We made another tour by car and drove towards the north-western coast of the island. On the way we visited some smaller destinations, of which I would like to introduce only a few places here.
I particularly enjoyed the shipwrecks off Cyprus. I can only recommend this visit.
M/V Demetrios II – a shipwreck off Cyprus
From our hotel we could have a look at this shipwreck and I don’t know how many times I said – look, there is a ship leaving… But the waves breaking there almost always gave the impression of a bow wave.
The Demetrios II was en route to Syria with 8 crew members in heavy seas on 23 March 1998. The ship ran aground shortly before the lighthouse of Paphos. The crew could be rescued. Later investigations revealed that the captain and the first officer had forged certificates of competence.
The cargo and all environmentally harmful substances were later recovered from the ship. The wreck itself still lies off the coast of Cyprus. The ship can be seen well from the coastal road.
Shipwrecks off Cyprus – EDRO III
A small road leads to a stretch of coast where another wreck can be found.
It was 8 December 2011 in heavy seas when the EDRO III was en route to Rhodes. The cargo ship had loaded plasterboard and the nine crew members had to struggle hard in the swell. The ship ran aground off the island of Cyprus, near Pegeia. The crew could be saved.
The 80-metre long ship was not towed away. The cargo and all environmentally harmful materials were removed. The wreck still lies on the rock at an angle of about 11 degrees and has become a habitat for birds and marine animals. Since the wreck cannot be visited, the animals can live here undisturbed.
It is quite easy to reach the cliff on foot and there you can climb over the rocks a little closer to the ship. While standing on the rocks I wish for rising fog and sunrise. I can imagine that this place would make such a great film set. With sunshine and blue skies the wreck is easy to see, but not as mystical as I always imagined such a place.
A tip: Here you can take a walk along the steep coast and enjoy a wonderful view of the coastal structure.
Baths of Aphrodite
Already in the hotel we were recommended to visit the Baths of Aphrodite in north-western Cyprus. So our journey continued towards the coastal section between Polis and the adjacent nature reserve.
From a large car park, a footpath leads past ice cream sales stands to the fenced-off area where the bath is to be located. There was no entrance fee and to be honest, I would have been very annoyed about an entrance fee.
According to legend, Aphrodite bathed here and met Akamas. The two fell in love. Their love was betrayed to Zeus, who punished Aphrodite on her return to Olympus.
When I arrive at the bathroom, I am disillusioned. You don’t see much, a small rock cave, a sparse rippling trickle and above all an unkempt “water basin” full of leaves and rubbish. Considering that this is supposed to be one of the top destinations of the region, the sight is sobering, sad, almost a “tourist rip-off”. (Especially when you consider that expensive bus tours take visitors here every day).
For me, the positive part of the visit starts behind the site. A hiking trail runs here, from which one gets really fantastic impressions of the surroundings. We walked around a little bit and so we could get something positive out of this destination.