Today was another amazing day in Cyprus; I truly cannot believe that I am leaving in just a few days. Today began with a walking tour of Famagusta which is a town that has been abandoned for over 40 years. Because of a Turkish invasion, the Cypriot government ordered all of the people to flee the city with all that they could take with them. As a result, the buildings were left in that condition for the past few decades. Today, the buildings are overgrown with vegetation and lookdown. Recently, the Turkish government decided to repave and open one of the main roads in Famagusta in hopes of attracting investors to rebuild the city. They even planted trees, shrubs, and cacti near the entrance. While we were at Famagusta, we were able to see the entrance to the beach and see the coastline which was lined with abandoned hotels and condos. The beach was stunning; it is very easy to see how Famagusta was once a tourist attraction and could one day be a booming city again. Before then, power lines, drainage systems, and internet access may need to be completely redone. This is a large investment and risk for any company to pursue; however it would be great to see Famagusta restored to its former glory.
After visiting Famagusta, we had free time at Fig Tree Bay which is a gorgeous blue flagged beach that is known for its surrounding fig trees. Fig Tree Bay is unlike any beach I have been to in the United States because the water was crystal clear and there were no waves. The water was very calm and relatively warm for this time of year. Although we had limited time at the beach, we had an amazing time splashing around in the clear meditation sea water. After Fig Tree Bay, we got to see the Ayia Napa Sea caves which were more breathtakingly beautiful than I imagined. Our tour guide explained that couples typically get married and take wedding photos by the sea caves as there is a church conveniently located right next to the caves. During our short visit we were lucky enough to see two beautiful sets of brides and grooms! We even got to see this beautiful natural bridge that overlooks the sea. I learned that sometimes the most beautiful things in life are meant to be kept the way they were created.