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Journey into Cyprus

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  24 reviews
It was an unique journey - a 600 mile trek on foot around Cyprus, in the last year of the island's peace. Colin Thubron writes about it and with great immediacy, intertwining myth, history and personal anecdote. What emerges is a tapestry from which characters and places, architectures and landscape all spring vividly to life.

As a guide to the island and its survival throu
Published February 6th 1992 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1975)
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3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  157 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Kyriakos Sorokkou
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
So, this was my first book I read in March. The book with which I started my journey in Cyprus through 3 more books. So I will keep this review as brief as possible since I'll have more opportunities to show off Cyprus in the following reviews.

What I will do with this review is:
1) Tell you what it is about
2) Show you the titles of the fifteen chapters and pictures from the main places from each chapter.
That's all I'm doing.

1) So, Colin Thubron is a well known travel writer who wrote books about
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The island of Cyprus has a history going back thousands of years, and has had numerous cultures invade an live there. The very earliest human activity is thought to be around 10,000 BC. The island is presently partitioned between the Greek south and the Turkish north following an invasion in 1974 by the Turks.

And it was in this period of tension Thuberon undertakes a walk around the island, looking to discover the people, the history, the places and the underlying reasons behind the animosity be
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. The author does a great job of tracing the history of Cyprus from its neolithic origins through its many occupations including the Crusaders, Venetians, and Ottomans. He draws out the fascinating threads that connect Cyprus to its early Achaean settlers, to Homer's Iliad, to the Phoenicians that give the island its connection with the East, to Rome and to Persia. The author paints a rich tapestry of this small island whose copper mines and strategic position made it an important ...more
This travelogue was written a year before the war began that split Cyprus in two, so the writer had the opportunity to see the island at a critical time and gauge the feelings of the inhabitants. There is a little of that (Turks and Greeks both dislike each other). But, the author seems most interested in the history and geography of the island, and only touches on the people - judging them by how authentically they match historical accounts of Cypriots. The author even wrote a few times about h ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really don't know where to start with this book. I had high expectations about this book on account of it's reputation, and was thoroughly disappointed.

This is a story about a man making the most boring trip across Cyprus imaginable. He was traveling a year before the Turkish invasion and decides to ignore all of the interesting activities surrounding this and instead chooses to visit boring areas of mild cultural interest.

His descriptions about the geography and history could be interesting i
Artie LeBlanc
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Colin Thubron writes in great detail about a Cyprus that he walked in 1972: in a frontispiece dated 1985 he says that it is gone for ever. I didn't get to this book till 2019 (it has sat unread on my shelves for 30 years!) and am so sad that the island is apparently so spoiled by the intercommunal conflict and by - I imagine - tourism, and internationalisation, including of alleged moneylaundering.

Notwithstanding, I want to visit Cyprus. Thubron's descriptions have a strong allure, although they
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful travel memoir: erudite and lyrical - just wonderful!
Dina P.
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now I know why the title is Journey into Cyprus. Colin Thubron literally walk into its every cities. He climbed its hills, swam its sea, slept in ancient monasteries, made friends with Cypriots (Greek and Turkish) and found the presence of Aphrodite everywhere.

On his preface, Thubron said that this book probably the last eyewitness of Greek and Turkish cohabitation, because since 1974, the island has been divided into two separated governance.

Thubron maybe a strange Mr. Tourist who walked into
Maria Gambale
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I read a lot of travel literature, and this is truly some of the finest. It's amazing to read this right after finishing Durrell's "Bitter Lemons" for the second time. Such a good mini-intro to 20th century politics in Cyprus.

But it's his art descriptions that really shine. The way Thubron describes frescoes gives you whole new insight. He's not looking with the same eyes as the rest of us, and he's finding the perfect words.
Mar 15, 2014 marked it as abandoned
Recommends it for: People with relatives in Cyrpus
If you have a special connection with Cyprus and just can't get enough information about Cyprus, then perhaps this would be a very interesting book. I read quite widely, and especially enjoy reading about places I've visited or places that I'm planning to visit --- but this was just too slow. Considering the Turkey/Greece conflict I thought this would be an exciting place to read about, but I didn't get that feeling from this book. It put me to sleep actually, so I had to abandon it.
Yao Hsien
The book gives account of what the author has seen and experienced when he walked from end to the other end the island. The ruins that Thubron has mentioned sounded deeply attractive to me. I had a copy in Chinese. Unfortunately, it's probably not the best translation. So, for those who are interested, I would not recommend this edition, but go for a version in original language.
Jun 30, 2014 rated it liked it
part history, part travelogue Journey Into Cyprus though lacks the drama of Bill Bryson's writing or the deeper understanding comes with Pico Iyer's. Nonetheless, it is a fine piece of classic travel literature of an extraordinary journey. Keenly observed and written with acerbic wit and wide-eyed curiosity.
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was written not long before the division of Cyprus in 1974, and it paints an excellent story of a troubled island. Read this in conjunction with Durrell's "Bitter Lemons," which accounts the late 1950s in Cyprus, just before the British grant the island its independence.
Sep 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Cypriots (both Greek and Turkish) in this book are goofy, folksy, comical but with a salt-of-the-earth quality to them. The author is charmingly condescending as only a British person can be. Thus the book makes a good description of both Cypriots and English travellers.
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: room-101
mp3 read
Apr 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Read in 1992.
Niel Ussher
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very interesting description of Cyprus just before partition
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Colin Thubron, CBE FRSL is a Man Booker nominated British travel writer and novelist.

In 2008, The Times ranked him 45th on their list of the 50 greatest postwar British writers. He is a contributor to The New York Review of Books, The Times, The Times Literary Supplement and The New York Times. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Thubron was appointed a CBE in the 2007