08 may Paphos (CYPRUS)

Staying at Paphos we decided to visit the most important element of this place, I am talking about: the Tombs of the Kings

This high-sounding name so that brings to mind the wonders of Egypt is nothing but a flat with the tombs discovered by chance by some pastors and that in the distant past have housed the remains of rich characters of the site.

 

 

09 may Troodos (CYPRUS)

We head towards the Troodos Mountains.
The journey is quite long and tiring ... the many bends that rise up to almost 1000 meters put a strain on your stomach ...
We stopped a small village called: Omodos famous for its wine and its ovens. We take the opportunity to buy some snacks carob and a bottle of rosé wine to be enjoyed for dinner tonight!

We leave soon. Now the landscape changes giving way to shrubs that rise high into the sky like so many green pins.
Our destination is the monastery dedicated to Makarios III, a monk who became the "father of Cyprus"at the beginning of the 20th century.

Stroll in this colorful place of prayer gave me the idea of Tibet, many courtyards, balconies decorated with mosaics that reported sacred images ...
Of the 450 monks of the century there are only 14 left now! The reason is explained by the fact that earlier the parents pushed their children to the monastic life, as happened at the same Macario when he was 13, a source of honor for the family. But now times have changed, there are other aspirations, maybe more "earthly" and perhaps the "called by the Lord" are just a few!
[Stefania]: "Back in Paphos, we lie on the dock and as the sun gave uslast rays thoughts flew already to tomorrow! "

In fact tomorrow we expect the hardest part of our trip: the transfer Paphos - Kyrenia via Nicosia. We are quite concerned about that...will the bus from the sea to the bus station pass on time? What time will leave the one to Nicosia? And the check point? From there we can easily find a ride to Kyrenia?

10 may Kyrenia-Girne (TURKISH REP. OF NORTH CYPRUS)

The alarm clock is set at 6:15 a.m.!


It's funny when we close our backpacks and notice that the reception desk is empty and the main door is locked...
We turn around to look for someone, we decided to climb over a wall and we snuck out a window in a courtyard... Luckily Stefania has been able to find a way out, we are out but we lost too much time, now we have to run to the bus stop .
The rest of the events is a series of connections and coincidences that fit together with a Swiss precision and against all our best expectations in the late morning we are in our destination: the romantic Kyrenia.

In 1974 the Turks invaded this small Mediterranean island. Northern Cypriots have been dispossessed of their homes and property and forced to emigrate in the other part of the island, while 250 thousand Turks have poured into these areas to repopulate and coming directly from Turkey.

After the Turkish check point all the background changes, Stefania is right when she observes that it is strange when a political-religious can affect so profoundly on the geography of a place.

I was very impressed to see the Greek-Cypriot people queuing up to show ID just to go to the Turkish authorities on the other side of the same city.

Maybe it's just a coincidence, but entered to the north of Cyprus from the Greek side of all the green disappears to make room for its rugged landscape of an arid zone.
The Cypriot flags are just a distant memory, as well as the language, written Greek and the euro is not as widespread as the Turkish lira.
In place of the Orthodox monasteries there are Islamic mosques, spread to the white Turkish flags of unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Kyrenia, or as they call the Turkish: Girne, is a real gem that almost out of place after all the harsh landscape that has served as a side dish with our move here ...
There is a bay that would make every poet, photographer, painter or writer fall in love with it.

We are now immersed in the romantic and picturesque alleys of the town ...


We had lunch in one of the nicest restaurants ever seen, just looked out across the tiny bay ... we ate so much fish ...

Long walk to relax on the waterfront and enjoy a delicious freshly made baclava!

But now we have to work for tomorrow!

 

 

11 may Nicosia-Lefkosia (TURKISH REP. OF NORTH CYPRUS)

It was sad saying "goodbye" to a sleepy Kyrenia that it was waking up with us.
But our journey must proceed: we have a van leaving to the capital!

An hour's drive and we're back in the Cypriot capital. Lefkosia or Nicosia, the only capital in the world still divided by a wall.

Inside the Gate Girne, the Turkish tourist information office headquarters, we are lucky to meet a real tourist guide, very passionately, it gives us valuable information about sightseeing, too bad that she enhanced only the beauty of the Turkish almost discouraging to visit the Greek side.

Our walking tour begins with the "District Samanbahçe", the first quarter of subsidized housing branched around the main square and guarded the only water well agglomeration.

Shortly later, a majestic column stands in the square of the Venetian time of Ataturk.
Once, on its top there was a statue of the lion of St. Mark, which was replaced over time by the Ottomans, one eye of bronze. The Venetians have played an important role in the history of the island of Cyprus.

Short stop Buyuk Hammam, not very interesting in that it now incorporated into a hotel and retains nothing of its former glory ...

We move to the Buyuk Khan, "caravanserai" today shopping center for tourists, once used as a point of comfort, rest, social meeting, point of trade on two floors, the lower of which reserved for the warehouse.

Finally we arrive in front of the "Selimiye Mosque", as majestic outside as empty inside.
It's now time to leave the Turkish side and crossed the checkpoint there is the Greek's one!

Our final goal is the Cathedral of St. John (Agios Ioannes).


Wandering around the narrow streets of downtown with map in hand, looking for the best shortcut, finally we reach our target.

[Stefania]: "The Cathedral, symbol of the Country, looks small but delightful, it's very luxurious.
Our visit to Nicosia ends here as we enjoy our first kebab!

Let's go to Larnaca towards our last night!

 



"People do not make the journey: the journey make the people."

- John Steinbeck -

 

 

 

 

 

12 may Larnaca (CYPRUS)

Waiting for the last bus that will take us to the airport we realize that we have just lived another interesting journey.


The memories and feelings will be marked deep in our hearts happy and more relaxed than ever.

"Yes, travel, avoiding the hardest holes, without falling into your fears. Please, no smoke, love to travel ... gently slowing down and accelerating ...".
-
Lucio Battisti -

 

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