Well it’s about time that I got back into writing my travel blog. I apologise to anyone who follows my blog but personal reasons have kept me away. So to keep you updated as to what I have been up to I will have posts on trips to Cyprus, Belfast, Istanbul and Berlin and hopefully to wet your appetite the itinerary of our upcoming trip to South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia, but first a little about my second trip to Northern Cyprus last year. We flew with Turkish airlines this time as we had no plans to visit southern Cyprus and also the fact that Ercan in Northern Cyprus was closer to my friends villa where we were staying. As Northern Cyprus is not recognised as a country just an occupied territory claimed by Turkey, Turkish Airlines has to land in Istanbul on mainland Turkey before flying onto Ercan, and as Istanbul is Turkish airlines hub we discovered that their was no additional cost on the price of the ticket if you decided to stay in Istanbul for a while so we took this opportunity and stayed over in Istanbul for three nights, a place which has been on my list to visit for some time. We sourced an apartment on the website AirBnB for our stay which turned out to be in a very good location albeit a little noisy at night due to its proximity to numerous bars and restaurants where they seemed to be competing for the loudest sound system, but as we are partial to a bit of nightlife and music ourselves it wasn’t so bad. Now we had done most of the tourist sights on our trip earlier in the year but there were a couple of places that we had not seen, these being Buffavento Castle and Kyrenia Castle So first our trip up to the top of Buffavento Castle.”
Buffavento castle was built, along with St. Hilarion and Kantara, as a part of the defensive chain against the Arab raids. It is the highest of the three castles, its summit being some 950m above sea level. Like the other two it guarded an important pass through the mountains and it had signal connections with the other two strongholds. When Richard the Lion Heart conquered Cyprus in 1191, the Byzantine despot king of the island Isaac Comnenus is said to have fled there”.
Unlike St Hilarion Castle near Kyrenia which although a ruin is quite in tact Buffavento is a little less so. Also unlike St Hillarion castle where the walk to the top isn’t that bad with fairly gentle slope and with fairly even ground and with a nice place to stop and have a coffee with great views half way up, the trip to the top of Buffavento is a bit tougher, with some very steep sections and very uneven ground, but well worth the effort walk, as the views towards southern Cyprus and of the northern Cyprus coastline are amazing. The trek up probably takes around one and a half hours so I would only recommend it to people who are fairly fit. It goes without saying that good shoes are the order of the day and take plenty of water especially if it’s hot as there is nowhere to purchase anything on your way. Once you have made the trip I’m sure like us you will be suitably hungry and thirsty I can recommend a really nice authentic family run Turkish restaurant called the Buffavento Restaurant, which is located on the road just before the turn up to the castle.