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  • 2 Nicosia
    Theoni  Papaiacovou

    My day out in Old Nicosia

    By Theoni Papaiacovou, Local expert
    20.05.2016 | City , Outdoors , Culture , Exploring

    Today started with me getting up at around 7am to get ready for the day ahead. I packed and had breakfast, and then I walked to the beach to grab the intercity bus to Nicosia. The bus left at 9am and we arrived sometime around 10:20. I then took a city bus towards the apartment I rented and had to look a bit to find the right street. The landlady showed me the studio; it was quite small but had everything I needed, and by everything I mean air conditioning. Nicosia is not on the coast and is even hotter, at around 38 degrees Celsius; air condition is a must have. 

    It took me about 20 minutes to get into the old city by foot and I needed a while to orient myself here because the roads are not structured. Also, I have no sense of direction. At noon I found myself still a little out of the centre, but at the Cyprus Museum where I had planned to go anyway. Once in, I realized a free tour just started and I joined it. It took a little more than an hour and was very good. When the guide was done, I walked through a couple of other exhibits, including one dedicated to Polish archaeologists working in Cyprus for the last 50 years. 

    Next, I had a kebab for lunch in a small shop, and then started to walk around. I did part of the walking tour recommended by Lonely Planet, but also just wandered around as well. I went into the free Leventis Municipal Museum, which was very well done. It focuses on the history of Nicosia, displaying a host of interesting information. Nicosia is the last divided capital in the world; there are two main populations here - Greeks in the south, and Turkish in the north. Despite being one country, Turkey still lays claim to the north and the people there use the Turkish lira, speak Turkish, etc. In the south they speak Greek and use the euro. After problems between the two, a line was drawn down the centre of Nicosia on a map in green pen, and today it is still called the Green Line. No one has crossed it since the 1970s, and the UN keeps the peace. In 2003, the Turkish side decided to reopen the border, and today people can cross daily.

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