Don’t you just love it when your best laid plans all implode, but then something even more awesome is born?
We planned to fly from Belgium to Crete as part of our 5 month backpacking adventure with our infant son. I had planned it all. I had even consulted flight maps. But what I didn’t realize is that the connection I was planning to get from Belgium only existed in the summer.
We couldn’t get to Crete! What were we going to do? We certainly didn’t want to axe that part of the trip. But then I looked a little bit more closely at that flight map. Ryan Air from Belgium still was flying to Cyprus, and from Cyprus there were further connections onward to Crete.
And just like that we added another country to the list. Well technically two, since we also planned to visit the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. So we got down to business and started planning our holiday to Paphos and the rest of Cyprus.
“You’re going where!?! You can’t go there…. it’s dangerous!”
That was the reaction we got from my mother. And I’m pretty sure its a reaction that a lot of people have when they think about Cyprus.
So how was Cyprus really? It is really as unsafe as some people may think?
Cyprus is completely safe for travel
And it has been since the ’70’s. In fact the unrest in Cyprus was relatively short lived. There are no militia hiding in the bushes. There are no landmines lying in wait next to the footpaths. There is relatively little to no violent crime.
We were not worried about pick pockets in Cyprus, like we were in Greece. We were not worried about walking around late at night, like we were in some parts of London. We were not even worried about driving the roads in Cyprus, like we were in Albania.
The only thing I had to be worried about in Cyprus, was that I may not be able to find good haloumi for breakfast. That was seriously, my biggest, and only concern.
But what about the border between Cyprus and the disputed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus?
The border between these two areas may look a little intimidating – after all, it is a UN zone and full of UN personnel and barbed wire. But in reality, we walked across with a stroller, behind an old lady pushing a bike with her grocery shopping on it. Behind us a school bus pulled up and soon a stream of 30 primary school children ran across the buffer zone, passports in hand.
It was just fine.
So what hazards do exist for travelers in Cyprus?
Here is a list of the hazards in Cyprus, in order of how concerned I was about them:
- The absence of Haloumi on the menu
- A weak internet signal in my hotel room
- Elderly British men wearing speedos
- The honey spilling out of the baklava container
- Eating my Turkish Delight too quickly and getting stomach pain
Seriously, you have nothing to worry about.