Back in Cyprus

Larnaca dinnerSo, after a lengthy travel day of Pittsburgh to Toronto to Athens to Larnaca, I arrived in Cyprus on Monday. I really did not do much other than check into a hotel and wait for Bill to arrive. Once he arrived, he and Sarah (an IUP graduate student in Anthropology who will be using the portable XRF on Late Roman fine ware sherds at Polis and PKAP), went down to the waterfront and had a dinner and then walked around a bit to see how much, if any, Larnaca had changed since last year. It really had not changed much, one building had been torn down and a few businesses had changed ownership, but other than that it looked pretty much the same.

This morning, we got up early and went and visited the staff at the Larnaca District Archaeological Musuem  to let them know (warn?) that we would be back next Monday StGeorgeto start working with our PKAP material. We next ran a few errands (Bill needed a simm card and I needed some graph paper for drawing) and then we went out and picked up our rental car. It did take us a few minutes to cram in all of our luggage and still have room for all three of us in the car at the same time. By the time we hit Papho sit was 12:30 and so we decided to stop for some lunch and since we were so close to Ayios Georgios Pegeia that we should head out to it and have a nice lunch at the St. George Fish Tavern which over looks the harbor and has really good grilled octopus. since we talked about Cypriot things, this was like a working lunch in many aspects.

BillAfter lunch we headed on to Polis. When we arrived we first stopped at the apotheke and visited with Amy Papalexandrou (who had arrived with 4 students yesterday) and made some plans for the week. Then we went and checked in at our hotel (Renos Tourist Apartments), and made a grocery run to get water and breakfast items. Finally, we took a tour of the site so Sarah could see what it looked like. Unfortunately, EF1 was really overgrown with head high grass. Bill was kind enough to give Sarah a quick overview of the site based on our research. Though..this came at the cost of Bill’s humor – for example he made the dating the church/dating the walls joke 5 times. Anyway, we will be heading out to dinner with the goal of starting work bright early tomorrow morning.


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Wrapping up 2016 Cyprus Season

So, today is my last day in Cyprus. It has been a busy week in Larnaka. We spent some time looking for artifacts to catalogue and trying to sort out some minor issues. This took a lot more time than we expected. I do feel good about what we accomplished, we were even able to spend some time in the evenings visiting Kourion and Athienou to look at their pottery. Brandon and Dave left early Friday morning, so I made my fifth airport trip – the only one left is my trip to the airport early tomorrow morning.

IMG_0529Since today is my last day on the island, it is usually what Bill refers to as “Frantic Scott looking for souvenirs” Day. That changed this year though. I decided to pass on getting souveniers, my kids are teenagers and probably already have everything available for them anyway. To recap my day, I got up and packed, and was done by 8:00 AM – leaving a lot of time in the day. I went out for a walk and spent some time reflecting on the fact that I haven’t been able to to have many desserts on the island, but then realized that wasn’t exactly the case since I was eating a vanilla frosted doughnut while thinking that. Since I wasn’t running from store to store looking for gifts, I had time to look around. I saw a Cake o’clock store (cool name) and a Dopecutz Barbershop.









I also noticed a cool tree with orange blossoms (photo on right) that I wish I could have in my yard back in Pennsylvania. I usually spend the first month back in the US telling my family I wish I could have a jacaranda tree (photo on the left), and they in turn point out to me that they can’t grow in PA.  I assume it is the same with this one. I will spend the afternoon charging my electronics, and downloading books and movies for the flights home tomorrow. Oh, and dinner.


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Settled in Larnaka

IMG_0520So, Sunday we got up, packed up the car, and headed over to Larnaka. Along the way, we took a break and stopped for lunch at one of our favorite spots, Zygi. As I have mentioned many times before, this is a picturesque spot with a number of very good fish restaurants. The food (octopus, calamari, mussels, fries, etc.) was delicious as usual. After lunch, we headed on to Larnaka where we had a bit of a setback. Our reservation at our usual hotel had been screwed up. I had been Loukoumadesconcerned about this because it had taken several emails to get our reservation to the point that I thought it was ok. I have to admit I got a little steamed because the young man at the desk, after not finding the reservation, asked me several times if I had the correct hotel. When I showed him the email that I had sent to the manager with our dates, he read it and said – but this is for  May 1st – which was the day I had sent the email, not the dates in the email. Eventually, he called the manager and everything was sorted out. They were able to find a room for us, which IMG_0522turned out to be a much nicer room, with a lot more space. while we waited for the room to be ready, we walked down to the boardwalk and were in for another disappointment, there is very little set up for the Kataklsymos yet. The Kataklsymos is not until June 20th, but we were hoping for maybe some bumper cars and loukoumades. No luck. AHHHH! We had to settle for Haagen Dazs, which had seriously upscaled their menu.

27250574642_33522d4d82_bToday (Monday) started off poorly. We went to the museum at Larnaka to look at some artifacts. Unfortunately, some of the items we were looking for (coins and metals) had been sent to Nicosia and weren’t available for us to look at. I found about half of the pottery I was looking for, the rest I couldn’t find. The museum staff was nice and helpful, as they have always been, but it was very hot in Larnaka – or at least it felt that way after being in Polis, it turned out to be only 86. For lunch we stopped at the Doctor of Hunger sandwich shop – excellent – I had a special sandwich with a fried egg. We then went out and looked at our site (Vigla and Koutsopetria) and they haven’t been disturbed since our last visit, so that was good. And then at the bakery, I found two bags of chips I had to try and both will be reviewed today – a first! Two reviews in one day!

IMG_0524First, I found Lays Lasagna flavored chips! Wow, words fail me. You know what, they actually taste like lasagna! The third ingredient on the package was lasagna with bolognese sauce flavor. So, I am going to give them a – ****** (6). In another first, I mean what a day, I have two guest taste testers – Brandon Olson and Dave Masten. There picture is below, Brandon is the one who looks unhappy in the photo. Anyway, back to the test – Brandon gave it a ******** (8) and Dave gave it a – ******* (7).  Brandon went so far as to say that if he was rating it based on how much it tasted like lasagna, he would have given it a 10.


IMG_0523Second chip to test, Lays Mozzarella and Pesto flavored chips. Hmmm, not exactly tasty. And that is an understatement. I gave it a – * (1). Really, not very good, in my humble opinion. It did taste like pesto, but with an unusual flavor. I also couldn’t taste the mozzarella, but maybe that is because the pesto was so strong. Brandon gave it a – (0). I wouldn’t have accepted that as a legitimate rating, but he actually spit it out rather than eat it. Dave gave it – ******** (8). Update, Dave liked the Mozzarella and Pesto chips so much, he is finishing off the bag and basically freaking me and Brandon out.



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Saturday in Polis

P1040262Things are a bit slow at Polis, I am heading to Larnaka tomorrow so there wasn’t a lot to do today. So Brandon, Dave, and I used the day as a chance to go to Paphos and visit some of the sites- I haven’t been to some of them in a few years. It turned out to be a great idea. We arrived at Paphos to see the mosaics at 8:21. The guards had to unlock the gate for us because nobody had been in yet. We were the only ones at the site for an hour and a half – it was fantastic, we had the place to ourselves. It was also overcast so it wasn’t as hot as it usually is when I visit Paphos, and it had just rained so the mosaics were very bright and really stood out. After visiting the mosaics and the castle, we stopped at Paul’s Pillar and it was amazing how much this site has changed over the years – you used to be able to wander all over the site, but now there are elevated walkways you are required to stay on as you walk around the site.


IMG_0508Last night on our way home from dinner we stopped at this small ice cream shop at the edge of the plateia. It was a very interesting experience, to say the least. The shop was a small room with one freezer by the door, with the words “Homemade Ice Cream” marked on it by hand. The old man running the place had been watching TV, which he left on and at a very high volume. He then proceeded to tell us about his life (for quite a while) and how he had been making the best ice cream on Cyprus for 36 IMG_0512years. He then insisted that we have a cone with all eight of his flavors on it (strawberry, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, almond, banana, rose, and mandarin). I have to admit to not being a fan of many of those flavors. He then took a spatula and proceeded to put a little of this flavor and a little of that flavor on the cone, thoroughly mixing the flavors. I have to admit, it was actually good with all the flavors mixing together. We had a hard time leaving because he wanted to keep talking and followed us out into the street talking, and even started repeating his stories.


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Last Friday in Polis

IMG_0503Things are winding down in Polis for 2016 for me – we leave Sunday for a week of work at PKAP in Larnaka. I finished looking at pottery yesterday, both pieces in the museum and what we had stored at the apotheke. I spent some time today tidying up my work area, which is something I always need to do since I am not by nature a tidy person. This involved making sure that all the trays of pottery I had pulled to look at were put back….and in the right space. I always find trays I pulled so that I could look at the tray behind them sort of scattered around the apotheke. So, there were more trays than I expected that needed to be put back, and the trays that had been put up earlier were sort of out of order and needed to be rearranged. And most of these trays had to be put back on the top racks, which meant using the ladder. Then I gathered up all the pottery I pulled for drawing and illustrating next year and collected them into two trays which I labeled and stored near my work area. Finally, I created a box of materials to be stored here until next year. This is not much stuff (extra graph paper, power cord, extra calipers), but I wish it could be – then I could carry less stuff around with me. Not much else to report other than it looked like rain for a while with really dark clouds passing over. Since I wanted to include a second picture in the post, this is the restaurant we ate at last night – the Polis Herb Garden Restaurant. It has a nice area filled with herbs that they light up at night with a fountain and a stream that has lights floating in it – very picturesque.



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10 Days to Go

Time is flying by, I only have til Sunday in Polis and then we head to Larnaka to do some PKAP work next week, mainly cataloguing and illustrating artifacts. Today I drove Bill and David to the airport, they are headed to Greece. The ride isn’t bad, just long – 2 hours each way.When I got back to Polis it was about midday, so I went to the museum to look at some of the registered artifacts from the areas that Bill and I have been focusing on this summer. It turned out to be not very helpful, the pieces did not add to our knowledge about the area. It happens that way sometimes.

IMG_0487[1]Since I mentioned them earlier, I thought I would try the ketchup and mustard chips by Tsakiris. It turns out that some of them are ketchup flavored and ridged, while others are mustard flavored and not ridged. Since I had not looked at the bag closely, I was expecting a mix of ketchup and mustard on each chip. The chips were crunchy as usual, but I have to admit to not liking either type of flavored chip, the taste was …… just strange in my opinion. And I did try them separately and together, for the sake of science. So, I give them – ** (2).


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Starting to Feel the Pressure

I am always amazed at how each season in Cyprus goes the same way. When I first get to the island, everything is nice and relaxed and I look forward to how much work I will be able to accomplish. Then, when there is less than two weeks left, a bit of anxiety sets in and I realize that my list of goals is not going to be completely checked off, that there is simply not enough time between now and when I leave the island to finish everything. That feeling hit me yesterday. I also realize that this feeling is only going to get worse over the next few days. I have 11 days before I leave the island, and only 9 of them are days I can do work. I enjoy working on Cyprus, but the limitation to my research is that the actual hands-on work with my material is limited to the one month I can spend in Cyprus each year. Anything I forget to collect (weight, color, number, a particular level and pass, etc.) will have to wait until next year for me to collect.
IMG_0484[1]One plus this season was listening to some interesting arguments between colleagues about the process of archaeology – more on that later. Today’s chip review – Tsakiris Oregano Chips. As with all Tsakiris potato chips, they were crisp and crunchy. The oregano flavor was subdued and could have been stronger –  ******(6). Tsakaris chips have been a pleasant surprise this summer, maybe I will try their ketchup and mustard flavor tomorrow.


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