Cyprus: where turkey and greece meet… with guns
Cyprus still is a divided nation. In fact, its capital, Lefkosia, is the last divided capital on earth. During a Greek coup in the mid-seventies that later failed, the Turks occupied the north of the country to safeguard the interests of the country’s Turkish population and haven’t left since. Although in daily life you don’t notice much of the ongoing occupation, when you approach the border, Greek, Turkish and UN guard posts strung along the ‘Green Line’ make it very clear that the animosity is still riding high between the two countries.
Besides the division, Cyprus is an interesting holiday destination. One of the few countries in the world where it is possible to ski in the morning and lie on the beach in the afternoon (although not in summer), it also has a long cultural history, dating back 10.000 years. The only difficulty is actually being able to avoid the masses of tourists that flock here continuously.
About a year ago, I did some work for a travel site, www.elmar.nl. They repaid me in full. In travel vouchers that had to be used within one year. I like to travel, but most travel organizations only organize trips that not totally completely accommodate the style of traveling I prefer. Additionally, I only was allowed to get a package deal, not just a plane ticket.
I try to visit all countries in Europe and have visited far away places such as Iceland and the Baltics. Two European countries that are harder to put on your list are Malta and Cyprus. They’re really out of the way. If you go to either one, you can not really go anywhere else. It seemed to make sense that I would use my travel voucher to go to either place. The more since Elmar had been having significant discounts for both countries over the past year. I only had one issue still to solve: These discounts only applied when traveling with someone else.
Lucky for me, I recently bumped into a new girlfriend and the decision was easily made. We went to Cyprus. Significantly bigger than Malta with the intriguing feature that the country’s capital is the last divided capital of the world. Now if only we could manage to stay away from the beach and get out of the holiday resort we had to book our hotel in.