Nicosia - The Lusignan House
Unfortunately we were not impressed with Nicosia. There was little to see or do that was of any real interest. Many of the grander private houses had fallen into disrepair - maybe awaiting a better fate with reunification?
A 15th Century house with armorial decorations.
The city is divided by the UN's Green Line separating the Greek & Turkish sides. With apparently no trace of irony, there is a Blue Line painted on the pavements marking out a Tourist Trail, linking buildings of possible interest.
The Selimiye Camii Mosque is the main mosque on Cyprus. Formerly the French Gothic cathedral of St Sophia.
Ann outside the Mosque.
The original East - West orientation of the Catholic cathedral doesn't line up well with the Mecca orientation of the prayer platform. But then that's what you have to accept if you usurp a building's original function.
The 16th Century Buyuk Han, or Great Inn is now an Arts complex with numerous tourist shops & cafes. The small octagonal building in the centre is a miniature mosque.
This photo is taken from the plane, soon after take off. On a mountainside overlooking Nicosia is this enormous Turkish Cypriot Flag, which can be seen from Nicosia. This serves as a reminder to the Greeks that the Turks are here to stay. With such partisan displays, it is no wonder that unification seems unlikely in the near future. It is illuminated at night.
Overall an enjoyable holiday in an island with a very British feel to it - driving on the left, most people speak at least a smattering of English, the £ is welcome, etc.
We came across one scam that was new to us. Before going on holiday, I emailed several companies for quotes on a taxi pick-up from the airport. Walking into the concourse on arrival, I immediately saw someone holding up a sign with my name on it & assumed it was the company I had booked. A few yards further along I noticed another sign with my name on it. It transpired that one of the companies that I emailed for a quote had sent a taxi "on spec" to pinch the business from the one I had chosen!
Prior to going on holiday I bought a road map of the whole island ( I couldn't find one of just North Cyprus). Unfortunately I soon found out that it was a Greek Cypriot map. In North Cyprus most places have Turkish and not Greek names. Very irritating!