Morning in Cyprus, it’s cold in the mountains of Miliou, just 30 minutes north of Pafos. No one is in the pool at the Ayii Anargyri Natural Healing Spa and it will remain unmolested for the next week of our stay. The gym is also deserted, we have the run of the place. Welcome to Cyprus out of season. Cyprus occupies an area of 9,250 sq km and with only 1.1 million residents it can look utterly bereft of life without the hubbub of tourists.
In Pafos we head into a convenience store for deodorant and mouthwash. We find neither but I make an acquisition, an Omega watch. There is no packaging and it weighs next to nothing. The sub dials and helium release valves don’t function and there is no Luminova on the dial hands. But they have at least spelt Omega right and for €15 Euro’s I’m not going to be asking the assistant for any extended warranty.
“Ever walked into a shop for mouthwash and walked out with an Omega watch?” I ask the missus like a pompous arse. Silence, eye-roll, contempt. “Nope,“she sighs, “and neither have you.”
We venture on to the archaeological parks. Home of the restored Roman Villa which house the mosaic decorations and mythological compositions dating back to the second century A.D. The house is named “House of Dionysus” thanks to the many depictions of Dionysus, the god of wine. The tour guide was a large bald man who smiled like a car-salesman as he regaled stories. He hung a huge bear paw around me and told me to look at the two rams depicted in the mosaic below.
“What do you see?” He beamed. Almost whisper like.
“A couple of rams?”
“Look close, the male ram. What is he carrying?”
“You’ll have to tell me.”
“He’s carrying his pride. Look at his huge cock!”
We laughed like seedy men telling sex stories in a bar. I guess this was the highlight of the tour as he brought in the next couple close, an elderly couple. “Look at those rams what do you see?”