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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Occupied

At breakfast our 1st morning
My birthday  surprise was revealed  to  be  two weeks in Kyrenia in Northern  Cyprus!  The man had spent 3 very happy years ar RAF Aquatieri 50 years ago! Except for a 2 week sojourn in 1974 he has not been back. You could say a lot has happened in the interim.

Cyprus is a very popular  destination for many British people and over my years in England  i have heard a lot about it, but this is my first trip. For the past few  years  we have heard from many that the Greek south of Cyprus has been spoiled by over commercialization and beaches that have been  ruined by tall buildings and sprawling hotels. We were advised
That to experience the 'old Cyprus' we should go to the Turk.ish north. And infeed here we are in a beautiful little hotel in Kyrenia right by the  sea.

we arrived late on the night of the 10th of June. Our travel rep had sent a car to meet us in Larnaca in the south of the island so we had to cross the line dividing the country and show passports to gain admittance. It wasn't until a few days later when we were driving around that we saw the irrefutable evidence of Turkish presence. Time and as we drive from one place to another we come upon wire fences with signs warning all not to take pictures and saying that it is a military zone. Several times The Man has been thwarted  when attempting to find some place that he had known long ago only to find the way blocked.

The Cypriots that we have spoken to have all said that they are hoping  that  their small country will be reunited in the next couple of years. But I see many signs that this may be wishful thinking. Everywhere are Turkish monuments to their presence. These monuments are to be seen in the towns and atop cliffs and embellished in grand public work schemes -- as if to announce tonthe world that "Here we are and here we mean to stay".