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leaving Cyprus

December 1, 2009

While I waited from my flight at Heathrow Airport, at 2 am, around people sleeping around, others surfing the web, grabbing a snack, changing clothes (not kidding) and another one coughing and sneezing (I had to move over to another set of chairs), I thought about the different things I wanted to have written about Cyprus, but it was time to leave. I was going back to Brazil after 8 months living in the island – new chapters, new posts.

While sitting there I jotted down what I wish I had written before my departure.

I wish I had written about how the island is known as Aphrodite’s island, or love island. According to Greek mythology Aphrodite was born in Cyprus. That’s why a lot of tourists choose Cyprus as their wedding location. Speaking of which… weddings – they are a huge business there. There are tons of wedding dress stores in different villages and wedding planners advertising everywhere. Aphrodite was born in Pafos’ water’s foam, where the Petra tou Romiou rock is found, showing the exact spot.

Aphrodite´s birthplace

Pafos was also Cyprus´ capital once. A place where myth and reality blend – Aphrodite’s birthplace, Byzantine churches and castles dating from the Crusades, all in one place. Paul, the apostle, also came by for a visit.

Pafos

I wish I had written about Cape Greco, a type of bay surrounded by enormous rocks with clear blue water hitting the tall cliffs.

Cape Greco

Then there is Ayia Napa, with it’s hyped up nightlife. During the summer its clubs, pubs and bars (mostly named after Disney or Hollywood movies) are invaded by young Brits who party until the sun goes up. During winter… it’s like ghost town.

Ayia Napa beach

 

bar in Ayia Napa

another bar in Ayia Napa

I should have written about crossing the green line – that divides the Greek and the Turkish part. Feels like crossing a border between to another country that all of sudden smells like kebab and shisha and prayers are heard all over town. From Nicosia, in the Greek part, you see the Turkish part proudly lighting their flag at night on their side.

view of the Turkish side

The landscape changes, from churches to mosques, people’s physical traits, the music… Still in the Turkish side, Famagusta reflects what is left of the Turkish invasion – abandoned buildings, completely destroyed during the war. Feels like pre-reconstruction Lebanon.

Famagusta

 At that moment, sitting at Heathrow’s wifi area, I was living my nostalgia of leaving a place I lived in. There’s always a hint of desire to stay a little longer, if not a huge one. I thought about what I experienced, learned, and places I didn’t see… I remembered people, moments, the day to day routine, my apartment… I recall the rough days and quickly change the mental image to the beautiful scenery. I thought once again about the people who shared that experience with me, and I couldn’t help the thought that they were experiences that most likely won’t be repeated.

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