Experience the Mediterranean island of North Cyprus
You can enjoy a boat trip on the Mediterranean sea with friends while on vacation to North Cyprus and explore the serene coastlines of the island. Lefkoşa is the Turkish name for North Cyprus’ capital city. It is separated between two states, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Republic of Cyprus, which is still dominated by Greeks. Instead of a wall, massive coils of barbed wire were used to partition the city, like post-war Berlin.
You can as well drive through the ‘Green Line,’ which is a strongly guarded area on both sides to see the broken houses, abandoned buildings, wrecked automobiles, sandbag obstacles, and tall weeds growing everywhere from a high vantage point. Apart from this chasm, the island is quite enchanting.
The two communities in Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots, and Greek Cypriots, faced growing tensions in the second half of the twentieth century, which erupted in demonstrations and violence, first by the Greeks against the British and then between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, due to the political situation on this Mediterranean island. This lasted until 1974, when Turkey intervened, resulting in the island’s partition. Since then, neither side has had a severe outbreak of intercommunal violence. This was also due to the fact that, following 1974, Turkish and Greek Cypriots had no contact other than meetings and conversations between their top-level politicians in quest of a political settlement.
On the east coast, the town of Famagusta (named Gazimağusa in Turkish) is a city directly on the Mediterranean shores. It was January, and instead of a swarm of sunbathers, the beaches were deserted and serene.
The Mediterranean Sea is typically thought of being a calm body of water. Dinner will be at a little seafood restaurant on the lagoon, not far from the hotel, with some local acquaintances. A large portion of the lunch consisted of crispy fish, delectable squids, and snails served in style on unique porcelain platters with depression for each snail. Rhubarbs that are large and lush, as well as fried cottage cheese, were also served with loaves of bread.
The St. Nicholas Cathedral, built between 1298 and 1326 and later transformed into the Lala Mustafa Mosque in the 16th century, is Famagusta’s best-preserved relic. Famagusta’s residents built 365 churches (perhaps to avoid God’s wrath on each day of the year).
There were no structural changes to the Cathedral, and very little appeared to have been changed within. This is a massive yellow stone structure. In the year 300 BC, Famagusta was formed. Its significance grew as a result of its natural harbor and the fortifications that protected its inner city. Its growth accelerated in the 13th century, as it became a crossroads for East and West trade.
The island’s commercial activities relocated to Larnaca during the Ottoman rule, and Famagusta became a ghost town. During the British occupation, the port regained its importance. The Turkish population tended to congregate in the city center, while the Greeks gravitated to the outskirts.
New housing, commercial, and recreational spaces were created near the end of the British period, in tandem with socio-economic growth. Famagusta became one of the world’s most well-known entertainment and tourism destinations when Beirut lost its appeal due to the war in 1969-1970. Its structures reflected both British colonial traits and current architectural styles.
This region grows corn and other grains and vegetables, and the country is known for its olives, figs, and oranges. The Kyrenia (‘Girne’ in Turkish) mountain range was our northern companion on our left.
You can visit Salamis, which is only a few miles north of Famagusta, after spending a few days in Famagusta enjoying the beach, trying new dishes, marveling at historical sites and new buildings, browsing in the quaint little shops located along cobblestone streets in the old city, and making daily trips to Nicosia. The remains of ancient cities often give me a sad feeling, and a visit to Salamis was no exception.
Salamis’ development was frequently disrupted by earthquakes, but the city’s history dates back to the 11th century BC. The theatre and gymnasium are the most striking remnants of this massive complex. The theatre originally had 50 rows of seats and could accommodate 15,000 people. However, it was depressing to think that, sooner or later, more stone and marble will crumble as the sand and wind surrounding it ravaged what was left after more than 3000 years. Be sure to take romantic recollections of beautiful beaches, fragrant flowers, fascinating artifacts, flavors, and scents.