Kantara Castle and The Karpaz

If you follow me on Instagram forgive me as many of these photos have already been shared! We’ve had another busy few days and a couple with no wi-fi so I’m catching up!

The other day we headed to Kantara Castle. The second of the three castles that sit along the ridge of mountains in Northern Cyprus. My husband and I have fond memories of sitting at the top on our honeymoon in 1998.

DSC_0020 DSC_0065Shorts – J.Crew (currently 30% off with GOSHOPPING) // Top – ASOS // Shoes – Birkenstocks

DSC_0051

On Saturday morning we headed into Nicosia/Lefkosa – my first visit to the capital. It is a fascinating place with a walled old town. It is the only city in the world with an international border running through it. These days crossing that border is much easier and we saw many tourists crossing from the Greek side to the Turkish side. We didn’t have our passports with us that day but plan to return to see the Greek side. From what I hear they are suffering with the rest of Greece which explains the number of tourists popping over to the Turkish side for lunch and their counterfeit goods!

DSC_0120 DSC_0164 DSC_0161 DSC_0132Dress – Mango (now on sale) // Shoes – Avarcas Pons // Bag – Target (I have found this to be THE perfect vacation bag – so light and yet roomy)

DSC_0213

You’re not supposed to photograph the border patrol – so here is a sneaky one of my husband with the border in the background. Years ago this street became notorious and was referred to as ‘Murder Mile’ where more than a dozen British soldiers and civilians had been shot dead by the terrorists.

DSC_0198 DSC_0164

I fell in love with Lefkosa and I loved the architecture, the people and the ambience. We sat in the courtyard above and drank kahve with the locals. I could do that every weekend.

On Monday we headed to my favorite place in the world – to date anyway – and drove down the Karpaz, which is the pan handle of Cyprus. As soon as you reach the Karpaz you feel as if you are transported to a different time. It is very rural and beautiful, and there are many reminders of the troubles that Cyprus has endured. Beautiful Greek churches remain unused – though it did appear to me that some are being restored. Dipkarpaz is a town towards the end of the Karpaz, and it is still home to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, with signs in both languages clearly displayed. We had lunch on the way to the beach at a place called Nikos – highly recommended if you are ever here! I fell in love with it – and the story of the owners provided hope for the future. One partner is a Turkish Cypriot and the other a Greek Cypriot – ironically they are both from the opposite ends of the island – with the Turkish Cypriot being from Paphos. Now they run Nikos together serving the BEST fish and calamari we have ever eaten.

DSC_0239 DSC_0248 DSC_0246

The Karpaz is home to herds of goats and wild donkeys – so much fun to see them roam the fields and cross the road in front of you! The donkeys are very tame and love to be fed carrots from the car window.

DSC_0267 DSC_0272 DSC_0282 DSC_0292 DSC_0336

I managed to persuade everyone to stay the night in a hut on the beach – I think it’s the closest I’ll ever get them to camping! I LOVED it!

DSC_0370

IMG_3634 IMG_3644 IMG_3656Shorts – Madewell (in sale here) // Top – Mango (old) // Sunglasses – Warby Parker // Bikini (under top) – J.Crew

IMG_3672 IMG_3677 IMG_3687 IMG_3726Shorts – J.Crew (on sale here plus an extra 30% off with GOSHOPPING) // Tank – Everlane

After a fun drive back, we went out for dinner last night – it felt fabulous to wash away the sand and wash my hair for the first time in a couple of days!

Fun with the kids IMG_3858Dress – Splendid (similar here and here) // Shoes – Ancient Greek Sandals (discounted here)

I love hearing your thoughts and I will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question! If you prefer email you can contact me at Joanna@Poppys-Style.com. Thanks for taking the time to comment xx