Published: April 3rd 2012December 13th 2009
It’s day two of the Northern Cyprus road trip. First on the day’s agenda, seeing the sights of Guzelyurt (Morphou).
First up it's the museum of Nature and Archaeology. The museum contains a collection of stuffed animals and other miscellaneous archeological finds. The museum itself was once the former palace of the Bishop of Morphou. Nearby is the Monastery of St. mamas, dedicated to St Mamas the patron saint of tax evasion. The bishop of Morphou was arrested one Easter after crossing into Northern Cyprus to perform a liturgy in the church.
Following our tour of Morphou's main sights we stock up on some delicious fruits such as persimmons and head north. We pass some cute villages on the way where we have the chance to pick some delicious oranges. We head back past Kyrenia and on our way to the east cost.
We see a sign pointing to an alternate dirt road to a church we want to visit. Thinking its no issue we decide to take this alternate route - for all we know this could well be the alternate scenic route to the church. The risk looks promising, relatively flat and
we begin to relax a little about our decision.
However our victory is short lived and before we know it the road has become rockier, less flat and finally we arrive at a road block. The road block is a large ditch in the rocks which will do some bad damage to our little ford fiesta with barely a 10cm clearance. We sit and wait debating if we should cut our loses and head back the way we came despite having traveled for an hour on this road. Whilst we continue our pondering our situation, a hunter drives past in his jeep and effortlessly drives over the road block. It's a sign we decide, that we are destined for a similar fate. So we all get out and begin to construct a bridge to give the car a boost over the road block. Pleased with our masterpiece we realise only one option remains. Its time to test the ramp. We say a prayer, wish Ivan (brother) luck and hold our breathes as he drives over our little bridge.
Surprisingly the rocks hold together and the mud and water do little damage to our car. We visit
our church. Its falling apart, looks like someone had made a fire in the church at some point and there is graffiti on the walls. Ivan goes through in good detail about the state if some of the churches in Northern Cyprus.---link to the state if churches ok blog. Following the visit to the church we follow the (sealed) road further east to Kantara Castle in the Kyrenia Mountain Range. The castle was an old lookout post against raiding Arabs similar to Hilarion(link) and Buffavento Castle which we unfortunately did not get to visit on the trip this time around. The castle was built by the Byzantines and it was good fun to run around and explore. We continue further east and come to the wild donkey region of Northern Cyprus. The donkeys are pretty friendly always up for a feed from the many tourists that pass through. That's how we spot the first donkey feeding on a carrot from another car nearby.As he comes over to see what we are offering I feed him a orange we picked up early on in the journey. He begins to dribble orange juice so I quickly wind up the window and the
juice trails down. We get to the end of the drive to a great look out at the top of the mountain - see if can find more info.We stop the car and walk around for about 15 minutes only to find the car won't restart and the computer has shut down. We wait about 30 minutes and restart the car a couple more times before it finally kicks into gear. Wheeeeeew!Were all pretty sure it had something to do with our little off reading adventure we did early on in the day and decide it's for the best we are giving the car back tomorrow.
There are more photos below