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A ghost city, border checks, no cameras and “the other side” – Famagusta in Cyprus.

October 6, 2013

Abandoned and derelict hotel block in ghost city of Famagusa, Cyprus.

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageHere is a superb Mediterranean beach, crescent-shaped bay, clear blue water, golden sand. And ringed around this idyllic setting are row upon row of abandoned, derelict and deteriorating hotels and villas. This decaying sight stretches not just on the sea front, but also some ten square kilometres inland. When the Turks occupied here, the Greek Cypriots simply left the place (probably hoping to some day return) and a ghost city is what remains. We can walk up the beach and peak a look, but the whole area is barracked off, army security guards are on watch and you can’t take photographs. Did we say earlier in our Cyprus visit that things were mellowing between the Turkish north and the Greek south? Obviously not. Our map of Cyprus from a southern tourist information office includes this description for the north: “Under Turkish Occupation Since 1974”. The border check to get into Famagusta from Agia Napa is lengthy. Greek Cypriots make minimal effort to explain how we can cross to the north, they refer to it as “the other side” and even say it could be dangerous, and explain the so-called “Green Line” which divides the island after the 1974 negotiated settlement. But it only required moderate effort for us to cross over and we did it several times. And, of course, it isn’t dangerous. And on both sides, we travelled on public transport (inter-city buses or mini cabs) which were cheap, clean, regular and great fun. For the inhabitants here, the history and emotions run deep. But they’re not going to let these things interfere too much with a steady tourist trade from mainly Russian and British visitors.

From → Alex and Janine

  1. Trish Fisher permalink

    Sounds like the two of you are having such a good time you may end up doing a Thea and Bruce and just keep on travelling!!!!

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