Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Excellent introduction to the history of Cyprus for tourists
on 5 July 2015
I read this during our recent holiday to Cyprus. It was written in 1972 before the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and therefore the Cyprus that Thubron walked through has in many respects disappeared with the division of the island. You are aware of times changing, old customs dying out. We weren't staying far from Kouklia in southern Cyprus and it was sad to read that it had been "an optimistic community, in which Greek and Turk still lived together" - sadly no more and it made it all the more poignant when we came across abandoned mosques: I doubt I would have noticed but for reading the book. There were more prosaic descriptions of changing times - for example "Women wearing short skirts chatted to grandmothers whose ankles had been a fiercely guarded mystery for more than half a century ...". It is odd to think that there is now luxury hotel full of British tourists close to where the first EOKA ambush against the British army took place.
We found the book useful also in fleshing out our guide books at various sites of antiquity. Thubron has a wide knowledge of the history of the area, and the myths and legends of the Levant which enhanced our understanding of the places we visited.