Nicosia: A Capital DividedJanuary 27 in Cyprus ⋅ 🌬 16 °C
We spent the morning still in Larnaca, a lazy morning before checking out St Lazarus Church downtown. It dates back to the 9th century, and St Lazarus tomb is here as well. It's a beautiful but small place worth checking out.
On our way back to the car, I got my first glimpse of souvenir shopping in Cyprus. Good thing I'm limited by my backpack and also knowing I still have to carry things for another 5 weeks! Soaps from olive oil and donkey milk, spices, sweets, jewelry galore! It definitely took a little will power.
Homemade lunch again, this time, I think it's the makaronia tou fournou (but don't quote me on it, I will double check with my friend). A tasty pasta dish that sort of looks like lasagna that's oven baked with meat, bechamel sauce and cheese all over village pasta.
After that, we headed for Nicosia, Cyprus' capital actually just a 30-35 minute drive away with no traffic. Wheras Larnaca was tranquil like a sleepy village, Nicosia is definitely city. We wandered a few of the main pedestrian streets down, poking our heads into shops, glancing through a check point to the occupied part of the island. It's a bit strange to see these spots in the middle of the street, but the officers are serious about checking. One lady wanted to bring her dog across and was met with "no". Didn't get to crossing the border, but for education purposes, one day I probably will.
I think Nicosia and the island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 since the Turks occupied the northern half of the island, partly due to resources. There is still some tension, but no skirmishes that I saw. It was strange though seeing the barbed wire near the Ledas Hotel (now home for the UN) and Turks just sitting on the other side having coffee.
We also stopped by the Turkish bath, a serene establishment once you enter. Didn't get a treatment, but perhaps next time.
A chill night in to just hang out.Read more