I woke up slowly, and forced myself to get up otherwise I’d have happily stayed in bed all morning. I’m staying in a resort owned by a Cypriot trade union federation, and it’s got a kind of communal holiday camp vibe, the food is served up as a buffet and everyone eats at long tables in a dining hall. Even though it’s not technically a holiday, there’s a pool, it’s reasonably warm, and it feels like a break.
We visited a mosque - Hala Sultan Tekke.
A shrine was built near the lake centuries ago, construction of the mosque started in 1787, and it was completed in 1816. A sign outside mentions that it had also been rebuilt more recently, in
2001 2002, and 2005. Underneath one of the modern-looking buildings there are the remains of several very old walls, so I figure the site is much older than it appears.
It’s supposed to be a very holy site, inside is the tomb of Muhammad’s aunt - Umm Haram.
We went for a walk in Larnaca old town, and the former Turkish neighbourhood. Some of the locals pointed out houses with locks, which belong to people who were displaced in 1974. One of the guys driving us around also mentioned that he was a refugee from Famagusta, in the north.
This house has a cat living in it now.
Afterwards we went on to Larnaca castle, a small fort on the seafront. It’s across the road from the Kebir mosque.
We were morbidly informed that the castle courtyard used to be a site for executions (there are gallows in the barbican). Now the courtyard is used to hold concerts and events.
I walked up onto the battlements, here I am in front of Tanzimat street.
Otherwise, the seafront has some bars, a pier, a beach. I found a small convenience store to get some razors, because my stubble is growing unacceptably dark.
First the turks had to leave, but now… now only tourists live here.
Tomorrow I’m going to do some more sightseeing and maybe walk down to the beach. I’ve had a few meetings so far, but real political work starts on tuesday.