The last time I strolled through Paphos old town was probably a few years ago. Since then, a lot has changed. Paphos was the cultural capital in 2017 and a lot of work and money has gone into making it a more presentable.
Back in the days, I remember the old town as a scruffy place overcrowded with tourists and small shops selling souvenirs. We used to come to the bazaar area with family and friends visiting, hunting down the best 3D postcards and prettiest magnets for collection. We used to have lunch or drink in one of the restaurants overlooking the sea from the hill, with waiters fighting for your attention to get you seated in their place. The place was busy and buzzing. The market area was so tightly packed with souvenir stalls you could barely squeeze through. There would be people shouting offering you the best price and you would get lost in the sea of people passing by. Those were the days when we still didn’t have the Kings Mall, so most of the shopping was done here in the market or in the harbour.
I almost didn’t recognize it today. I’m not sure if it was because it was Sunday, but it was literally deserted.
There are still old beautiful buildings which are crumbling down (much to the delight of fashion photographers and the likes), but the roads have been renovated, Kennedy Square and the town hall square have undergone a complete transformation and the whole city seems somehow more modern and what it should be. The old streets seem cleaner and more polished and there are new trendy coffee shops, restaurants and bar to choose from. Street art has been one of the most pleasant surprises on my walk. It added the much-needed character and personality, part of which seems to have been taken away by the modern renovations. Paphos has grown up and it’s amazing to see how much can change in just a few years!
I hope these pictures will inspire you to visit the old town and get lost in the beautiful small streets.
I’m about to put my feet up, enjoy my tea and celebrate the little victories from this week. That includes finishing this blog post in a record time! =)
Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks!