Lefkosia (Nicosia) is the capital of Cyprus and is the only divided capital in the European Community. It has been a divided capital since the Turkish invasion of 1974.
We parked our car outside the old city walls and then walked through the pedestrian area, through narrow streets bordered by small cafes and souvenir shops selling anything from jewellery to handmade lace.
We climbed to the top of the Debenhams tower from where you can get a 360 degree view of the whole city. The Turkish part seems to have all the best buildings to visit. In the centre you can see the cathedral which has now been converted into a mosque.
The border crossing still had its Easter decorations.
Crossing into the Turkish side was like stepping into another world – from modern Europe into a city that was still living in the past. We visited the “large” han (inn), which consisted of a colonnaded gallery around a large courtyard with a small shrine in the courtyard. In times gone by it would have provided food and lodgings for lots of people. The upper rooms had fireplaces. It was now an arts and crafts centre with a cafe.
We would have liked to visit the cathedral, now converted into a mosque, but it was prayer time and therefore closed to non-believers.
This is the fountain where worshippers make their ablutions before entering the mosque.
We left the cathedral through this archway, intending to visit the antiques shop on the corner but got distracted
by the art exhibition outside
Originally the cathedral probably had stained glass windows. However these have been replaced with windows of strictly geometrical design.
Rear view of the mosque/cathedral.
We wandered through the side streets,
stopping for refreshments and visiting the market.
It was strange crossing back, from a part of the city where I could understand the language (Turkish) into another where I couldn’t understand a word. It was literally “all Greek to me”.
On our last day we went for a walk along the promenade in Limassol where we saw a variety of interesting trees and sculptures. This is a camel’s foot tree (it also exists in a white variety).
Bottle brush tree
These trees have been pruned in such a way that the centre is open to the sky
These egg sculptures must provide plenty of fun for people to pose for photos hatching eggs.
I think this is a statue to liberty, pity about the graffiti.