Intermission: The Hotel of Your Dreams
Back in the days when I and everyone else born in the same year were young, I had a habit of rummaging through abandoned buildings. This is urban exploration, but in an attempt to make it seem relevant I may also call it ‘initial state archaeology’. This is what buildings look like before we dig them up.
The Apollo Hotel in Pafos is abandoned, after a fashion. Built illegally, it was repossessed by the government and handed to the Antiquities Department: they use it as a base for the myriad of missions (Polish, Australian, Greek, Italian, French and Scottish by the last count) in Pafos. This is becoming steadily more difficult, since it turns out it was built of exceptionally poor materials. Every shower of rain makes it sag a little more: I give it ten years before it collapses entirely, which if I’m right would double its current lifespan.
So I had a stoat around.
It is as creepy as all hell. There’s the standard ‘door creaking in the wind’ noise throughout the building: only the ground floor is used now, where an ocean of tiny fragments of pottery resides. The higher levels are concerning: the roof can only be entered by force, and frankly I don’t want to come crashing into the pottery washing from two stories above.
The whole place is coming down. The vibe is decay. Plaster fragments have been falling from the season with every shower, and everything higher up is carpeted in it.
Rummaging reveals a trilingual Gideon Bible. I didn’t know they were in sodding Cyprus as well. This Bible is probably the saddest Bible in the world. I don’t think it was read even when the place was occupied, but then again they never are. Moderately unnerved, I decide that I’ve had enough of indoors for one day.
Must’ve been nice out here. I worry about the solidity of the place: pigeons roost in the metal overhang, which has bamboo covering it from underneath and terracotta paint on the top, which I suppose is making do.
Did I mention this is essentially brand new? Worried about the structural integrity of the entire place, I return to pot-washing and make good my escape. This place will be archaeology in ten years, you mark my words.
I rest my case.