Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Cyprus – Nicosia

Of course, we were not going to miss the capital of Cyprus – Nicosia (Λευκωσία). But this is where things get a bit... sad? I don't know how to explain this... As you may know, Cyprus exists in a state of partition, as a consequence of Turkey's military occupation of the northern part of the island in 1974. And so Nicosia lives a life divided, with Cyrpiot Greeks on one side and Cypriot Turks plus Turkish stellers on the other.

Now, maybe it was the winter weather. Maybe it was the knowledge of the occupation. Despite Nicosia being a wealthy city (and visibly so), could the military presence just a few meters away have somehow impacted how lively the city can get? Whatever it was – and it probably was just a very subjective and mistaken impression – this part of our trip didn't feel as colourful to me as the others. Hence my choice of black and white for the photos. And really, the hotel where we stayed was cute, we even met people, we ate well, we toured around... And still... 

Araplar Mosque

Famagusta Gate (Πύλη Αμμόχωστου)

End of Ledra Street (Οδός Λήδρας), where the division of Nicosia and Lefkoşa (the Turkish name of the city) stands.

The Green Line, marking the division between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, which began even a decade before the occupation by Turkey.

The old town.

But we didn't just stay on this side. We did cross over to the so called and unrecognized "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus". I'll talk of our experience there – and my guilty conflicting feelings regarding it – in my next post.

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