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Joe's World Backpacking Trip Stories and pics from my travels.

Cyprus/Republic of Cyprus/Republic of Northern Cyprus/Turkish Occupied Territories.

CYPRUS | Monday, 29 December 2008 | Views [761] | Comments [1]

I didn't feel like typing a bunch of stories so I just grouped the whole country into one story.  Sorry, I'm lazy.  A little history to start off.  Turkey invaded Northern Cyprus in 1974.  They founded the Republic of Northern Cyprus.  The only country that recognises this country is of course, Turkey.  Then you have the Republic of Cyprus (AKA Southern Cyprus)  which is recognised by everyone except Turkey and Northern Cyprus, and is backed by Greece.  They call Northern Cyprus "Turkish occupied territories."  So two countries (kinda), two currencies, two languages and one UN Buffer Zone.  Now we're all on the same page.  I arrived by ferry to Cyprus from Turkey.  I couchsurfed with a guy named Umut in Kyrenia, the port town that I arrived in.  Pretty cool dude, stayed at his place for free and went out a couple times to try and find something to do in that town.  We went to a bar that played live music with some of his friends.  The first night was pretty bad.  The band was ok, but the singer was some drunk Brit who just screamed into the mic and had a harmonica for some reason.  The next night the band was great, played good covers of System of a Down and Rammstein.  After Kyrenia, I came to the capital, Nicosia.  The capital of Cyprus is split in half because of the Turkish "occupation," so it's called Nicosia, Lefkosia, and Southern Lefkosia.  It's a real hoot asking for directions.  Anyway, I couchsurfed with a woman named Vipar in the capital.  She was awesome.  Showed me the city, gave me maps and drove me into the mountains to a monastery I wanted to go to.  I stayed in the monastery for a couple of days over Christmas.  It's a Greek Orthodox monastery, so I didn't understand the sermon, if that's what you want to call it.  But the guy walking around with Frankincense was pretty cool.  The monk guys were nice and a couple of them spoke English.  They let me stay there for free and fed me.  It was in a nice location in the middle of the mountains in central Cyprus, called the Troodos Massif.  I decided on my last day to walk to the next monestary to see if I could stay there on my way back down to the capital.  Nice walk, 9 kilometers later I realize that the monastery is closed and that road doesen't lead to Nicosia.  Oh well, so I walked back.  I stood in front of Kykkos monastery, (the one I stayed at before) for about three hours trying to hitchike.  People make the funniest hand gestures to indicate why they're not stopping to pick you up I noticed.  Speed by at 60 MPH shrug your shoulders and point at your steering wheel. That tells me....nothing.  You don't know how to steer?  I don't understand.  I was finally picked up by a Greek Orthodox priest who was on his way to Nicosia anyway.  Got a good history lesson on Cyprus and how Christianity got there.  Second oldest church in the world is in Cyprus apparently.  It's an interesting island.  Two different viewpoints and histories depending on whether your talking to someone in the North, or someone in the South. Turks, Greeks, Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Regular Cypriots.  Almost as confusing as that Israeli business.  Oh also, I uploaded the pictures in no particular order.  You'll see pictures of mountains, bars, the coast, churches, a boat.  Enjoy deciphering they're locations.

Tags: cyprus, kykkos monastery, kyrenia, nicosia, troodos massif




Your travel log has inspired me to create my own travel log. It will document my visits to all the fast food places in America and will document the excellent physical condition I am in after eating at all of them.

  chris Dec 30, 2008 11:52 AM

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