Early breakfast on the terrace and we headed off under a cloudless sky to the Tombs of the Kings.
It's about 16 years since I last visited and the new car park and entrance area make it look a lot more professional and organised.
Evidence shows the area was first inhabited in the Chalcolithic period (copper-stone age around 3500-2300BC) but the current cemetery dates back to the Geometric (900-700BC), Archaic (750-500BC), Classical (500-336BC) and Hellenistic (336-146BC) Ages
The name "Tombs of the Kings" comes from the impressive style and columns rather than any regal inhabitants, close associates of the royal family governed Cyprus from the luxury villas at Nea (new) Paphos and this was to be their final resting place.
There are 7 tombs dotted around the sprawling site and all are accessible to the public. Restoration has/is taking place but it's discrete and (in my opinion) well done. They're unique to Cyprus but have Egyptian influences: the ancient Egyptians believed that tombs should resemble houses in order to live on in the next life.
The most impressive (and probably most photographed) is tomb 3: reached by a covered staircase, as you emerge into the light the well (essential in every large tomb complex) is on the left and the portico is supported by 4 Doric columns on each side, some of which have been restored. Burial chambers, and loculi line each wall and there's a chamber leading off to another tomb complex but I didn't venture that far!
I took most of my photos on my big camera so will edit and post them when I get back but I like this one of my parents in the atrium area of tomb 3. By the time we emerged from the tombs and started heading back to the car it was so hot - there's no shade at all so make sure you take a hat or a brolly for a little bit of respite! We made our way down into Paphos and had a walk along the promenade area and grabbed some shade and a frappé
I love a frappé, they just don't taste the same at home!
We got back to the house and had a dip in the pool before enjoying a late lunch and a lazy afternoon.
Only to be woken up by familiar voices, my aunt and uncle (whose house we've taken over) had been further up the coast visiting friends and decided to drop in for a day or two on their way to the Troodos Mountains. As they live down in Surrey, it's ages since we've had a catch up and it was such a lovely surprise (another birthday present!)
Dinner down in Coral Bay was absolutely divine - moussaka and salad followed by a cheeky Bailey's and a good old giggle before I was the one who went to bed first!