Last night was a chance for the PKAP team to go out and have a relaxing meal to celebrate the end of the season. We went to a Lebanese restaurant and had a pretty good meze with an assortment of very good dips and grilled meat. Afterwards, we went for a walk along the waterfront and took in the sights. There were a lot more vendors setting up their booths than the night before, even though Kataklysmos is still 10 days away. Fortunately for us, the bumper cars were set up and open for business. Bumper cars in Cyprus are fantastic – they are twice as fast as American bumper cars, have no padding or seat belts, and the goal is always to crash into other cars as hard as you can. We all bought tickets
for 3 rides, and each ride probably lasted for about 7-10 minutes. The great thing was that we were the only ones riding the cars for 2 of the times, so there were no innocent civilians in the way, so to speak. It was a lot of fun, with David laughing maniacally the entire time, and Brandon super intent on nailing people with his car. The only drawback was that the first car I got in did not work and so when the cars started, mine would not go. Since I was just sitting there and not able to defend myself, the other PKAPers of course did the honorable and noble thing and did not take advantage of my helpless state…..Of course not, they all kept crashing into me multiple times and laughing their heads off until the guy in charge of the ride got me a new car and then the tide turned in my favor. As always, a lot of fun, and unlike some past years nobody was hurt. It was a nice way to end the season.
Today, after I dropped off Brandon at the airport, I drove down to Kourion – which is a fantastic site west of Lemmesos. My friend, Tom Davis, is directing the Kourion Urban Space Project – and invited me to come down and see what his project is doing, and take a look at some of his Roman ceramics. They are staying in Episkopi and I have never actually been in this village before. It is a typical Cypriot village – clean, lots of colorful flowers, and lots of friendly people. I did get a little lost following the signs to the Museum, but that is no different than driving in Pittsburgh. Once I got here, we first played the guess the pottery game. They brought out some of their pottery and we passed the sherds around and I talked about the different wares they had, as well as talking about what I look for when I analyze pottery.
After this, Tom took me out to his site and showed me where he was working. Kourion is a striking site with an amazing view of the Mediterranean from a cliff that overlooks a small beach. Part of their work was on the side of a cliff closest to the absolute edge. As we got closer to the edge, the wind became very strong. By the time we reached the area that they have been working on, the wind was blowing so hard it was actually hard to talk to each other and you had to shout to be heard. You could also see this out on the water which had lots of waves and
whitecaps. The strength of the wind reminded me of when I was growing up in Wilmington, NC and we would go out riding on our boat at full speed. A couple of times I could actually feel myself move with the wind. After showing me around the site, we went down to the beach and had lunch at a restaurant right on the water. I can remember several times when we visited Kourion and stood at the basilica that overlooks the beach, looking down at the restaurants on the beach and wondering if they were a good place to eat or not – turns out they are a good place to eat.