Cyprus Rivals Aphrodite In Beautiful Perfection
Standing on the beach near Paphos, between a perfectly cloudless sky, with impossibly clear blue water, and the bright Cypriot sun, it was easy to imagine the goddess Aphrodite springing from the sea. Her birthplace is the middle of three solitary rocks close to the coast. I imagine the flanking two as guardians of her legendary beauty.
As befitting the goddess of love, beauty, and pleasure, access to her birthplace is only visible down a narrow path through a natural stone tunnel that opens to the sun and white sand. The three rocks jut like beacons out of the sea, looking deceivingly close but clearly not to be approached by mere mortals, including myself and my fellow travelers. A few photos will have to do.
Jealous goddesses and rivals on Mt. Olympus, as well as mere mortals, have tried to uncover the secret of her beauty. There is another place in this pristine part of Cyprus that may hold the answer, or at least give a little hope. A short drive-in modern vehicle and a brief walk on a well-worn path leads to Aphrodite’s bathing spring. Clear, cold water is protected by a dome of stone and a steep stone ledge at the entrance. The legend claims if you can bathe in the water, you will look twenty years younger. Never mind the sign proclaiming no bathing allowed, or that eels are supposed to live in the spring. Threats of Cypriot prosecution had no intimidating effect on a half dozen determined women who bent over the ledge or climbed into the pool to splash their faces and bodies. The water was cold and refreshing. The results…. well, I am still waiting.
Aphrodite had to be born in Cyprus. She is the secret to love and beauty, born of the sea, pampered by gods and mortals. To me that is the essence of a Cypriot holiday: bathing in the bluest of the Mediterranean waters under a cloudless warming sun, pampered by some of the friendliest and most hospitable people in the world, and indulging in the cuisine of delicious, fresh, local food and wine.
My one visit was too short. I need to return. I also need another splash of water from Aphrodite’s bath.
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Donna Zabel, owner of DreamMaker Destinations, has been helping travelers turn their travel dreams into travel reality for over 20 years. Having explored all seven continents and about 135 countries, she enjoys sharing her travel tales and encourages everyone to find their own story to tell.