I decided to end the trip here on Cyprus and fly back home this coming week.
I have traveled for almost 4 months, have come through 12 countries, cycled roughly 5000km, and am now looking forward to going back home.
It was definitely an amazing trip. The hospitality and friendliness of all the people I’ve met on the way were unbelievable. The image of those countries our oh-so-righteous media paint for us is very one-sided and has little or nothing to do with the people living in those countries. For example, there is no such thing as ‘The Kurdish Problem’. There is a PKK problem, no doubt. But not every Kurd is member of the PKK, or even sympathizes with it. And along the same lines one has to add ‘there is a Turkish government problem’.
Of course, not everything was always great but other than the Azerbaijani love for honking nothing was seriously annoying for more than a few minutes. Except for the heat maybe, which peaked well above 50°C in the sun a couple of times.
The route through South-East Europe, 2540km
The Caucasus/Middle-Eastern part of the route, 2506km
As I mentioned earlier, Cyprus is divided in two parts. The UN has a peacekeepig mission here to keep the Turkish and Greek sides apart. Famagusta is located very close to the border, and on the map it looks like about half the city is military no-man’s land. Last night I accidentally ended up close to the deserted quarters – the empty houses look quite eerie in the evening sun.
Today I crossed the border into ‘Cyprus proper’. It involved getting an exit stamp on the Northern Cyprus side, and a quick glance at my ID on the southern side. Welcome to the EU, finally and for real!
The ride went along the border for a couple of kilometers and past another village in no-man’s land that had become victim of the fights between Turkish and Greek Cypriots and subsequently had been abandoned.
Finding a hotel in Larnaca was a bit of a challenge as most centrally located ones where booked out. I’m now staying in an EasyHotel, an EasyJet off-spring. Just like with the airline, you pay for everything extra, even TV…