“Finally,” my friend sighs. “In forum sum!”
“Well, yes and no,” I tell him. Yes, as part of my whirlwind tour, we reached a market town created by a ford. But it wasn’t Roman – when it first flourished most of the locals would have spoken Middle English, not Latin; for a while the name even included the suffix “Cheping”.
Still, I’m sure a time-travelling decurion would approve of his architecture. We have a great fire to thank for that almost 300 years ago – and two brothers with an inglorious surname who led the reconstruction. I show Friend some of their work.
However, he is more taken with the remains of a bridge on the southern edge of town that a now dismantled railway. There are only two spans left, and they don’t even cross the river. A 1960s song complained about losing the line (and many others). “How I wish for a slow train”, Friend sighs. “Then I shouldn’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 landscape – two miles northeast of the railway bridge – that will forever be associated with a poet of war (mother: Ruth). The only thing left to visit is the city’s fashion museum.
But first we pass the monument that marked the official end of the reconstruction of the city. “Okay, I’m going to the pub,” says friend.
“What about the rest of my tour?” i bleat.
“It stays,” he says. “Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all. And neither were all those neoclassical buildings.”
1 What year was the big fire?
2 What was the war poet’s name?
The winner and guest will stay three nights, B&B, at Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Limassol, on the South Coast of Cyprus. Located on a long 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. A signature spa treatment for both the winner and guest is included in the prize, as well as dinner for two (excluding drinks) at the Lanes restaurant. See marriott.com for more information.
Return London Cyprus flights and transfers are provided by Inspiring Travel, who have been creating bespoke luxury holidays for almost 50 years, with a program ranging from Antigua to Zanzibar (inspiringtravel.co.uk).
The prize must be taken between January 1 and May 31, 2023, excluding holidays and from April 3 to April 14, subject to availability. The competition closes on Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
How to enter
Can’t see the competition form? Go to 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 London break for two at the Sun Street Hotel.