Today we made our way to the Turkish side of Cyprus past the border towards the abandoned ghost town of Famagusta. Famagusta used to be the biggest tourist location on the island before Turkey overtook the city in 1974 leaving the many Greek Cypriots to evacuate and any who attempted to return were killed. Many who tried to return are still missing today. It was interesting as the city was not maintained at all and just left to rot as some people only rode their bikes through. Both our tour guides and bus driver also had a past in Famagusta either personally or from relatives which really showed the impact this event had on a lot of the Cypriots.
After this, we made our way into the medieval part of the Old City where we saw many churches and the sea gate. We had lunch at one spot as well, and it seemed that the Turkish Lira was very cheap compared to the Euro as most of our lunches were about 2 Euros. Then we went to a beach on the south east side of the island and spent some time in the sun and relaxing. On our way back, we saw a sea cave as well as a natural forming rock ‘bridge’ that was over the water which was very interesting and pretty.
Today was an impactful day as we saw a closer look at real Cypriot history and how the divide between the Turkish and them have formed, but we also were able to see the gorgeous beaches and sea caves which cover the island in a tourist’s dream.