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Middle East » Cyprus » Nicosia
August 28th 2013
Published: August 29th 2013
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Paphos to Famagusta returning to Nicosia


When I woke this Tuesday morning I decided to stay another day so after breakfast I grabbed my camera and headed down towards the port stopping along the way to have a look at the 13th century Ag Kyriaki Church built on the ruins of an early Byzantine Basilica, the church is still active today.

I then attempted to visit the medieval fort but it closed off some type entertainment event, so I moved onto the Kato Pafos Archaeological Park which contains some wonderful Roman mosaics, an agora (market), odeon (theatre) and asklepieion (hospital) and also ruined 5th century church and Frankish castle.

There are also a series of rock cut tombs, which I couldn't find initially and had given up on, till I had left the site and noticed a bus with "tombs of the kings" on it so l just hopped on. The tombs were impressive enough but they weren't dug for kings.

I was roasting alive but on the way to the bus stop I saw an Irish pub and decide a detour was in order, I had a couple of beers and a huge mushroom pie before returning to my room for a cold shower and a sleep.

The tourist here certainly aren't body conscious most men don't wear shirts which is pretty gross when they are hugely fat.

I awoke about three hours later and headed out for a feed and a quick chat with a guy from Melbourne before heading back to bed.

Early start today, I am well rested for my marathon drive through the mountains and found my way out of the city easily. Initially the mountains were dry and ugly but as I entered the forested area that all changed, the roads are good and really well sign posted so navigation was easy, the views were often lovely and the villages stunningly perched on the mountainsides.

I drove for hours searching for the world heritage listed churches locating five, of these only two were open, I could only take one photo inside but it is a nice one. It was then on to Nicosia which is even hotter than on the coast. I booked into my hotel then wandered labyrinthine streets soon coming across Ledra street and the Green Line, but chose not to cross today will head over tomorrow when I travel to Famagusta and Ancient Salamis.

There are tours to North Cyprus although my attempts to find them had failed, the reason I know this was that after crossing the green line and getting my passport stamped I changed some money and went in search of the bus station, stopping briefly at a Turkish bakery for a nice breaky snack. After asking a few questions, everyone seems to speak English in Turkish Lefkofia, I found myself on a bus to Famagusta, maybe an hour later I arrived and was on my way to Ancient Salimas after negotiating a price with a taxi driver, which in my opinion are the best ancient ruins in Cypus. When I arrived there were many tour buses from the south.

There was a wonderful theatre, stunning baths, a fish market and various other ancient buildings, I don't know why they don't plant some trees, it was so hot out there I drink huge amounts of water and just sweat it straight back out. The cab driver then suggested a visit to the nearby Saint Barnabas an old Christian cathedral that held an interesting collection of religious icons painted on wood.

The call to prayer just started in the cathedral turned mosque behind me, there is nothing more exotic than the first time you here it.

The driver then drove through a gate in the spectacular Venetian built wall that encircles Famagusta's old city and I spent some time checking out historical sites including Othello's Tower and the stunning cathedral turned mosque the Falla Mustapha Pasa which dominates the old town.

The Russian tour groups have all left now it seems so I can drink my bottle or two of Efes in peace before going in search of the bus station. The ride back to Nicosia was hot and uncomfortable but I was soon visiting the bazaars, caravanserai and another cathedral turned mosque in the Turkish part of the city.

I was getting tired so I crossed the green line and returned to my hotel I may venture out later for dinner, with several weeks of Turkish food a head I am thinking Greek.


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Paphos


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