Kyrenia is a beautiful Venetian harbour town in northern Cyprus (Turkish area) not known by many. It is believed that Kyrenia in North Cyprus has more than 6,000 year long history. Kyrenia today home to unique remains of countless civilisations, miles of natural sandy beaches, turquoise sea, and is sunny nearly all year around. It is an idyllic Mediterranean town that has something to offer for every one.
Dherinia lies on a hill, north of Ayia Napa in south-east Cyprus, on the edge of the no man’s land, which marks the border between the divided north and south.
One sunny, windy Easter-week day, we drove there and paid a tiny fee to climb steps from the haphazard garden of what is not much more than a shack, to a viewing platform where, through telescopes, you can scan a desolate and abandoned townscape of Famagusta, deserted during the conflict of 1974.
Our five-year-old son loved the telescopes and running round the platform, pointing out windmills and the sea, whilst our three-year-old daughter played happily (and safely) in the garden below, full of fig trees, plants and flowering bushes, feeding leaves to the giant tortoises that slowly ambled around a wire enclosure. We were mesmerised by the site of the empty buildings and houses, imagining the scenes on the day they were left amidst the violence and uproar.
Afterwards we sat in the garden at the wooden tables painted cobalt blue, having fresh, warm banana cake and tea, provided by the elderly, handsome owner, speaking grammatically perfect English - somehow a human embodiment of the region’s past. He has also lovingly curated a mini-museum to his country's sad history, with yellowing newspaper cuttings, photographs, signs and testimonies displayed. You are gently urged to write a comment in the visitors’ book before leaving.
The kids came away talking about their adventure and the fantastic cake. We adults found it an intensely moving, eerie and evocative experience.
Signed once you reach Dherinia, north of Paralimni in south east Cyprus.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Search Been there