LETTERS ON CYPRUS
Last month, my partner and I spent two weeks in your beautiful country. We lived in a small stone cottage in Neo Chorio, and from there we made our excursions. All in all, we had the impression that Cyprus puts great effort in keeping the country in an exquisite shape.
Nevertheless, we had experiences in the opposite direction, too. Perhaps the biggest mystery for us is the overwhelming construction activity all over Cyprus. So many apartments are being built. Who is going to live there? Are they supposed to be inhabited by Cyprus citizens? Or international tourists? And what if the masses really come? Are the facilities for environmental protection prepared for that? How about the sewage treatment or a waste separation system? After only a couple of days we had empty plastic bottles by the dozen: where shall we put them? Everything goes into one container. (We were told that the waste is separated after collection, which seems to be not very efficient.)
While we were very pleased to find the trails in the Akamas area so well-kept and beautiful, alas, wherever you tread, you find hundreds and thousands of empty cartridge cases. Why? This is not only pollution. This is a fatal symbol in a place where nature is supposed to be even more strictly protected.
Finally, I know that problems with animal treatment occur in other countries as well, but in Neo Chorio we had some pretty bad experiences. On our second day we found a dead cat on our doorstep.The property’s manager said it had probably been poisoned. Some days later, a young red cat visited us as we sat outside on the terrace. She was starving, and the fact that she was pregnant made her lose her shyness. Two days before our departure, another cat came, already very weak. She had only one eye – she must have lost her left one only recently, as there was a gaping bloody hole in her face. A picture of misery! Yet at the kiosks when we looked for post cards we found a whole series depicting “Kitties of Cyprus”.
Please don’t misunderstand me: we had a great time, we enjoyed ourselves. I just think that it might be of interest to you to get the opinion of, and to hear about the experiences of, two Austrian tourists, 50 and 53 years old, in a world of deteriorating environmental conditions and humanity.