Languages: Greek, Turkish, English
In 1960, Cyprus became independent from the British who had annexed it in 1914. Its new constitution apportioned power between the 80% Christian Greek majority and the 18% Muslim Turkish minority according to their respective populations.
This did not satisfy the latter who withdrew from the government in 1963 and refused to recognize its authority. In 1974 Turkey invaded, seized control of the northern third of the island and unilaterally declared the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus". The island has been in a state of suspended civil war ever since with a no man's land separating the armed positions of both parties.
It was quite warm in Haifa when I boarded the ferry Sea Harmony II for the overnight run to Limasol. I took a deck passage for 76 US$, not realizing that nights could be cold in mid April.
That was a mistake for we had exceptionally cold weather overnight to Limasol. I wrapped myself in everything I had but caught a bad cold anyway. I was so sick that I had to stop smoking. The positive aspect of that rough night is that I haven't smoked since.
The morning sun was nice and warm and the weather was great when we entered Limasol harbour where this luxury Russian cruise ship was tied up.
Greek Orthodox Agia Napa Church on downtown Mitella street.
Genetriou street is the heart of downtown Limasol. I had a room in the Hellas Hostel one block from here for 16 US$.
This medieval castle built in the 12th century by Richard the Lion Hearted has been restored to serve as a museum.
Below left, Limasol Mosque and Albert the pelican on the right.
A one hour ride in mini van brought me to old Nicosia still enclosed in its ancient city walls, a part of which can be seen here with the Bayraktar Mosque over the wall, inside the old city.
Nicosia is very touristy and accommodations are not cheap. I had to pay 25 US$ for a small room in "Peter's Place" not far from this mosque.
There are many churches and monasteries in Nicosia. This one is called Savvas. The Cypriot Church adheres to the same dogmas as the Greek Orthodox church but it does not recognize the authority of the Greek patriarch. Its archbishop and bishops are elected by the church members.
Solonos street runs north from the southern wall of the old city towards the cease fire line separating the part of Nicosia still occupied by the Turks.
Further up Solonos street is Faneromeni Church.
And the Stavros tou Missirikou medieval Orthodox Church which has been transformed into the Arablar Mosque.
Still further north is the no man's land between the Greek and Turkish parts of the city. Taking pictures here was forbidden but I could not resist taking this shot through a bunker slot after waiting that there was nobody around.
Lanarca beach front.
The next day, I left Nicosia early so as to have time to visit Lanarca's museums but everything was closed for it was Sunday. I had a nice room in the Chryssopolis Hotel for 11 US$.
Below, St Lazarus Church on the left and Lehra street on the right.
From here, I few back to Cairo where I stayed in the Ismailia again and on the following day I flew to Casablanca.