The temperature wasn't exactly swim weather -- in the fifties -- and public transportation isn't as easy or plentiful as on the Turkey mainland, so we didn't make it to a swimmable beach. In retrospect, we made a mistake not to rent a car for our brief stay. Walking from our hotel -- The Ship Inn -- a mile outside Kirenia (Girne) -- was along a very busy street, and Girne was more built-up and developed than we would have liked.
There is still a big British influence in Cyprus, the island having won independence in just 1960 -- they drive on the "wrong side of the road," and nearly all of the guests at the "Ship Inn" resort we stayed at (package deal -- including breakfast and dinner) were older British couples.
The highlight of the weekend was our visit to the village of Bellapais and the monastery there, built by exiled Augustinian monks, listed as a "sacred destination," but now a museum. Alex climbed the trees shown in the picture and started knocking out what he thought were ripe oranges, and collecting them for his backpack, but turns out they were bitter lemons. You should have seen the twisted expression on his face when he took a bite!
The abbey's history can be traced back to the 12th century. Interestingly, the Catholic Church of Cyprus is independent of Rome.
Climbing the steps of the abbey you can see great views of the harbor, sea and coastline.
Alas, we have to depend on online photos for pictures, because Cyprus uses europlugs, and the ones I purchased didn't work with either my camera phone or my laptop, so we didn't take any pictures over the weekend.This was the view from our hotel room:
There are many things to see in North Cyprus, so maybe we will visit again. It appears we will need to rent a car, as the public busses don't go to many tourist destinations. I would like to see the Saint Hilarion Castle, the Kyrenia Castle archeology museum, the Othello Castle, Buffavento Castle, Leonardo DiVinci's Porte del Mare (Sea Gate), the Farmagusta port founded in 1000 BC, the church and monastery of martyred St. Barnabus, the ruins of Salamis, and the beautiful village of Tatlisu on the Karpaz peninsula or panhandle of Cyprus.
And that's not even considering what there is to see on the Greek side of Cyprus.