Thursday, October 08, 2009

Discovering Cyprus

Troy traveled to Cyprus for business and had an afternoon to explore the capital city of Nicosia. It was a strange trip from the start, missing his flight from Athens. And this odd experience didn't stop during his stay, having never seen water on the island - arriving at night and departing at 3 am. Nicosia is said to be the only country capital in the world that is still divided. You remember the struggle between the Greeks and the Turks...well it lives on in Cyprus today. The capital is literally split through the middle, with the UN buffer zone (in some cases less than 100M) between the two sides. I'm told I can pass easily from side to side with a US passport, but I wasn't going to try it before my flight. I walked the entire perimeter of the buffer zone, and you have an amazingly beautiful city that is absolutely war torn. I'm not talking just about bullet holes in the walls. I'm talking about the sand bag bunkers still through the main streets of town, the UN officers asking me not to take photos, and much of the area within two blocks relegated to warehouses as the local government gives away the space to fund the restoration of downtown Nicosia. I believe there is a reluctance to rebuild, only to see it torn down again. The primary conflict that led to the divided city ended 35 years ago, yet it still lives on in the day to day lives of those in Cyprus. I tried to show you some of the beauty, as well of some of the conflict that goes on today in Nicosia.

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