In one week from now, I will be in the Larnaca airport getting ready to fly back home to Pittsburgh. I have now been in Cyprus for twenty-three days but it strangely feels like much longer, yet the time seems to have gone by so quickly. Paphos Cyprus has become my home for the past month and it is a home I have much enjoyed living in. Although the whole island of Cyprus could fit inside Pennslyvania, with room to spare, the land is filled with so much rich history and expansive views that it feels much larger.
This past week we went on two different boating excursions and I was able to swim in the crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon and then off the shore of protected land in Cyprus. When we were anchored off the shore of the preserved land, a Cypriot helicopter buzzed over our boat and it was really exciting to see. On the shore of the preserved land, we found beautiful rocks that were almost clear in appearance and we all swam back to the boat with fists clenched holding all of our new found treasures. Being here has sparked in me once again the joy of just experiencing life and being in awe of my surroundings and the simplicity of nature.
I also got to visit the Kolossi Castle and see the breathtaking views from the top of the castle. The stairs to the top of the castle were winding and narrow but once up top I had a panoramic view of the surrounding land and it was stunning. All the roofs of the houses are orange and blend in with the sandy mountains behind them. Though, even better than the view from atop the Kolossi Castle was the view from the top of one of the mountains in Cyprus. Eddy, who is often our driver for our excursions, took us the scenic route on our way to see a shipwreck and as he pulled over, atop a lookout, the valley of Paphos unfolded before my eyes. The sea stretched on in the background and I could see for miles over all the rugged landscape. It was truly astounding and took my breath away.
Everywhere we go here I am overcome with the reoccurring feeling that this is the most beautiful place I have ever been to. Each excursion and trip reaffirms that more. It is not just the scenery but the way of life, the people. There is a calm rhythm to Cyprus that seems to always beat steadily in the background. It is relaxing and everpresent and reminds me to slow down and enjoy life. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have come here and learn about the history of Cyprus through a sociological perspective and be able to see that history physically before my own eyes every day. Although I still have one week left here, I know it will go by far too quickly and before I know it I will be back home in Pittsburgh, but I will try my very best to slow down time until then.