Cyprus is like the European Union's punk little brother who has an eye patch and a hell of a lot of good stories to tell. He has a stab wound and cooks a mean Moussaka. He shows up at family functions, tanned and bored with the diplomacy of tame cold places.
Historically, Cyprus has been an island of war, with Greeks, Brits, and Turks all vying for control. The UN has a permanent presence there and maps are detailed with buffer zones and enclaves. The UN SUV's dot the highways as though it were Kinshasa, but no, just a great vacation destination with a depth of ancient sites.
So from the sky, from way up there, it is a mess. The borders and checkpoints carve across the island like scars from more dangerous times. The sun beats down on paradisal Olive vineyards and cerulean waters, like below. It is a place where division is constant and Vacationers and Cypriots live a variety of dissenting lives.
So, what is the true identity of Cyprus? It is hard to tell. To the British vacationers, it is a land of sand and sun - a complicated version of a Greek Island adrift in the Med. To the Turkish Cypriots, it is their island, or at least part of it is, damnit. To the Greeks, the same. To historians, it is a rich island with history reaching back into the BC's and beachside ancient sites that have crumbled like extravagant cakes as a response to hot breaths from the salty Mediterranean.
To me? I felt like it was a great place to get some sun and think about division.