With the kind guidance of our new local friend Anton, who came to Cyprus by way of Bulgaria, we made our way by car along the coastline from Limassol to some truly amazing spots, some of which are rarely seen by tourists.
We stopped at a long national park of Cyprus at Lara Beach, best known for being a turtle sanctuary and took in the views of a protected coastline, only a small percentage of which we were seeing. Lunch was another high point of the day, stopping in an out-of-the-way village, Pissouri, and at a local restaurant right on the water for some great food and conversation. The proprietors were twins, so after I realized my vision was in fact still ok, we continued on.
Aphrodite’s Rock [Petra tou Rominou] lay at the end of a small beach. After following a small subterranean passage from the other side of the road, we emerged on a beach of smooth rocks of many sizes and a view that makes you want to quit your life, pitch a tent there, and make best friends with a basketball. As the story goes, if you touch the rock and make a wish, that wish will come true. So, just in case, we all did so. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted my cash in dollars or euros, so it took me a few minutes to finish.
The legend of the rock is a bit convoluted, as in Greek this rock is called the “Rock of the Greeks” based on a legend of a Greek folk hero who used this site to throw rocks at his approaching enemies. It is also called the Rock of Aphrodite because, apparently, Aphrodite [the patron goddess of Cyprus] surfaced with a spectacular foamy ancient-pyrotechnic entrance that would have even put Lady Gaga to shame, and then went on to do something or other with one of her many lovers.
Whatever the legend, the view from the beach was spectacular, as was the view from Lara beach and from Pissouri. If Aphrodite was around today, if she could take time away from her reality show to come back and see the beach, she would certainly be proud.