Cyprus, Northern Style

Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

When we were planning this trip, all Lucy asked is, are we going North. Now I explained last year about the attrocities that had happened, but since then, the locals had tried to get their acts together and make one country. The Turks were all for it as they had designed the conditions, so obviously the Greek side had said no, so once again, we were here, entering a country that is not really a country, unless you are from either Turkey, or a Turkish import living in what is known as the TRNC, or for the uninformed, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Day 1
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnn !!! No, it has not changed. Still boring, still crappy, still over-priced, god knows why I went again, actually I do, to play tour guide for Lucy, and even she thought it was a rip off !!!
I said I would be back for the Walls, and here I was. Still amazing, but now there is a tourist information office, all those churches had more meaning. This place is superb. Old churches still with cannonball holes from the Ottomen days. We finished up in a baklava place. Good, nearly as good as the stuff from Istanbul, so we sat on the walls eating, and afterwards, we ran around them like loons taking them in, and because of progress, we saw two tourists, two more than last year !!!
The place is still amazing. High rises everywhere, and you are not allowed in to see it. This year, a new fence had gone up. You could still see just as much, but there was also now a guards hut, and after a few shots, a gun came out and told us to leave !!!
Day 2
Now one of two reasons for coming over was to see three castles that were on top of some little mountains.
When driving in the North, the police are quite hot. radars everywhere, so be aware !!!
Kantara Castle
As usual, the signs don't really work here, and after going up and down a few times, we arrived near the top with fog all around. And as it cleared, the castle appeared. Built on top of a mountain, with views on both sides, it was great. We ran all over it and even though it was in ruins, we loved it. The fog was coming and going, which helped with its mystique. Made me think of those days when I dreamed of being a princess !!!
On the way down, we took the coast road, and for a while, there were no villas like Cyprus, but it didn't take long before they sprung into view, and trust me, just like the other side, they were ugly !!!
Buffavento Castle
Now this one is in the middle and on a good day, you are meant to see the other two. All we could see was Lefkosia and Kyrenia. Not as good as the previous one, but then again it was free. More in ruins than complete, so we didn't spend as much time
We drove through Kyrenia, but didn't stop. To much traffic and full of old touros. Not our scene really. Reminded me of Pafos, and all I could think was,
shithole !!!
St Helerion Castle
The premier attraction of the North, or some would say. Well the people who wrote the brochure did and they even went as far as saying that Walt Disney was inspired by this castle to use in his blah, blah, blah. Heard it all before, so had to see if it was true !!! Through an army base and there it was. During the invasion of 74, the Turkish army used it, hence the base below. It was built on three levels, so again there were good views. Up the top, the wind was blowing strong, so as we were taking photos, we struggled to hang on !!! But did old Walt use this as inspiration, well I struggle to see how, but it was good !!!
On the way back, we drove through Lefkosia. The traffic is far more manic on this side !!!
Day 3
Salamis Again
No, I am not that much of a sucker for punishment, but in Salamis, there are some burial tombs. It sounded a little boring but it wasn't. There were quite a few skeletons of horses under cover. There were also loads of tombs like Pafos, but we were the only ones there.
We drove further up as we were heading to the end of the finger as there was a monastery we wanted to see
Karpas Penisular
The villas eventually ended and we had nothing but golden sands until we arrived at the monastery of Apostolos Andreas. It wasn't special really, and there was a coach load of Westies, but here we were, a little bit of Greek Orthodox in the TRNC. The inside was old, including the nun inside, but it was nice and different.
Five K's up the road was the end of the country. We stood on a rock with water around us. We had seen all now. On the way back, we stopped off at Dipkarpaz. There is a church and mosque, side by side, but the churches bells are not allowed to ring !!! The mosque was boring, but on the inside, there were tiles
like you see in Iran. We stopped off at a couple of other places where there were old churches, and they were all locked up. Quite sad really.
And that was basically it. The majority of the sites in the TRNC or as we all know it, Cyprus, the northern side
And Finally
You know, I'm not a fan of what is happening there, and personally, I don't think it will get resolved in a while, but you know, the North has some great things to see, so if you do get to Cyprus, you would be a fool to miss out, and trust me, quite possibly you will be the only tourist


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