Archive for June, 2008
Just stumbled over this nice map of Stockholms metro on Let Me Tell You About Sweden.
I must have mentioned somewhere that my wives grandaunt is here for some days, while I was in Cyprus. She is approaching an age of 80 and spend her childhood in a time most Germans do not like to speak about. She seems formed by this time, at least that is my impression. Everything she sees is bad compared to “the old times” and nothing is good enough for her standards. The chicken my wive baked for her was too bloody, our home is too dirty and too small, the stairs are also too dirty, why haven’t we complained about that? The drain smells and is too slow, the light is not enough. Our son gets too much attention, and my wife can’t cook. Everything has to be like in Germany, otherwise it is bad. Of course there are also good sights, eg. she can’t sit a minute without doing nothing. So she ironed, almost, everything I had, cleans our home every day, makes food and cleans it up. Goes out with our son and does not save us from her “wisdom” about almost anything. A classic old German. Tomorrow is her last day with us, then we will decline to our decadent old, dirty and ignorant way of living.
The place I liked the most on the “other side” was Girne, or Kyrenia. If you check old images from before 1974 it is hard to find any development, and that is what it makes it so nice. The beaches were completely empty for kilometers. Of course there are much nicer areas, however these are also strategic areas or military bases, and I did not want to risk my day by taking a picture.
Except the appearance of cats there was a clear difference between both sides. It seems like not much has changed since 1974 on the Northern part of Nicosia, or Lefkosa (how it is called on the other side), but that might be understandable if one considers the fact that there is an embargo, which seems to be more or less kept except by Turkey and some other countries. The more I left the border the better the area became. Casinos and expensive cars all over the place. I was told that this area is very popular for criminals, because were officially no state, there no law. The embargo has also some “funny sides” (no embargo is funny per definition, but I didn’t know how to put it). Officially the area has to be boycotted, but on the other hand there is a market so famous companies have to operate under different names (that’s what I was told, I have no proof for that), so that might explain the pictures at the end
Having said that I took the first taxi after the conference and went over Larnaca to Nicosia. The taxi driver was nice enough to charge me half from Larnaca because it was his way home.
He dropped me of at Ledra Palace, which is basically the area around a hotel, which is a buffer zone between the Greek and Turkish side of Cyprus, the latter is of course only recognised as a state by Turkey and no other country to my knowledge. I wasn’t able to take picture within the UN zone, because it was forbidden, but I tried to get some views from both sides, however the best part will only remain in my memories, namely a 500-1000 m long street with bombed buildings. Impression from a dead town: I am not sure since when this street was without inhabitants, but it seems like that since 1974 (when Turkey decided to conquer the Northern part of the Island) no one has lived there. The Greek side, ie. Cyprus, does not recognise the other side, so they don’t check people crossing over, however, the Turkish side, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, sees itself as a State and therefore checks who is crossing over. I got a Visa for 90 days within 5 minutes and entered another world.