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» Read about Famagusta town North Cyprus



Freddie


Joined: 18/03/2008
Posts: 12

Message Posted:
19/03/2008 17:20

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Message 1 of 19 in Discussion

My father did his National Service in Famagusta - he is 69 now - and has good memories of that time. I understand that he was probably based somewhere in what is now the buffer zone - but he remembers what I think must be the Old Town and Salamis. We are taking him to Famagusta in April and I wonder what we can show him that he would find interesting, as I have never been there.



If anyone has experience of this or knows any companies that specialise in such visits, I would appreciate the information.

Thanks

Freddie



elko2



Joined: 24/07/2007
Posts: 4400

Message Posted:
19/03/2008 19:34

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Message 2 of 19 in Discussion

I have been living in Famagusta since 1976 and don't know much before this time but the best beach is called "Klapsides" and apparently the name comes from "Club Sides". May be it was the place for some sort of club for the British Army.

ismet



rtddci


Joined: 29/12/2007
Posts: 842

Message Posted:
19/03/2008 19:59

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Message 3 of 19 in Discussion

'Klap' may just have a different meaning if associated with the British army



Freddie


Joined: 18/03/2008
Posts: 12

Message Posted:
19/03/2008 20:43

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Message 4 of 19 in Discussion

Hi



rtddci - I like your style, although my Dad might not be so keen! Or my mother come to that!!



Thanks for your response elko 2 - I'll look into that.



Dad doesn't seem to have particularly fond memories of his National Service, most conversations seem to involve the mention of "the gcs taking pot shots at me, for target practice". He liked Famagusta though, hence this wish to return.



Can you see across into the Military Zone from any point in Famagusta? Or take a boat ride out to sea that would let us view it from afar? Or is it too protected? Please excuse my ignorance.



newlad



Joined: 02/03/2008
Posts: 7819

Message Posted:
19/03/2008 21:58

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Message 5 of 19 in Discussion

Freddie welcome,

You can actually get quite close to the zones by land or buy sea and it is a very eerie site to behold.Beware the greek propaganda though,



Regards,

Paul.



orangekazzie



Joined: 31/07/2007
Posts: 1091

Message Posted:
19/03/2008 22:28

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Message 6 of 19 in Discussion

Hi Freddie

I understand you are allowed to actually go into the Ghost Town of Varosha to visit a restored Orthodox church. From memory you have to be escorted by the UN and I'm not sure how you would go about this. There used to be a forum site on MSN with some fantastic pictures of before and after. Found it. Follow this link

http://groups.msn.com/ReturntoVaroshaFamagustaCyprus

Karen



pilgrim



Joined: 11/05/2007
Posts: 1404

Message Posted:
19/03/2008 23:40

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Message 7 of 19 in Discussion

Elko thought the beach in Famagusta is called Glapsides not klapsides,

least that what the road sign says. regards

p



newlad



Joined: 02/03/2008
Posts: 7819

Message Posted:
20/03/2008 00:20

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Message 8 of 19 in Discussion

Paul,

Sory i never got back to you will do at weekend mate,

Regards,

Paul.



ukturk



Joined: 01/09/2007
Posts: 1974

Message Posted:
20/03/2008 01:02

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Message 9 of 19 in Discussion

hi guys

pilgrim you are right it is called glapsides beach its a nice beach but during the summer it is heaving with young kids and london cypriots youths, where on the other hand silver beach is a bit more chilled and not forgetting salamis beach this is where your dad freddie is probabley on about and back in the day salamis beach was the place also you can visit salamis ruins, and if you venture in to the old town you will come accross the famagusta walls, namik kemal dungeon & museum, sinan pasa mosque (st peter & st paul church) , lala mustafa pasa mosque which has the othello tower their too, famagusta is practically a outdoor muesuem and not forgetting maras (ghost town) you can drive all the way round and see inside ghost town in some places all there is barbed wire and big oil drums just seperating it and you can see deserted houses, shop very clearly also the road where the court house is on you get down to the bottom of the road and there is a mini roundabout where it doubles back on it self but you can clearly see over the boards the ghost town, as far as im aware no civilians can go in to ghost town with or without the e.u one half is patrolled by turkish army and the other gc army but in some areas like the ghost beach some of the barbed wire has worn away and you can walk on it, and most pictures you will see of ghost town have been taken without permission cos of the fact no photos can be taken in a military zone

you dont really need a tour company to show you the sights just hire a car and drive around to all these places most historic places are around the old town apart from salamis ruins which is about 5-8min car drive away from the city centre and for evening time there are quite a few resturants and bars and casinos scattered all around

hope this helps

ukturk



elko2



Joined: 24/07/2007
Posts: 4400

Message Posted:
20/03/2008 08:04

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Message 10 of 19 in Discussion

Pilgrim and UK Turk,

Yes, the road sign does indeed say Glapsides but at least my family call it Klapsides. It is not Turkish anyway and my pronunciation is easier on the tongue!!!

ismet



ukturk



Joined: 01/09/2007
Posts: 1974

Message Posted:
20/03/2008 13:33

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Message 11 of 19 in Discussion

hi

well me and my family and friends have always know it as glapsides!!!! lol

and if for pronounciation reasons it would be written like this glupsidez

regards

ukturk (erkan)



Freddie


Joined: 18/03/2008
Posts: 12

Message Posted:
20/03/2008 15:07

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Message 12 of 19 in Discussion

Hi All - and many thanks for such great info.



orangekazzie/Karen, I had a look at the web link you gave me and the photos there are great. I will make sure my Dad sees those before we go and see what memories come flooding back. Thanks a lot. Didn't get very far yet with escorted UN trip into Varosha, but from what's been said, that may not be possible. Would have been fantastic surprise though . . . .



Thanks to you, too, newlad, I think we will be wandering around generally and getting as close as we can on foot. You mention the sea - are there general boat trips available locally? Advertised? Or something we would have to sort out once there?



And big thanks to you, ukturk/Ercan, what need have we now for a guide book? Really appreciate all the detail and feel much better about the trip altogether.



Now just got to practise pronouncing "Glapsides/Klapsides"!!!

Thanks again

Sharon



lovingcyprus


Joined: 02/03/2007
Posts: 1272

Message Posted:
20/03/2008 15:46

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Message 13 of 19 in Discussion

Freddie,



Copy and past the link below into your browser





http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_ss_w_h_/026-7811545-0844454?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=North+Cyprus&x=16&y=14



orangekazzie



Joined: 31/07/2007
Posts: 1091

Message Posted:
20/03/2008 18:13

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Message 14 of 19 in Discussion

This is true story... OK, it could do with some editing but I hope you enjoy it none the less:

I flicked on the wipers to remove the sheen of water droplets from the Jeeps windscreen. Weatherwise, March was a fickle time to visit Cyprus. It had been raining on and off for the last hour but a glimmer of blue sky punctured the leaden heavens. Fingers crossed, it might clear up after all.

I drove gingerly down the potholed road, past the old walled city of Famagusta and turned right. The road onwards was even worse; I donít think it had seen a new coat of tarmac since the war in Cyprus back in 1974; a conflict that had bitterly scoured a dividing line between the peoples of the island. A coup backed by the military junta of Greece was answered by an invasion of the island by mainland Turkish troops. The end result was the ethnic division of a people that had co-existed as neighbours for centuries. My destination was an anomaly in the United Nations patrolled neutral zone that divided them both; if I could get in that was.

Famagusta is a peculiar place, unique even. Over a hundred years ago, Charles Dickens wrote a tall of two cities. If he lived today he could visit the eastern seaboard of Cyprus and see its namesake in the flesh. The Turkish Cypriots still live in the ancient Venetian walled city and its northern and western environs; a lethargic, half forgotten kind of place that moves to a pretty slow beat even by Cypriot standards. To the South sprawls its satellite town of Varosha or New Famagusta. In its day, it was the brasher, younger but rather ugly sister to the slightly dowdy old town and was home to forty thousand Greek Cypriots. It was also the focus of the islands fast growing tourist industry that mushroomed from independence in 1960 to 1974.

Now Varosha is silent; a ghostly monument of the inevitable self-destruction and pointless folly of inter-ethnic squabbling and civil war. Most of the town is a deserted concrete desert; hundreds of acres of abandoned hotels, holiday flats, villas and houses that have been left to the mercy of the elements for a generation. When the infantry and tanks of the Turkish military advanced upon Famagusta, all its Greek inhabitants fled southwards in the space of one single day. Many had only the clothes they wore on their backs, and if they were lucky, some money, a handful of treasured valuables and photos and a bag of toys for their children.

Soon after, the United Nations brokered a ceasefire that has miraculously held ever since but the truce left the town firmly in the demilitarised zone that stretched from one side of the island to the other. Now Greek Cypriots lived in the south and the Turkish Cypriots lived in the north. Since August 1974, Varosha's former inhabitants could only view their old homes via binoculars from the across the demarcation line that still divides Cyprus.

I carefully drove past the grim and ubiquitous barracks of the Turkish army, their presence was omnipresent in Northern Cyprus but especially so near the border. For the most part, the Turkish army were courteous to tourists but were notoriously camera shy. No matter how polite they were, saluting at you when you waved at them or asking what your favourite football team was, you didnít ask for snap-shots of smiling sentries while vacationing in Northern Cyprus. It just wasnít conducive to a relaxing holiday.

Soon I was approaching my destination; behind an iron curtain of oil drums and barbed wire was a ragged skyline of high rise hotels, holiday apartments and a construction crane fossilised with rust. Varosha seemed to be beckoning me forth like a voyeur of all things macabre; to bear witness to a town of ghosts and sad memories.

I parked up by the Biffer Palm Beach hotel; one of the few hotels on Varosha's sea front that remained open but under Turkish Cypriot management. I thought carefully



Freddie


Joined: 18/03/2008
Posts: 12

Message Posted:
20/03/2008 22:42

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Message 15 of 19 in Discussion

Hi again, Karen



That is a fantastic true story and i am so glad you posted it to me. Don't think it needs editing either, the tone really adds to the story. Where did you find it?



Thanks, lovingcyprus, for the amazon links, I have placed my order and it will be waiting for me when I get back to England (in Spain at the mo~), ready to put in the suitcase!



orangekazzie



Joined: 31/07/2007
Posts: 1091

Message Posted:
21/03/2008 10:18

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Message 16 of 19 in Discussion

Hi Freddie

It was on the MSN site I pointed you to earlier. I knew I'd read somewhere about someone entering the fenced off area so I went back to the beginning and started from there. Didn't take too long because I knew I hadn't been on the site for about 18 months.

Karen



Rooinek


Joined: 24/03/2008
Posts: 1

Message Posted:
24/03/2008 22:40

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Message 17 of 19 in Discussion

To the last two posters, I'm glad you enjoyed the story from the return to varosha site... I'm the guy who wrote it by the way...! I was studying in a creative writers class in Basingstoke a few years ago and I had to write a story about a ghostly experience and my visit to Varosha just fitted the bill... Reading back, I think it's a tad cliche ridden and could do with editing in places, but non the less it's pretty much how I felt at the time when I visited the forbidden zone back in 2003....



Have fun....



Michael



orangekazzie



Joined: 31/07/2007
Posts: 1091

Message Posted:
24/03/2008 22:51

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Message 18 of 19 in Discussion

Hi Michael

Thank you. I always enjoyed reading articles on the site. I stopped visiting it when it got very one sided with the comments.

I would love to visit Varosha and I know lots of others would, maybe one day.

Karen



Freddie


Joined: 18/03/2008
Posts: 12

Message Posted:
26/03/2008 11:43

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Message 19 of 19 in Discussion

Hi Michael



Well, as you already know, I enjoyed the story! Do you think I would have a similar experience if I attempted the same?



If you don't mind me asking, what were you doing in Basingstoke? Not that I have anything against Basingstoke, but I used to live in Lightwater, just up the M3 . . . And now you are in Cape Town and I am in Spain! Are you still writing?

Freddie



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