Autumn 2005 we went to Cyprus: Vero's got left some 60.000 Lufthansa airmiles from her time with Motorola and after lengthy deliberations we decided on two tickets to Cyprus. Never been there before, and the island fits smugly with the Middle Eastern trip, from Cairo to Istanbul, we did in spring 2005: even more crusader castles, painted churches and mosques. Not to talk about the two mountain ranges and those long, sandy beaches (we're neither of us from the Beach Brigade, though: a swim or two, a few minutes drying in the sun and that's it — our typical beach visit is all over in less than two hours).
We spent almost four weeks on Cyprus, and despite dire warnings from friends that beside drinking lots of booze we would not find enough things to do, we had a rather interesting time. Check out the mails we sent from there: the English as well as the French stuff.
Here is a clickable shortlist with a bit more (including snaps) on the things we found especially interesting, our Top Ten as it were (though it's 15 items altogether). The order is strictly chronological.
- First the Northern part (Turk-Cypriots) where we spent about 11 or 12 days:
- The Selimiye mosque (the ex-cathedral of Ayia Sofia) and surroundings in North Nicosia
- The recently paved ridge road between Kozan and St Hilarion which rides the Kyrenian Mountains and has views to die for
- St Hilarion crusader castle
- The walled city of Famagusta and its ruined churches
- Golden Beach and the Karpas Peninsula
- Bellapais abbey
- Buffavento castle ruins
- And here's the bigger South (Greek-Cypriots) which took up the remaining 15 or so days:
- Cyprus Museum in South Nicosia
- Three of the Troodos Painted Churches: Asinou, Ayios Nikolaos tis Steyis and Panayia tou Araka
- The walks on the Akamas peninsula
- The trek up the Avgas gorges
- The Pafos Mosaics
- Ayios Neofytos monastery and cave
- The Limassol foothills between Ayios Nikolaos in the west and Arakapas in the east
- The hike along the Madari ridge
Last but not least, we have also some photos of our camping sites. We camped in the wild (with two exceptions: Nicosia and Polis) and we always found interesting places: sometimes beside a monastery (with permission, mind you), once in a Roman stadium (without permission as there was no Emperor around), a few times at the beaches, some nights (the really cold ones) high up in the Troodos mountains. The good thing about this was that we needn't care about finding some hotel room: we would just drive around, visit sites and places and do things… and when it began to get dark we'd simply pitch our tent, uncork some wine (miraculously there was always a bottle somewhere in the depths of our car), cook something or have a picnic (they have some very tasty varieties of goat and sheep cheese over there) and watch the stars go by. All very easy and uncomplicated… and what a breathtaking night sky!
$updated from: Cyprus 2005.htxt Sat 18 Jan 2014 13:14:23 thomasl (By Thomas Lauer)$