Cyprus: Dreams are made of this
Cyprus, birthplace of the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite, is a land of paradise. Sandy beaches, diaphanous waters and vistas that are so implausibly arresting that we cannot but help feel as though we’re on the “verge of waking up”, as the great Portuguese poet once remarked.
Drifting nonchalantly in the Mediterranean Sea, the country is uniquely situated at a crossroads of sorts. It effectively lies between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and has, throughout time, been influenced by all three disparate cultures.
As such, while it may lean more heavily towards the West in most ways – socially, economically and politically – it is, in comparison to other European countries, more variegated in its makeup, though very subtly so. One gets a certain sense of a deeper, richer and more diverse nature. As far as dispositions go, it is decidedly unique.
One of the consequences of this has been a divided Cyprus. In 1974, Turkey invaded the former British colony after a military coup took place with the support of the then Greek government. After intervention by the United Nations (UN), the country was effectively partitioned, with approximately 36 per cent of the north not under the direct control of the Cypriot government.
Though there are no hostilities as such, it is nevertheless a split country. There have been many efforts made to reconcile both sides, and since 2008, with support from the UN, negotiations have stepped up a level.
The general consensus is that with Turkey’s longstanding ambition to join the European Union properly becoming an ever pressing matter – it is currently an associate member – it may be willing to give up its presence in Cyprus.
Politics haven’t tarnished the eye-catching qualities of the country. Aphrodite would not have approved. It has thus remained a popular spot for holidaymakers to head out to for a sun swept vacation, as well as an attractive place for professionals to settle in as a working expat. With the Cypriot way of life defined by a leisurely attitude to everything – not to be confused with torpor – it is obvious to see why many people are inclined to give this luminous wonderland a go.
Little of life is spent cocooned in plush, whitewashed homes – everything happens out and about. Whether its dining al fresco, networking in a cafe, or spending an afternoon reading a book on the beach, Cypriots live in the open, which goes to explain why they are renowned for being friendly and gregarious.
With over 300 days of sunshine and 52 Blue Flag beaches – awarded to those coastlines which exhibit exceptionally high standards across quality, safety and environmental excellence – it’s not unusual for people, whatever time of the day, to head out for a snooze or a swim amid other commitments.
All in all, Cyprus seems too good to be true. It requires a pinch on the arm, a rub of the eyes, even a splash of water in the face. Time and time again, the question comes begging: is this real? Pessoa said that in him, he had all the dreams of the world. That’s the metaphorical reality. Cyprus is the literal realisation of dreams.
If you’re moving to Cyprus, find out how our international removals team can help to arrange packing, storage and transportation on your behalf.