CYPRUS - the Divided Country, Travel GuideWritten by TravelMake.com
Nestled into eastern part of Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is third largest island in Mediterranean. Cyprus history for past 10,000 years has seen civilizations come and go and famous historical figures such as Alexander Great to Cleopatra stake their claim here. According to legend, Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty was born here. From independent travellers to honeymooners, archaeology enthusiasts to friends of nature, adventure lovers to people enjoying lazy days on a beach visitors to Cyprus find offers to everyone's taste. Food lovers feast on farm-fresh halloumi cheese and delectable meze, local specialty appetizers that mix Western ingredients with Eastern zest. Business travelers appreciate fine, modern conference facilities and warm, professional service at numerous hotels and resorts. Since 1974 there have been two countries on island of Cyprus - Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and southern Republic of Cyprus. So you can actually visit two countries for price of one. We invite you to get a delightful taste of what both Greece and Turkey have to offer: beautiful sunny beaches, small charming villages, ruins of ancient civilizations and distinctive local cultures. HISTORY: Cyprus (Kypros in Greek) gave copper its latin name: cuprum. First Greeks settled on Cyprusin late Bronze Age (1,600 B.C.) and established trade links with Egypt and Aegean islands. During this period ceramic art first flourished. Alexander Great wrestled island away from Persians . As centuries passed by, island came consequently under Persian, Assyrian, Egyptian, and Roman rule. The Roman emperor Marc Antony gave Cyprus as a gift to his lover, beautiful Cleopatra. Then came a long period of Byzantine domination. For a hundred years until 1571 flag of Republic of Venice flew in Cyprus, when Ottoman Turks occupied it. In 1878 Cyprus became part of British Empire. It gained independent status in 1960. Cyprus History - Recent Past and Present: A Greek, Archbishop Makarios, became an elected president. On 15 July 1974 a CIA-sponsored, Greek-organised coup overthrew Makarios and replaced him with a puppet leader. Turkey responded by invading island and Greece quickly pulled out, but Turks did not stop and took northern third of island, forcing 180,000 Greek Cypriots to flee their homes. In 1983 Turkish Cypriots proclaimed a separate state, naming it Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Peace talks have been held sporadically, but Cyprus remains divided. ATTRACTIONS:NICOSIA: The island's capital city is divided in two parts by UN-patrolled Green Line, which separates Republic from Northern Cyprus. Nicosia is a friendly, laid-back place, with good restaurants, museums, and a lively art scene.A visit here should give you a less touristy view of country than you'll get if you stick to coastal towns. The old town , inside 16th-century Venetian walls, is most interesting part of Nicosia, a home to numerous little shops where you can bargain directly with owners. The Cathedral of St.John houses some outstanding frescoes. The Cyprus Archeological Museum exhibits priceless collection of Cypriot antiquities and art treasures. Visiting Nicosia gives you a chance to cross Green Line and to explore Turkish part of capital city. Passing through "no man" zone within Green Line, where everything is left untouched since 1974 military action, seeing houses covered with bullet holes leaves unforgetable impression. The Turkish part of Nicosia is smaller, has less things to see, but carries its own charm and specific culture. More about going to Northern Cyprus- here. PAPHOS: One of most beautiful parts of island, place where, according to legend, Aphrodite arose from from foaming waves. Among souvenir shops you'll see Saranta Kolones, a Lusignian fortress destroyed by an earthquake in 13th century; it's mostly fallen columns and sewer tunnels. The underground Tombs of Kings dated back to 4th century are carved out of solid rock, some of them are frescoed and are thought to have been burial sites of aristocrats and high officials. In Greco-Roman times Paphos was island's capital, and it is famous for remains of Roman Governor's palace, House of Dionysos , with its stunning mosaics which is now a major tourist attraction. There is a small harbour and an upper town slightly to north where larger shops, offices and town administration are based. TROODOS MASSIF: The Troodos region mountains, in country's south, are unforgettable. This is where highest point on islanond - mount Olympus (1,952m, 6,507ft) located. Kykkos Monastery, in western Troodos, is best known Christian Orthodox monastery. Built in 12th century, it's been completely renovated and contains a museum of religious icons including icon of Christ and Virgin Mary painted by St. Luke himself. On Throni Peak in region there is a tomb of Archibishop Makarios, first Cyprus President. COLOSSI CASTLE: Built by Crusaders (Hospitallers, Order of St. John of Jerusalem) in 13th century this castle served as their headquarter. This well-preserved castle , restored in 1933 is a good example of military architecture of that period. A spiral staircase leads up to roof and restored battlements. There are also plenty of citrus orchards in area, and you can pick up some of country's juiciest oranges in markets here. SALAMIS: It was most important pre-Christian city in Cyprus. You could easily spend a day here, exploring these very extensive ruins that include a fully restored Roman amphitheatre, gymnasium with marble baths, and mosaics, a temple of Zeus, numerous statues of 4th century. Byzantine remains include basilica of Bishop Epiphanos (4th century AD). The necropolis of Salamis covers 7 sq. km (almost 3sq.miles) to west of town. It contains a museum showing some of finds. Close to site is a very nice beach, so bring your swimming suits.
Drakensberg Diaries. Chute and Shoot to Thrill. Canoe in the Drakensberg Foothills through the Weenen Game Reserve in South Africa. Written by Brian Kemp
Planning a holiday in Drakensberg Mountains in South African winter? This little gem is a ďsomething completely differentĒ day-trip. So your Drakensberg holiday doesnít have to be all walking.
There are other ways of getting around. Like bobbing through Weenen Game Reserve in an inflatable canoe. I hear you say ďHold itĒ. Relax, no lions. But thatís about all itís short of. This day-trip is only available in winter months (June Ė September) when river is at itís lowest. Itíll be warm in sun but cool in shade. Youíll need a hat, sunscreen, binoculars and a camera with a longish lens.
The Bushmanís River sources in high Drakensberg of Giantís Castle. At altitude, its crystal-clear rock pools refresh overheated hikers. Lower down it feeds Weenan Canal - built 100 years ago to provide irrigation for farmlands. While river rushes and tumbles over rocks, canal is much less imposing. Only a metre deep and no more than a few metres wide. But itís 12 kilometres long, traversing rough and hilly terrain. Donít be too quick to jump in though Ė its cold, winter-green color tells you it hasnít been in liquid form for long.
Your river guides will have everything ready for you. So you can lie back in your little boat. And bob. In sunshine. Itís got paddles but you donít need them. Claustrophobia sufferers, beware. En route there are three not-so-large steel pipes through which water has been channeled. You either stop, pick up your boat and portage. Or you lie back with steel tunnel only inches from your face. Itís dark and you can feel heat radiating from surface. Grit your teeth. Go with flow. Breath relief when you suddenly pop out into sunshine again.