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Thread: Nicosia Cyprus

  1. #1
    Super MURCer TransformX's Avatar
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    Default Nicosia Cyprus

    A couple of friends of mine moved there from Cairo (they work for the Israeli embassy).
    Apparently it seems like a far less busy city than Cairo and they asked me of I could dig out some interesting things to do and see around.

    Brian?
    "For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism."

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    Super MURCer Brian Ellis's Avatar
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    Nicosia is obviously a far less busy place than Cairo with one 20th of the population! It is very difficult to advise what one can do without knowing a bit more about the interests of the persons concerned. Nicosia has the advantage of being pretty well plonk in the centre of a relatively small island, so that a daytrip can allow you to see anything.

    If the parties are interested in antiquities and history, then Cyprus has it all from 12,000 BCE to 2010. The Cyprus Museum in Nicosia would be a very good place to start.

    Although not at the present moment, because of the heat (>41° C yesterday) Cyprus is extremely rich in nature with many endemic species of flora and fauna. At the same time, in the summer, it is slightly cooler up into the mountains!

    Possibly not the thing for Israelis, but Cyprus is practically the birthplace of Christianity, in that it was the first country to be officially Christian (for a short time until Rome realised what was going on), thanks to Sts Paul and Barnabas, a few years after the crucifixion of Jesus.

    If they are after the lazy life, then there are plenty of beaches. Presumably, your friends have diplomatic passports which will allow them to take advantage of the best ones which are in the occupied territories, for example round Salamis.

    Down at the bottom end of the scale, you have the sleaziest cabarets imaginable, where human trafficking is rife; this is acknowledged as one of the biggest shameful scandals on the island.

    If you can find out what they are interested in, I'll do my best to give a more detailed answer.
    Brian (the devil incarnate)

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    Super MURCer TransformX's Avatar
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    If to judge from their stories about Cairo, they're after the night life cultural attractions.
    That'd usually mean plays, opera, concerts, restaurants, sports events (at least for him) and the like.
    I'll make sure to email them with your response.

    Thanks!
    "For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism."

  4. #4
    Super MURCer Brian Ellis's Avatar
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    There is a reasonably active theatre scene, but it is 95% or more in Greek. Opera happens occasionally as well as the odd recital by well-known names (Raphael Carrero was here recently, for example). These are very popular.

    In Nicosia, there are restaurants of every type and most ethnicities from McDonald's through to chic sushi bars. Ethnic restaurants tend to be very expensive and not necessarily very good. The best food is served in country tavernas where the locals eat. A good meze with wine should not set you back more than EUR20-EUR25 (five euros more for fish meze) per person. Remember that there is a strong British influence in the ordinary restaurants, many of which tend to serve soggy "chips with everything" (french fries). As in many Middle Eastern countries, meat tends to be overcooked. One word of warning is that you may not find much kosher food; as pork is the cheapest meat it is also the most used in made up dishes, unless you go into the occupied parts of where the cuisine is more Muslim, with lamb or kid as the mainstay. The nearest recommended fish restaurant is called Zephyros and is situated in Larnaca (about 40 km from Nicosia) halfway between the Fort and McKenzie beach. There are some good ones also in a village called Zigi which is slightly further away but choose which restaurant very carefully as you can eat equally badly as equally well. I avoid restaurants which are recommended in newspapers and magazines, as they are usually overpriced and not necessarily good: lots of bling-bling!

    As for sports events, I don't think there is very much going on other than the inevitable football. This has a very bad press as there is a lot of violence amongst the supporters of different teams, despite massive police presence. I am not much into sports or games, so I'm not the right person to ask; I can think of only one Cypriot celebrity and that is Bagdhatis, the tennis player who is moderately good but not quite up to the standard of Roger Federer or Raphael Nadal. I think he is about 20th in the world rankings. To practice such pastimes, there are quite a number of tennis clubs, a few expensive golf clubs, plenty of facilities for swimming, millions of kilometres of pads for walking or studying nature, skiing in winter, watersports in summer etc.

    Your friends will probably find a certain culture shock when they first arrived here. The Cypriots are very laid back and easy-going, except in the tourist resorts which I would recommend should be avoided, as they are out to get your money.

    On a different note and I tread here on difficult land as I am not really familiar with the situation, but I understand that the rabbi for the island is a fantastic character, much liked by Jew and Gentile alike. I believe his synagogue is in Larnaca and is very poor as there are not many Jews on the island as permanent residents.
    Brian (the devil incarnate)

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    Super MURCer TransformX's Avatar
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    I think I should suggest he buys a nice pair of mountain / cross coutnry bicycles and start riding them, sounds like Cyrprus is a great place for that..
    "For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism."

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    Super MURCer Brian Ellis's Avatar
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    Yes, a good idea provided that they do not use the bikes on the ordinary roads, otherwise their expectation of life would be counted in milliseconds! Cypriot drivers are noted for ignoring the Highway code and not seeing cyclists.
    Brian (the devil incarnate)

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