Driver on the other side of the road, Cyprus.
Speaking Greek on this side of the island, were once British colony till 1960, 16 August. Turkish invasion after. In 1974. Now 37 percent of island under Turkish occupation, not recognized as a republic by any country or UN … Only Turkey.
United Nations still peace keeping buffer zone. Demarcation green line is 180 km long, military fence. 5 check points to cross. Need passports. 45,000 Turkish troops.
There is a Military airport on island that belongs to Great Britain.
Trying to find peaceful way to live. Negotiation ongoing.
Lots of Russians come here and stay here. Third largest island in med. 9000 sq km. close to Turkey. Less 900,000 pop. Dialects different from Greece. Ancient words and Italian etc spoken by Greek Cypriots. ( means they were born in this country as it presently is configured after occupation).
Taught English at school from first year primary school. French is also compulsory, age 12-16 years old. All boys have to do compulsory 24 months military service at 18 years old. After that, they can go to university.
Nice beaches. Few years ago had financial difficulties due to investments in Greece gone bad.
Kalimera means good morning
Limassol 180,000 pop. Port, second largest city. Lots of festivals including wine celebrations.
Zero humidity in mountains … Lot of nature trails. Pleasant.
No industry here. Before 1974 was agriculture. Now tourism. Mostly British visitors. And Russia. Not so much from Europe now due to financial crisis. Closed 27 hotels. 27 percent unemployment.
First inhabitants 11 million years ago. Wow! to hunt animals unique to area.
2008 took on euros. Used to be Cyprus pounds.
Birthplace of Aphrodite born of sea foam, goddess of fertility… Aka Venus
“Holy prostitution” 3000 years ago.
Today I go back to Cyprus. I was here a few years ago, on a cruise and loved it. Again I was with my mom and we had driven around the island to a few interesting and scenic spots. This time we signed up for an excursion that takes us to Nicosia ( the divided capital) and Lefkara.
Nicosia I remember hearing about from my friends when I was in the armed forces reserves so many years ago. Many went off for peace keeping activities in that exotic sounding destination, Nicosia. My father also did a time there, I believe.
The sun is high and hot already as we cruise into the port of Limassol Cyprus. Many of the gals on this trip are on different tours and it is their first time on the island. Mom and Jim and I and a few more are going to see similar sights together. We meet at 815 in the lounge for our ticket exchange and to receive our bus number.
35 days a year it rains for only a few hours a day. That’s it. Rest is sunny! Snow on top of some mountains. Water reservoirs in few key areas. Now desalination places for shortage of water issues.
Lefkara high in mountain, means white hills. Limestone structures. Vineyards and olive trees. Also almond trees. Carob trees. 700 population … Used to be few thousands.
Previously Local made cottons and linens. Also pomegranate trees. Fruit symbolizes fertility. Grapes. Now they use Irish linen and French thread. Men make silver filigree.
Fires here every year destroying what little forest they have. They ask for help from italy, Greece, Israel.
Driving back to port of Limassol now. No purchases except a suitcase to replace my broken one … I purchased Italian luggage in Nicosia. I would have liked more time in Lefkara.
I travel with my powdered shakes from Univera, plant based protein, very tasty and satisfying when I can’t get back for my meal on the ship. Antonia is the guide and she has strong accent, seems very knowledgeable and pleasant to share seat with and listen to her on the tour! She has lived here her whole life.
This should have been a full day tour with more time in the two areas. So much time driving between. It was very good I thought. And enjoyable day.
Tomorrow, Alanya Turkey!
Wish you were here,