Ledra St

By: | Post date: July 3, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

Ledra St is the main drag of Nicosia, and this is Ledra St on a Saturday night.
… It’s disappointing.
Nicosia is not a big place to begin with, population of 200k. But as a capital of a sovereign state, I do still expect a bit more than the central square such as it is, and one street of bars and clothes shops that looks like it’s still in the 1930’s. It’s charmingly shabby, but it is still shabby.
There is a lot of money in Cyprus. But it hasn’t been spent on making the capital prettier. It’s gone to the coastal towns, as I am told, where all the tourists are.
The checkpoint comes abruptly as a shock, right in the middle of Ledra St, with only one building’s dead space between the two zones.
The far bigger shock now though is that this is no longer the Checkpoint Charlie DMZ that it was for so many decades. So long as you are prepared to show your passport and recognize the regime across the street (which many Cypriots still do not), you can now just keep strolling through.
A lot of people do now, both sides. For that matter, a lot of Greek Cypriots pop across the border now, because petrol there is cheaper.
On the one hand, that means much less of living under a daily fear of violence, and normalisation, which makes for people sleeping easier at night, and less demonising of their neighbours.
On the other hand, normalisation means that the irregularity/occupation in Cyprus is just going to be perpetuated for decades. It’s a stable and unfixable situation, and it’s going to stay that way.
More confirmation of how low key Nicosia city centre is. This is the most understated Masonic Hall I have seen in my days.
A bit more nightlife in Onasagoras St, but again, very low-key and old school, and sputters out quite quickly.
Liberty Square, main square of Nicosia, which after years of construction Now features an underground shelter and benches that look like surfboards.
I am told the townsfolk of Nicosia are not that impressed with the results.

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