Alkis and I welcomed 2018 in the picturesque city of Paphos, which is situated on the western coast of Cyprus at about 150 km from Larnaca. We set off in high spirits on New Year's Eve after having done some last-minute shopping. On our way, we stopped at Pissouri Village where we enjoyed our last lunch of 2017 while watching the rain – actually, it wasn't just rain, it was a heavy downpour. As we had forgotten our umbrellas in the car, we ran to the parking lot hit by the sweet smell of fresh, invigorating drops of rain. The rain poured down over the city of Paphos throughout the remaining few hours of 2017. By 5:00 pm, we had checked in at Coral Beach Hotel and had coffee by the glowing fire in the elegant lobby.
The New Year's Eve party surpassed our expectations. I was impressed with the festive decorations of the lush buffet as well as with how well the whole event was organised. There was a wide range of starters, sushi, seafood, various meats and salads, desserts and cheeses. I don't think I've ever eaten so much on a New Year's Eve before! We ordered a smooth, medium-bodied Côte du Rhône with a delicate bouquet to pair with the delicious dishes the Executive Chef and his team had created. We bid farewell to 2017 and welcomed 2018 on the dance floor amid cheers, laughter, wishes and festive music. There were about 300 people of various nationalities in the ballroom, yet I felt as if we were one huge family
On New Year's Day, we woke to a bright, sunny morning! Some clouds, though, were still trying bravely to keep the rain away. And so they did! After a festive breakfast at the hotel, we enjoyed a leisurely stroll in the sunshine along the promenade in Kato Paphos. After the feast on New Year's Eve followed by a big breakfast , we had a light meal at Bacchus Restaurant consisting of grilled chicken and a salad. We sat outside, enjoying our meal and the sunshine and feeling thankful to those clouds which didn't give in to rain. Alkis and I are bon vivants, so we had Chinese for our first dinner in 2018. We loved the food at Phucket's even though we didn't eat everything and the service was excellent!
On our last day in Paphos, we went for a walk around the medieval castle. Paphos castle is located in Kato Paphos at the harbour. This castle was originally built to protect the harbour and was a Byzantine fort. During the 13th century the castle was rebuilt by the Lusignans. In 1570 however, the castle was once again destroyed by the Venetians who at that time were unable to protect the castle from the ongoing attacks by the Ottomans. The Ottomans succeeded in gaining access to Paphos and during the Ottoman rule the castle was once again restored, expanded, and strengthened to what it is today. The castle itself is a stunning stone walled castle built on the harbour. There is an arched battle way bridge that connects the castle to the harbour itself. There are very few windows in this castle but the view from the top platform is magnificent and from here you can see Kato Paphos in all its glory. It really is a site worth seeing and for those interested in culture; Paphos Castle is a definite must see during your trip to Cyprus. Paphos Castle is listed in the UNESCO list of world heritage sites and is fully protected.
In 1935 Paphos castle was declared an ancient monument and to this day it is considered to be one of the many hallmarks of Paphos . The square just in front of Paphos castle is used for many cultural events throughout the year. Most of these events take place annually and in September you can see the Aphrodite Festival. The Paphos Aphrodite Festival organizers invite a well known opera troupe to come and perform every year. This stunning event takes place in the square in front of Paphos Castle and the castle itself is used for scenery in the opera. Some of the famous operas that have been performed include Verdi's La Traviata and Bizet's Carmen.
Once inside the castle there is not much to see or do but once you reach the top platform you will see the breath taking view of the marina. Many people also use Paphos Castle as a backdrop for some amazing and memorable holiday pictures.
On our way back home, we stopped for lunch at Governor's Beach in Limassol.
Right now, I'm counting my blessings and wishing you more. Have a happy and prosperous New Year. I wish you new dreams, new hopes and new joys.