After an expensive cuppa in the centre of the old town we zigged and zagged our way to the partition wall. Once again a place of contrast. Standing on a clichéd golden sandy beach, complete with hackneyed azure sea, our backs to the Northern Cyprus utilitarian hotels and rusted sun-loungers, we looked through the barbed wire at a derelict ghost town of spectral 4 star package holiday hotels.
Some with gaping holes in their sides, some with faded letters announcing fantasy holiday names, all with missing windows.
The once garish colours are now reduced to a uniform greyness; a 1970s monochrome war torn news report from the BBC frozen in time. The roads are strewn with detritus and weeds grow uninterrupted up through the asphalt and concrete, cocking a snook at man’s feeble attempt to control nature.
I’ve never seen anything like it. But then, I’m a well heeled, comfortable, blinkered westerner with no first-hand comprehension of the true degradation of war and its aftermath, aren’t I?
Quite an interesting start to the day, that was. With all the current talk of reunification I hope that they keep part of this terrible scarred landscape just the way it is; rotting cranes, bullet holes, broken balconies, barbed wire and all. It deserves to serve as a monument to the madness that went before and a reminder that we need to learn to live together; that ultimately mother earth will reclaim what is hers.