From Athens to Singapore Part 3 of 12: Middle East: & Cyprus

Published Date Author: , April 23rd, 2010
by Mike Shaughnessy, Traveler
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Purple Roofs is happy to welcome back an old friend. Last time, Mike regaled us with tales of his trip through South America. This time, he brings us details from his two month trip from Greece to Singapore. Enjoy!

Gay Cyprus

Very few Americans take a vacation to the Middle East or travel there, unless they are in the US Military recently and that is not a vacation. The Middle East region is filled with cultures, history and sacred sites.

Gay Cyprus - PotteryMy upcoming stops will be taking me to; Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Oman and the United Arab Emirates countries before crossing the Arabian Sea to India, Thailand, Malaysia and finally Singapore.

I will also be cruising by but not stopping in; Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia. This very ship I am on was last year attacked and shot at by Somalia pirates. The Captain has advised us not to be on deck or standing at windows when we pass by the Somalia coast, best to lie on the floor. He will be at full speed ahead.

Gay Cyprus - BasketI feel as safe on this trip as being at home. Bad things can happen anywhere and when you think of it, the deadliest terrorist attacks in recent years have occurred in New York, Bali, Spain, Great Britain and now Texas.

Actually, there are good people everywhere too. Many western people unfortunately look at the Middle East as one big scary place when really it is about 20 different countries and the biggest danger is in not knowing, understanding and respecting each other.

Gay CyprusCyprus

Another island, Cyprus, a strategic stepping stone between three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa over the centuries has been stepped on/controlled by just about any country you can name.

Gay CyprusGreek, Phoenician, Assyrian, Persian, Egyptian, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman and British have therefore all left some of their cultures behind. For example, they drive on the left side of the road here.

Gay CyprusIt looked like a pleasant place with friendly people and a nice climate but not any public transportation, so you must own a car to go anywhere on this big island. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sardinia and Sicily with both Greek and Turkish as official languages but English also is spoken. It was the home of the Greek Goddess Aphrodite.

Today the Republic of Cyprus is a melting pot of cultures. I visited some of the old Roman ruins in the Kourion area (a Greek Theater built in 200BC) plus a small wine growing village in the foothills of the mountains.

Gay Cyprus - MosaicCyprus was always controlled by some other country for thousands of years until 1960 when it finally became the independent Republic of Cyprus. Today the Republic of Cyprus is a member nation of the European Union and uses the Euro currency…I did not know this.

You would think all would remain peaceful but again in 1974 the Turkish Army invaded Cyprus and now controls the Northern part of the island. The capital city of Nicosia in the island center has a line going through it with passport check points. It is, after a united Berlin, a remaining divided city with half under Turkish control and half under Republic of Cyprus control.

Comments reader  One Reader Comment

Lance - Gravatar

? Lance said on December 22, 2011, 10:19 am:

To be fair, you’ve only told half of the story regarding the 1974 war. The Turkish army only invaded after rebels who wanted to unite the island with Greece overthrew the democratically elected greek cypriot president and turkish cypriot vice president.

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