Cyprus trip report

 

Cyprus



Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea that has been the subject of numerous territorial contentions between Greece and Turkey. In 1974, following an attempted Greek Cypriot coup, Cyprus was partitioned two parts; one Greek and one Turkish. In the past visitors had to make a choice which half to visit. But after 2008, crossing the border became quite easy.


 

Zenobia shipwreck

One of the best attractions in Cyprus is actually under the sea. Known as the "Titanic of the Mediterranean", the Zenobia ship sank in 1980 on its first voyage only a few hundred meters from the harbour due to a fault in the ballast computer. Fully laden with trucks and their cargo, the ship now lies on its side at a depth of 42 meters, with the top of the wreck at 18m. An aquarium worth of sea-life have made it their residence.


 

Larnaca

Larnaca is a coastal town in the Greek Cypriot side. It's divided into an older city centre and a wide sprawl of hotels and restaurants along the beach catering to the hordes of tourists who flock to the island every year. I took a sightseeing bus tour of the city and gotta say driving laws in Cyprus are a joke. It's not uncommon to see a driver using two mobile phones and smoking a cigarette at the same time while at the wheel!


 

Famagusta

Famagusta is a city in the Turkish Cypriot northeast. One of the best thing to see is the "ghost town" by the beach. Apartments were destroyed by bombs dropped by planes and you could actually see the damage to the buildings and infrastructure. It's been abandoned since 1974, it was very eerie. All the locals were moved out and became refugees over 40 years ago. The water in the beach is the cleanest I'd ever seen but no pictures were allowed as it was an area occupied by the Turkish military. Nearby is Salamis, one of the best preserved site of ancient Roman and Greek ruins. Many of the statues of the gods have been damaged by early Christians once they came to the island.