interesting archaeological sites on the south-west coast, a visit to the small town of Pafos, and a dinner in a small town on the way back to Limassol.

It was a really long day for me. I had gone to sleep very late the night before, to give some finishing touches to my talk. In the morning, I had given my talk at 9.15AM, and then left for a short visit to the rocky coast just west of Governor’s beach, together with two colleagues from my University. Below, you can see a view of the coast.

Back to the hotel I just had the time for a shower and a quick lunch before joining the group, which left with four buses at 1PM.

We visited what is left of a beautiful sanctuary dedicated to Apollon Ylatis. It lies on top of a hill overlooking the sea, and it is surrounded by ruins of several buildings. Below you can see a couple of pictures of the temple (which is partly reconstructed, though you can tell the original pieces from the other ones), a detail of the frigidarium (where athletes refreshed themselves with cold water) and some other structures.

Another site nearby is the ancient town of Kourion. There we visited the foundations of a beautiful house whose floor is rich with mosaics:

After that, we stopped at Petra Tou Romiou, also known as Aphrodite’s Rock (see pictures in this other post) – but not near the wonderful beach! The guide decided for a bar on top of a hill. I complained with no effect: she said she did not want us to get “messy” by having a swim in the sea. I had brought a swimsuit and towel, and the change of program slightly upset me.

We finally reached Pafos, where we visited the “tombs of the kings” – temples buried underground, such as the one below:

At that point I was totally cooked by the heat, the walks, and the rides on the bus, and I skipped the last visit to the spectacular mosaics of Nea Pafos. I instead joined the greek cypriot grad students who crew the organizing committee for a beer. Here is our table (don’t look for me in it- I took the picture):

Finally, we reached the village of Pissouri -a nice place on the hills, where we had dinner. The view of the country around the village was pictoresque:

During the otherwise pleasant dinner I was able to embarass myself. We were organized in rows of tables (see the picture below), and while we waited for the food I decided to wash my hands. I went inside the restaurant, where a buffet was being organized, and after some waiting I was able to use the restrooms. As I walked out, I saw a big line forming at the buffet, and instantly grabbed a dish and waited to serve myself. Then, as soon as I got out of the restaurant with a full serving on my hands and joined my table, I felt the eyes of everybody on me: the buffet had been organized such that people sitting in different rows would have to wait for their turn to join the line and get the food… And my table had not been called up yet! I decided it made no sense to go back and re-deposit the food I had grabbed on the original trays, so I sat down and waited, until all those sitting around me insisted that I should not let the food cool down….

After dinner we were finally brought back to the hotels. I must say the organizers of the Cyprus CMS week have to be commended for their hard work to make everything run smoothly, and for their organization of this excellent, if a bit exhausting, excursion.



1. nige - June 26, 2008

Thanks for these photos of the historic attractions on Cyprus. I wonder if physics conferences in such hospitable locations get higher attendance than those elsewhere?

2. Amara - June 26, 2008

I think what has impressed me most about my one and only trip to Greece (the islands) was/is the variety of blues and greens in the sea. So many shades.. I thought I saw it all, then another presented itself. Photographs can’t reproduce it.. maybe paintings can, but then the viewer, who hasn’t experienced it with his/her own eyes, thinks that the colors are fake.

Of the ancient architecture and artifacts, I love that stuff. I wonder, though, how many people realize that some of the best preserved Greek architecture and artifacts are located in Sicily?

Thanks for the photo-documentary!

3. island - June 26, 2008

Exhausting, for sure, but from what I see, it was worth it. I missed my opportunity to go there by a day and a missed call. I missed a lot!

The water looks pretty sweet too, and I’ll bet that the view at the beach is… … even better… 😉

4. Kea - June 27, 2008

Just stunning, thanks!

5. Don - June 27, 2008

There’s an organizing committee for a beer?

Wow. You guys are serious scientists!


6. dorigo - June 27, 2008

Hi Nige,

of course a beautiful location attracts more participants to some extent. There is however a catch: as a function of travel expenses there is a plateau followed by a very sudden dampening. So organizing a conference at the Mauritius islands would not be sustainable, for instance.

Hi Amara,

good point, yes – I think it is an overlooked fact that Sicily has the best archaological sites. Besides Agrigento and Siracusa, I particularly liked Selinunte, and the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina are unrivalled.

Island, the water is fine, but I must say I prefer white seabeds – here the sand is mostly dark, due to a strong component of basalt.

Don, the organizers of the conference had planned the dinner in detail. They were really good with everything. I do not recall such an attention to the participants in recent events.

Cheers all,

7. Daniel - June 28, 2008

Thanks for the photos. Enjoyed them. Have to get there. http://www.bentpage.wordpress.com. That said, I know nothing of physics except that I checked this morning and gravity was still working. My feet touched the floor automatically anyway.:)

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