“Finally,” my friend sighs. “In foro sum!”
“Well, yes and no,” I tell him. Yes, as part of my whirlwind tour, we reached a market town that developed through a ford. But it wasn’t Roman – when it first flourished most locals would have spoken Middle English, not Latin; at times the name even carried the addition “Cheping”.
Still, I’m sure a time-traveling Decurion would approve of its architecture. We owe that to a major fire almost 300 years ago – and two brothers with inglorious last names who led the reconstruction. I show Friend some of her work.
However, he is more impressed by the remains of a bridge on the southern edge of the city that carried one now dismantled railroad. There are only two spans left, and they don’t even cross the river. A 1960s song lamented the loss of the line (and that of many others). “How I wish for a slow train,” sighs Freund. “Then I wouldn’t have to put up with all your driving.”
I mock So far we’ve only seen four Iron Age hill forts, as well as a corner of the local countryside – two miles northeast of the railway bridge – that will forever be associated with a war poet (mother: Ruth). All that remains is to visit the city’s fashion museum.
First, however, we pass the monument that marked the official end of the city’s reconstruction. “Okay, I’m going to the pub,” says Friend.
“What about the rest of my tour?” I gripe.
“It lasts,” he says. “Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all. And neither were all those neoclassical buildings.”
1 What year was the great fire?
2 What was the name of the war poet?
The winner and their guest will stay three nights bed and breakfast at Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Limassol, on the south coast of Cyprus. On a long stretch of sandy beach between Paphos and Larnaca, the Marriott Resort offers rooms, suites and villas designed by Harrods Interiors. Facilities include a thalassotherapy center and six restaurants and bars. The prize includes a unique spa treatment for the winner and guest, as well as dinner for two (excluding drinks) at Lanes Restaurant. See marriott.com for details.
Return London to Cyprus flights and transfers are provided courtesy of Inspiring Travel, which has been providing bespoke luxury travel for almost 50 years, with a program from Antigua to Zanzibar (inspiringtravel.co.uk).
Prize must be claimed between January 1st and May 31st, 2023, excluding holidays, and April 3rd to 14th, subject to availability. The competition ends on Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
How to enter
Can’t see the contest form? Enter at thesundaytimes.co.uk/wherewasi
Last week’s price
The answers are Gray Mare’s Tail Waterfall and Moffat. Cardiff’s Diana Jones wins a luxury trip to London for two at the Sun Street Hotel.