Friday, March 9, 2012

2011-2012 Cyprus

Cyprus December 2011
Collecting flight miles is a good idea. This time, I had a opportunity to buy 2 tickets from Malta to Cyprus using my miles from Emirates Airlines and I paid only for airport taxes.Please, watch out!! For renting a car at the Larnaka airport you need to pay an extra fee. In 2011, the  Avis fee was 20 euro and in other companies it was smaller. Another important thing is, that Avis has a different fuel policy. They give you a full tank and charge you for it, then you should return car with an empty tank, which  is impossible! So they have free petrol for the company. Other companies have different options so I suggest to avoid Avis!!!

The district of Larnaka has many interesting places to visit. The church of Agios Lazaros was built by Byzantine Emperor Leo VI in the 9th century. The church is one of the most remarkable examples of Byzantine architecture in Cyprus. 

The Larnaka fort was built during Middles Ages but the present appearance he owe Ottoman rules. During the British rule there was a prison inside and now there is a Medieval museum. Between the city and the airport there is a salt lake. In winter, thousand of flamingos make an annual stopover at this salt lake. 

The best time is in the morning from 6.00 am till 8.00 am and during the day, if there is sun. On the way to Hala Sultan Tekke, there are 2 parking places, from where you can watch the birds from your car. I spotted that they come very close when you are in the car. Of course, it could take even an hour. The Hala Sultan Tekke is a very prominent Muslim shrine. It is  open every day from 8 am till 2 pm. According to the  legend, Muhammad's paternal aunt, accompanying her husband on an Arab raid on Cyprus in 649, was attacked by Byzantine forces here, feel from her mule, broke her neck and was buried on the spot. 

The Mosque, that was built around her grave, is the fourth most important holy place in the world for Muslims.

Cape Greko and Paralimni
Cape Greko is a nice place to have a small rest. There are many picnics places and some caves. Unfortunately, the end of Cape Gkreko is closed for tourists.

On the way to the border with the Turkish part, there is a small tourist village with a lot of incredible restaurants. 

Before the border I got lost in Paralimni.
Without GPS and with no good map there was a small problem with driving a car. I got lost and I found a very nice church. With a help from local people I found a way and got to the Turkish part.

On the border you are obliged  to buy a insurance for a  minimum of 3 days which costs 25 euro. As the Turkish part of island is not considered by some countries they give you a visa on a small piece of paper which you need to keep during your trip.

This is a very nice town. The old town is surrounded by a wall. Close to the main gate on the left hand side there is a tourist information office where you can find all information about the Turkish part of Cyprus. On this part of the island you need to pay in a local currency – Turkish Lira.

My trip to the northern part of Cyprus was because of wild donkeys. These animals can easily carry up to 30% of their own bodyweight. The origins of the Cyprus donkeys is not exactly known. The authorities declared Karpaz peninsula as a natural wildlife park. Wild donkeys of North Cyprus live in a small groups and like to be social. The small donkey community consists of a mother and two or three offspring’s.

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