Day 9 Was Divine

Yiasas! Day 9 was absolutely divine. We finally went to the Northern side of Cyprus!

We started at the old part of Famagusta which was a ghost town. It was crazy to see all of the abandoned buildings and hear about the history. This part of Famagusta became a ghost town after the Turkish invasion. One day, the Turkish army just started bombing this part of Famagust in 1974. Once they killed or evacuated the population, the Turkish Army plundered all of the citizens’ possessions. The people that, after the bombing, came back to their town to gather their possessions or find others never returned; they ended up as missing persons. It was saddening to hear this history because so many Cypriots were displaced or killed with no warning or explanation. Furthermore, our tour guide mentioned how all of the repairs and restorations that were needed after the invasion have been paid for by the Cypriots, not the Turkish. Our tour guide lived in the old part of Famagusta when it was invaded so she had really interesting insights. As we walked, she would talk about all the shops and shop owners and her after school activities. She really put people to these abandoned buildings which made the whole situation all the more upsetting.

We then moved to the currently occupied part of Famagusta within the medieval walls. All of the ruins and architecture were beautiful. We started at the Castle of Othello which inspired a Shakespearean play. I really loved walking through the castle, especially because it was ruinous which makes it more interesting to me. We then walked around the town and saw the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque which was originally a cathedral. The Rheims Gothic architecture is absolutely beautiful and they added a cute minaret when they converted it to a mosque. This mosque was where the last Lusignan queen resisted the conquering of the island. 

Castle of Othello
Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque

Next, we walked to the twin churches and learned more about the history of Cyprus regarding the Templars and the Hospitaliers and how they exploited the Cypriots and the Cyprian resources.

We had lunch and then ventured off to the sea in Protaras. The water was beautiful but the little rock island was extremely sharp. We played King of the Rock and I consider myself to have been King of the Rock even though Landon says otherwise. We all left the rock and the water with bloody feet.

Finally, we went to the sea caves which were beautiful but honestly underwhelming. The view was great but the cave was not as impressive as I wanted it to be.

We made our way back to Nicosia and went on a wonderful walking tour with Andreas where he told us about the less touristy aspects of Nicosia and took us deeper into the old city. It ended with a sunset view and was just overall a wonderful walk.


Leave a Reply