We are going to Nicosia (a.k.a. Lefkosia or Lefkosa in Turkish). Yes, this is the capital, and yes, it is between two countries. How do past and future meet in it? It is built like a circle with 11 fortress gates from Venetian time. Many peoples have lived there – from Cyprus, Venice, Britain, Greece, Turkey. This complexity of the population can be felt even nowadays. Unfortunately, some places in the city look pretty bad and even scary. With time the city has expanded beyond the original circle. Even inside the circle, though, there are some buildings that seem abandoned. They are right next to some traditional nice houses. It is great that there are some pedestrian streets. Welcome to Nicosia! 🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾
|It is quite obvious where the old city ends and the new one starts.|
|Can you guess whose is the mountain?|
It is funny how you might walk on the main street named Ledra and just like that you are crossing a border. Just 5 minutes and you are in a different country. It is the last divided city in Europe. Accurate saying. The conflicts there are not from yesterday. Even the green line that should separate the Greek from the Turkish neighborhoods is not very effective. For the tourists, however, this is just an attraction that connects some beautiful churches and mosques on the one side with some other beautiful churches and mosques on the other side.
|We are about to get lost!|
Nicosia is so strange and weird that you might be scared to walk alone on the streets late at night. However, exactly in the evenings the streets are full of life. During the day it is way too hot to do anything. This is what the last divided capital of Europe looks like. I hope one day the many unused buildings in the buffer zone get their chance to be be brought back to life. I hope the same thing happens with the people there, too, who are trying to make it work in this stressful city. The feeling in the air is some strange combination of Istanbul, Mombasa, Delhi, Sofia and a few more cities…
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