Sites Visited: Kyrenia Castle, Bellapais Monastery, Salamis, St. Barnabas’s chapel
Today was our last day in Cyprus! We ventured over to the North side occupied by Turkey to see some stuff and things, but not without picking up our tour guide. Gradually throughout the day, we gave up trying to understand each other’s English, and instead we opted to have Frankel step in and translate the guide’s German. He should probably get paid or something for his services. Or not.
Our first stop was the harbor, where we got some picturesque views of the ocean. We then made our way to Kyrenia Castle a short drive away, and got some really pretty views of the harbor we just left. We peeked into the harbor’s museum to see a remarkably well-preserved and well-excavated Hellenistic shipwreck dating from 300 BC. They dated it with the almonds still on board, and we’re not sure how that works, but we’re nuts about it!
Bellapais Monastery was the next stop. There was a concert hall with great acoustics, so we all participated in the ancient ritual chant, “Heeeeeey, Miiiichael Bodek!” as is custom for our peoples. We took a little time to explore after that, and it was VERY windy and we all almost DIED falling off the Frankish fortification walls and into the sea, but we didn’t.
It was good we didn’t die, because we got some AWESOME food at a Popeye restaurant. Not Popeye’s, it was a Turkish restaurant with Popeye as their mascot. Weird. Anyway, it was soooo gooooood and we wanna go back already.
But we had to go to Salamis next, the legendary site that Teucer (the brother of Ajax) founded when he couldn’t go home after he failed to avenge his brother’s death. Or something. Anyway, it was time for site parkour! We went exploring the ancient Hellenistic and Roman bath complex, and saw some ancient bathrooms and mosaic domes. Pretty dope. It was a lot of people’s favorite site today, because we get really excited about baths now. They’re so cool.
Our last stop of the day was St. Barnabas’ chapel, where the saint is buried and pilgrimage stuff goes on. We marveled at some ancient pottery and some Byzantine icons, and then finally headed home to Nicosia to rest. We leave tomorrow morning for Athens, wish us kalo taxidi!
d o n t t o u c h t h e a n t i q u i t i e s,
Vic, Student Tim, and da squish