After three weeks in Greece and Turkey, we headed to the island nation of Cyprus in the Mediterranean. Cyprus is about the half the size of Connecticut, and is split into two "countries" The southern half being known as Cyprus and and the northern half as The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Cyprus is recognized as an EU country and uses the Euro, the Turkish side is only recognized as a country by Turkey.
This unhappy scenario began when Turkey invaded the island in 1974 under the guise of protecting the Turkish Cypriots during a civil war that began shortly after the British gave up control of the island in the early 60's. Before the invasion the Greek and Turkish population co-existed quite nicely. After the invasion, the country was divided between the Turks and the Greeks with a 124 mile "Green Line" complete with barbed wire, armed guards and U.N. Peacekeepers. The on-going dispute over the occupation causes headaches and heartaches on both sides. Thus my comparison to the Sneeches. In my opinion this book gets to the root of just about every problem facing mankind. Deep, I know.
We flew from Izmir, Turkey to the island, so we landed on the Turkish side. That meant we would have to cross the Green Line to get to the Greek side where we were staying. Our host organized a taxi to pick us with a driver that was authorized to travel between sides - that is not always the case. We presented our passports at the border and got through with out any problems.
|The entrance to our courtyard. Ours was the door in the left corner.|
|Our gracious Italian hosts Paulo and Laura. They were some of the best people we've met yet!|
|Signage at the "green line" near our house.|
|The areas between the two sides are abandoned and filled with rubble and trash.|
|Michael would have loved to try his hand at backgammon - but these guys were intimidating!|
|An example of a neighborhood much like Paulo and Laura's before renovation.|
|These houses were dilapidated after the war - but they are lovely now! Ours is on the right.|
|Crossing back into Cyprus after a day trip to "The Other Side".|
|Strolling the souk on the Turkish side of Nicosia.|
|Standing at our 'front door' in Larnaka!|
|The view from our deck. On this particular morning there was a parade!|
And eating of course. The cuisine on the island is the best of these two colliding cultures - Greek and Turkish! The weather was mixed, but when the sun was out it was glorious. It was nice to spend a week somewhere that wasn't too mentally taxing. It felt like a "vacation" from our usual Senior Nomadic adventures. Sounds odd, doesn't it?
|A day trip by bus to the town of Girne (Kyrenia in Greek) on the Turkish side.|
|Michael enjoying one of his best football adventures yet!|
...I'm quite happy to say that the Sneetches got really smart on that day. The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches, and no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches. That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars.
Thanks for joining us!
Debbie and Michael
The Senior Nomads