Day 9: The Ghost Town

Today, we made an early morning 8AM departure to Famagusta, apart of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. We had a Turkish Cypriot escort us during this visit, especially due to the strict security patrol to enter. Once we safely passed this security clearance, we strolled through Varosi, a deserted town also referred to as a “ghost town.” There were many ruined buildings due to the bombings of the Turkish invasion in 1974, along with abandoned restaurants and coastal hotels. Georgina, our tour guide, was quite familiar with this area because she grew up here.

After this visit, we had a guided tour led by Georgina of the Old City of Famagusta, which consisted of Othello’s Castle and the remains of churches and castles. I was surprised by the relatively cheap food here, especially when I ordered my chicken kabab dish for lunch. As I write this, 1 Euro is equal to 16.74 Turkish lira.

After checking out of a gate to exit Famagusta, we had free time at Konnos Bay, one of the very few beaches which such clear water that you could see your feet and the ocean floor! Fortunately, I made the correct decision to not climb up on a island only sightly deeper from the shore, which resulted in numerous cuts for other students from the jagged rocks. After departing from the beach, we made quick stops at the sea caves and the rock bridge. Because both were fascinating natural structures, everyone had their phones our for pictures.

Once returning back to Nicosia, Andreas, the program coordinator, was nice enough to voluntarily take us around the Old City and explain the history and/or significance of certain buildings. I ended my night with a great pork kabab dish for dinner in the Old City with several other guys. We sat for a few hours and shared stories!

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