Over the last week my girlfriend, Katelyn, came to see me and understand what this beautiful island is all about… Okay so maybe she wanted to see the sun and the beach instead of snow as well, but her being here gave me a reason to rent a car and drive to some of the more remote places here in Cyprus that I hadn’t had the opportunity to see previously. Our exploring was focused on three main parts of the island: The southwest region of Paphos, the Mesaoria plain/Nicosia, and the northeast region of the Karpas Peninsula. I’ll talk about our adventure through the pictures below.
|Tomb of the Kings in Paphos. These underground tombs were the ancient burial place of the wealthy people in the kingdom of Paphos.|
|A cafe in the center of the Buyuk Han (Great Inn during the Ottoman Period) in northern Nicosia.|
|Administrative building from the colonial period in northern Nicosia.|
|Courtyard at the Gardens of Irini in Bellapaix. This was the small BnB we stayed at over the weekend. It's run by a wonderful woman named Deidre who knew Lawrence Durrell (author of Bitter Lemons), whose famous house is just down the block.|
|Apostle Andreas Monastery at the very northeastern tip of the Karpas Peninsula. The church is still open to the public and is the site of a major pilgrimage spot for the Cypriot Orthodox religion despite its state of disrepair.|
|Church of St. Barnabas (who was martyred in Salamis). The church is now an icon museum but remains a pilgrimage destination as well.|
|The ancient kingdom of Salamis. Port city that connected eastern and western civilization as a major trade center in the Eastern Mediterranean.|
|I'm a little concerned about the condition of this very famous site. This column has obviously either been completely fabricated or reconstructed with rebar or is entirely fake.|
|After a short rainy period (I can't validate calling it a rainy season after the small amount of water that fell in Cyprus over the last few weeks), the flowers were in full bloom around the site of ruins.|
|The beautiful Kyrenia harbor with the Pentadaktylos as a backdrop|
|The interior of Kyrenia Castle|
|Byzantine chapel that was included in the construction of the castle.|
|On the final day as we drove back to Nicosia, we stopped at St. Hilarion Castle which was also in full bloom after the recent weeks of rain.|
Having Katelyn here was a great opportunity for both of us. We got to go to the beach a fair amount when the sun allowed us and I got to explore some new sites with her. In addition, we were able to walk through the things I talk to her about on a daily basis.
Now that these trips are over, it's time to get back to work and prepare for the Fulbright Enrichment Seminar that I am presenting at in Sofia, Bulgaria on April 7th. Unfortunately, I'm learning that this adjustment is easier said than done after such an incredible two and a half weeks of family and girlfriend.