First Look at Cyprus

Cyprus is strikingly beautiful. Green and lush, with a mountain range to the north of Nicosia whose peaks are more like waves or erratic mathematic functions than the stereotypically triangular forms you would first think of. Yesterday was sunny and warm, and I set out for a 10-mile walk, covering the buffer zone in the north-west metropolitan area. Despite the gorgeous  landscape and relaxed, Mediterranean vibe, there are still things that are profoundly weird about the island (to my excitement). For example, I went from a modern-Western style shopping mall to a militarized border with occupied Turkish territory, on foot, in about 10 minutes. And I wasn’t even walking quickly. Here are a few photos and first impressions of my time here:

I’ve already seen these stickers in quite a few places. Note how North (Turkish-occupied) Cyprus appears to be bleeding onto the rest of the island.

Oh you know, just the buffer zone at the end of the block. Maybe 100 meters past this, there are North Cyprus observation posts and Turkish flags. In between: barbed wire, tall grass.

Huge Turkish flags painted on the hillside facing south. Apparently they are lit up at night by floodlights, too. As one resident put it: “quite provocative, really.”

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About ktrenerry

I am inspired by human-powered, intentional travel and borderlands of all types: international, neighborhood boundaries, and especially the heavily disputed. My work often seeks to combine these two themes, resulting in projects that have taken me more than 1,000 miles down the Iron Curtain Trail by bike, and around and through some of today’s most notorious walls in Israel/Palestine, Cyprus, and Northern Ireland on foot. The latter journey was undertaken as part of my current independent project, Walking Walls. I am creating a book as the culmination of the project, forthcoming 2014.   I am currently living in Boston.

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