Cyprus: Aphrodite's homeJanuary 9, 2020
According to legend, the goddess Aphrodite was born off the coast of Cyprus from the foam produced by Uranus's genitals, which his son Cronus has severed and thrown into the sea. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty and lust. The latter is particularly satisfied in Cyprus. A mountainous interior of the island, which is an excellent wine-growing area. Romantic beaches, nestled in a jagged rock facade. All garnished with countless hours of sunshine, turquoise water and one of the ten best wrecks worldwide!
You can feel it is a hot day when you open your eyes. Cloudless sky, the blue of which seems unreal. Although it is only 7.30am in the morning, the radiant sun warms the hungry body during breakfast on the hotel terrace. There is a tense silence between the buddies. Today is the day. The enthusiastic wreck divers are fulfilling their dream of being able to dive one of the top ten wrecks worldwide. The Zenobia is in just 1.5 km distance to the port entrance of Lanarca. On May 4, 1980, the Zenobia ferry, the flagship of the Challenger class, made its maiden voyage from Malmö to the Mediterranean. 172m long and 23m wide fully loaded with 108 trucks. On May 22, 1980, the Zenobia sank - allegedly due to a computer error in the ballast control system - and came to rest at 43m depth. Its shallowest point can already be found at a depth of 18m. Therefore, the Zenobia offers a lot for every diver; from the beginner to the wreck professional, an underwater playground on which one has still not explored everything even after ten dives.
The diving ship starts from the port of Lanarca, filled with 24 wreck-hungry divers from various dive centres. Boat sharing makes it possible that almost every dive centre can offer regular diving trips to Zenobia. After only a short time on the boat – its time to get into the water and eyes wide open. The divers see the giant immediately after the descent. Only now do the dimensions of this ferry become clear to them. A small group dives to the bow. The windlasses with anchor are absolutely worth seeing. Such intact anchors are rarely found. The entrance to the former cafeteria is close. A soda machine is discovered… but most probably won’t take any money.
The dive continues through the crew and passenger quarters towards the stern. Fascinating play of (sun)light bring past times to life in here. At the stern, the size of this wreck is demonstrated once again with the help of the ship's screws: man-sized propeller blades give an idea of the power of this giant. Another group of experienced divers with their guide decided to explore the cargo compartments immediately. Hardly below deck they see blue floating plastic bottles in the light of their lamps - parts of an old load. The trucks hang - like fixed on spider threads – motionless inside the monstrous cargo area. No water movement, no light. Even experienced wreck divers have to pay attention to their air consumption here, this ship is too fascinating and causes an increased breathing rate :-).
Since the Zenobia rests between 18m and 43m depth, it is an ideal nitrox dive spot that grants a few additional minutes of diving. On the ascent, the divers deal with the many capital groupers, which, like countless other fish, have chosen Zenobia as their new home. There are two dives on this day tour. Both breathtaking, but far too little to see almost everything.
After the fascinating dives - or on non-diving days, you can relax on the beautiful beaches on the following day. The top beaches here are Blue Lagoon, Makronissos Beach, Landa Beach, Nissi Beach.
Other highlights of the island:
The rocks of Aphrodite, the castle of St.Hilarion, the churches in the Troodos mountains, the Roman ruins in Kourion, the ghost town of Famagusta and much more…