On November 6, 2004, which amazingly was twelve entire years ago, I was enjoying the sunny warmth of a Cyprus day in Nicosia. We spent the day as tourists, venturing to sites in the old city, seeing Roman-era ruins and the remains of lovely palaces still lush with tropical plants.
These ancient palaces enjoyed the influence of Greek traditions and culture, while also enjoying stunning panoramic views of the sea. Cyprus was and is an amazingly beautiful island, full of contrasts, but absolutely unforgettable. From castles carved into the rocky mountainside that inspired Walt Disney, to gentle hillside temples that overlook white washed tropical harbors where the Goddess Aphrodite is said to have first stepped foot onto earth, Cyprus often serves as an archetype for Paradise.
Much like Rome or Athens, Nicosia encompasses both crumbling ancient ruins alongside modern buildings and amenities, also also a close proximity to the sea. It is possible to see several interesting sites within the same day, in areas of the island with vastly different character.
It wasn’t hard to step back in time and imagine Cyprus as the scene of medieval fairy tales of far off lands where it is always summer and palm trees blossom year round, a bastion of Greek culture and architecture, perched on the edge of the exotic Turkish empire.