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Published: July 29th 2016
The Cypriot Flag
Usually accompanied by...
I wasn’t all that interested in visiting Cyprus, I was basically just ticking another country off the list for my Corn Flake mission but I spent nearly 2 weeks camping and sleeping in the car and found enough to keep me entertained. It was the end of a 2 month trip which started with a month in Jordan, followed by a couple of weeks touring around Israel and Palestine and when I flew out of Tel Aviv I left feeling like a caged animal after my time in what is effectively a police state. I landed in Cyprus needing to feel free so I picked up my bag, walked straight out the airport and kept on walking until I reached the coast.
Next day I did some hitching-hiking and plenty of walking so progress was slow and I realized I wasn’t going to see the sights of Cyprus travelling in this way, especially when I found out the island was much bigger than I had expected stretching 240km one way and 100km the other. I got a ride to Limassol with some guy claiming he used to work for the U.S government and
was sent here for reconnaissance. He dropped right next to some suggestive graffiti; CAR in big letters so I took the hint and hired a little economy car the next morning after I camped close to the city at a spot which I found out about 10 o clock that evening was a meeting place for gay guys, needless to say I fell asleep listening to my ipod that night.
Cyprus is widely used by the tourist industry, famous for its beaches, its ruins but not so famous for its national symbol which is a Sheep, it is also known as the original island of love due to it being the former home of Aphrodite. I visited the waterfall where she was supposed to have met Adonis then drove along the north coast to see a part of the island where I imagined very few tourists go. I stopped in Kato Pyrgos, a town right next to the border to the Turkish side where I had a beer and walked around a bit before heading back towards the more populated part of the island to visit some of the main tourist attractions on offer.
The First Sign I Saw
I was a little confused
drove I came across the uniquely shaped orthodox churches so while looking around Larnaca I Paid a visit to one of the more famous ones which was typically humble and covered in gold in a way that would seriously have pissed Jesus off, interestingly locals flock here to kiss pictures of their deities. I visited the salt lake with flamingos and the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque, the 4th
most sacred site to the muslims.
I stopped in the infamous Ayia Napa and saw the influence of Aphrodite in the modern world but after a beer I chose to drive a few kilometres away to Cape Greco, an area of natural beauty offered as a place to visit on tour. It was nice enough with a natural bridge, a little church and a small cave with the Mediterranean crashing against the rocks. I slept the night there then next morning found an interesting spot to have some flakes.
It was at the viewpoint overlooking No Man’s land and the abandoned city of Famagusta, where 200,000 Greeks fled in the 1970’s due to the invading Turkish forces. Territorial ownership since the invasion stands at - Turkey – 34.85%!G(MISSING)reece –
At the airport I watched some bags for 2 minutes and they gave me all this
59.74%!B(MISSING)ritain - 2.74%!a(MISSING)nd 2.67 %!i(MISSING)s No Man’s Land. You cannot enter the city as the Turkish army do not allow it so I just ate some flakes with it in the background.
From the viewpoint I drove to Nicosia to see the last divided capital on the planet with its obvious signs of division and a border that you can temporarily cross to see a mosque and buy some Turkish goods. I tried to cross the border in the car but my plans changed when I reached the passport control area and they tried to charge me an extra 25 Euros for a 3 day insurance policy, I wasn’t up for that so turned around and went to Limassol to take a look at the carnival. It is considered one of the most notable carnival events worldwide, a 10-day colourful event of satire, feasting, singing, games, processions and some extravagant outfits, sadly I was a bit late so only caught the tail-end of it but I got to see enough of a legacy left by the venetians who ruled over Cyprus during the 15th
and 16th centuries. Cyprus has been ruled by many cultures over the
Walking Out the Airport
Heading towards the coastline
years - the Romans, Egyptians, Persians right up until the Brits have all occupied and taken advantage of cyprus’s strategic location and the most enjoyable tourist attraction I visited during my time on the island were ruins left behind by a couple of those cultures, both the Roman ruins and the Tombs of the Kings were world-class.
After the ruins I drove into the largest mountain range in Cyprus, located roughly in the centre of the island. There are numerous villages set in picturesque valleys with typical Byzantine churches and monasteries, 9 of which form a Unesco world heritage site as they are richly decorated with murals. I went to one of the mountain resorts and had the coldest night’s sleep on the whole trip, parking not far from the top of the highest peak at 1,952m. In the morning I walked an 11km loop, spending much of the time in the clouds and choosing the moment to finish my box of flakes. I drove back down visiting an area where they produce a half decent wine before taking the car back.
I walked some of the way back to the airport but was delighted to be picked
up by a really open-minded reverend who reminded me I shouldn’t judge people as he had a great understanding of the biased power structure in the world which massively favours the elite. I camped on the beach again and wrote in my diary that the highlights of the country were the abandoned city, annoyingly not open to the public and the ruins close to Paphos and although I enjoyed my visit it was far from an amazing country, great for tourists but not so great for travellers.
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