In To The North

Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Cyprus  ,
Sunday, March 23, 2008

It's something I've received a lot of shit over the years for, and this was going to Myanmar/Burma. I ask you, realistically, is China any worse? So driving up to the border, I was meant to ask myself this question. Should I be going into the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus? But this morning, I'm not really here. See, you must understand something, Cypriot red wine is the dogs. I was expecting this, as it is a Med country !!!
 
First The Facts
 
36% of Cyprus is under illegal Turkish army occupation. 142000 Greek Cypriots were forcibly removed. 43000 armed Turks are stationed here. 162000 Turks have been imported over. 57000 out of 116000 Turkish Cypriots have left Cyprus since the Turks invaded.
 
So, should I really be going there?
 
The Border
 
After getting lost because of the brain dead thing, I spoke to the border guard who happened to be a Pom, who had served in the British forces and came from Turkish Cypriot parents, and I thought I was fucked !!! He said, go, enjoy yourself, you won't regret it. So I crossed over in the car, into the non-existent country, that really is Cyprus, but it is the Northern part. And once again, a piece of paper was stamped to show that I had entered. Well they can't really stamp your passport as I was still in the same country !!!
 
Salamis
 
Well, I was meant to go to Famagusta first, but I missed the turning !!! So I headed off to the premier ruins of Salamis. I parked, paid and entered. I walked into the public bathhouse and all I could think was that this place is hap-hazard like the Libyan ruins of Sabratha or Leptis Magna. The Forum was ok, the Roman theatre had been rebuilt, and there was no stage, so I couldn't belt out the Holy Grail !!! I walked in the sun, just strolling over bits of broken stone. I saw some villas, but it wasn't the most impressive site, so I finished up and moved on.
 
Famagusta
 
Another Venetian town, and as I walked in, I forgot all about the shitty old ruins that I had just seen, the gate just blew me away. Ramparts, and I thought Valetta was good, so I decided there and then, that I would be back with Lucy !!! Inwards I walked, and I could see a minaret, this was where I was heading before I saw another Church that had been converted into a Mosque, but sadly, it was all locked up. Across from there were the ruins of a Venetian palace, and another Church. Apparently, when the Ottomen had invaded, the Churches and the palace were destroyed. Across from there was the main square with an old Church, which had been converted as well. I paid and entered. It was nice, not as good as the outside, but after seeing the outside, it was always going to be hard to beat that. After finishing, I walked past an old hammam which was now a bar, and then climbed up onto the wall. Next door was Othello's tower, but I didn't go in. I was enjoying myself to much. There were no other Westie touros here. Just me !!! Once down, I walked back and found another Church which still had frescoes, but the faces had been chiselled out !!! I climbed the wall a few more times, just hanging out being blown away by them. This place was great, but there was still the thought of the atrocities that these guys had committed, but I did feel ok. So far, I had contributed 6 Euros, more than enough !!! Out in the distance, I could see my next stop, so I climbed down, jumped in my car, and headed off.
 
Varosha
 
In 1974, as the Turkish army pushed  forward, the most famous beach resort town in all of Cyprus was owned and run by Greek Cypriots. Sensing trouble, they upped sticks and left. The UN created a border, and this town was lost forever, but you can get close to it, so I drove over.  As I got closer, I could see apartment blocks, a crane, and a fence. I jumped out and started shooting. I then moved onto the beach, and was amazed. As far as I could see, there was golden sands and blocks of hotels, just sitting there empty. Some say, that the rooms are still the same from 74, and that there is even a caryard or two of new cars, but all I could think of was, this is just like Chornobyl, but without the radiation !!! If the Governments ever get their acts together, they could make a great tour of the area. Trust me, I would pay and go, because ultimately, I am a tourist !!!
 
I had worn out my stay, so I moved on to the new beach resort that the Greek Cypriots built.
 
Agia Napa
 
I drove in and all I could think of was that this place was like Phuket, and personally, that place is a shithole !!! There was only one thing I could do, and that was not get out and keep driving, so I did !!!
 
And Finally
 
So I entered the evil North and survived. I don't agree with the Turks, and made sure they got sweet fuck all of my money, but still, I will go back, there are a couple of places I need to see, and what I saw of the North of Cyprus was impressive, and I have heard, when I go to the other places, I will not be disappointed.
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