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Out of Eden Walk: Cyprus

 
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Manage episode 410831871 series 1340006
Contenuto fornito da The World: Science, Tech & Environment. Tutti i contenuti dei podcast, inclusi episodi, grafica e descrizioni dei podcast, vengono caricati e forniti direttamente da The World: Science, Tech & Environment o dal partner della piattaforma podcast. Se ritieni che qualcuno stia utilizzando la tua opera protetta da copyright senza la tua autorizzazione, puoi seguire la procedura descritta qui https://it.player.fm/legal.

Aid groups have stopped using a new sea route to get aid to Gaza after an Israeli strike on the World Central Kitchen convoy that killed seven workers on Monday, April 1. Ships had been leaving from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Cyprus is a popular vacation destination, and for thousands of years, it has been a center of commerce and migration.

National Geographic Explorer Paul Salopek walked the length of the island in 2014. He was and still is on a 24,000-mile walk, retracing the first human migration out of Africa.

Salopek caught up with The World’s Carolyn Beeler to discuss the juxtapositions of Cyprus' past and present.

Carolyn Beeler: Paul, you got to Cyprus on a modern diesel-powered ship. But how did the first inhabitants of that island get there?
Paul Salopek: Yeah, they arrived by sea also, of course. From what we know about the archeology of Cyprus, they were some of the earliest settlers to make villages, making this transition from hunter-gatherers to being settled. When they got to Cyprus, way back 12,000 years or so ago, there were miniature hippopotamuses and elephants on the island, and they ate them all. And then they settled down and started farming.
In one of your dispatches, you wrote that Cyprus is one of the oldest inhabited islands on earth. What do we know about those early inhabitants other than that they barbecued pygmy hippopotamuses?
Well, they eventually became very powerful as the centuries rolled by because they started to discover that they controlled a very valuable resource, which was copper. And so, leading into the Copper Age, which led into the Bronze Age, they were sitting on top of a giant bank account. And as a consequence, what's happened to Cyprus, it's interesting, even in today's news, given the tragedies that are happening in the Middle East right now, is that it became invaded and overrun by so many different civilizations. Back to, you know, the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Assyrians, Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Ottomans, just the list goes on and on. It's just been washed over, as if by waves, by different groups of people.

Mural of a woman

Two faiths: earthly vs. cosmic rewards, Famagusta, northern Cyprus. Join the journey at outofedenwalk.org.

Credit:

Paul Salopek/National Geographic

You can see that by looking at a map of Cyprus. Nestled in the eastern Mediterranean, it's so close to Africa, Europe, and Asia. How much does its location and those waves of conquest factor into the island's culture today?
I think that that kind of DNA imprint has got to be there. You know, it's kind of a layer on layer on layers in the many thumbprints of the people who've been there. And I suspect it'll continue today because of the instability in Israel and neighboring Lebanon. They just got 2,000 migrants who showed up on boats trying to escape that area, as the war started to spread into Lebanon. So, the waves continue.
Going back to your crossing of the island on foot, what was that like? Can you tell me about it?
Well, it was unique in this long, crazy journey of mine because normally, I walk with what I call walking partners. It's just baked into the DNA of the project that I walk with local people who act like the cultural interpreters of the landscapes they call home, making the storytelling much better. But because I was in a rush to reach the next country, Turkey, and because Cyprus is relatively small, I decided to hoof it across the island alone.
How did that impact your experience of the place not having those local partners?
Cyprus was unique. I've gone through, I think, 20 countries so far. Cyprus is the only one that I walked through alone because I was in a hurry. I had an appointment to kind of reach a walking partner waiting in Turkey, so I hoofed it eight days across the island, up through these beautiful mountains covered with kind of carob trees, olive trees, hay-colored fields and white chalky roads. And I could get by [speaking] English because the most recent wave of nomads to come through Cyprus are tourists. And so there's a tourist industry there.

Landscape of desert with a lot of trees

Into the layered foothills of the Troodos Mountains, Cyprus. Join the journey at outofedenwalk.org.

Credit:

Paul Salopek/National Geographic

I'm curious. We've been discussing this place being a draw for people from all over. So, what kind of languages did you hear while walking across the island?
It was like walking into a polyglot bazaar, where I saw African stevedores speaking North African languages. A little bit further on, they were Indian workers plowing the fields, listening to sitar music on their earbuds. And there Russian tourists laid out, you know, in pink ranks, baking under the sun. It was a very polyglot place.

A man buried in the sand on the beach

Empty rooms with a view. The hulks of old war-emptied hotels overlook Varosha’s fabled beach, northern Cyrpus. Join the journey at outofedenwalk.org.

Credit:

Paul Salopek/National Geographic

Speaking of Cyprus, which is famously divided between Greek and Turkish areas, you crossed the line from one jurisdiction into the other. What was that like?
This was another continuation of how borders figure into this walking project across the world. Sometimes, they stop me. I have to turn left or right and walk around whatever country is not letting me in. This was a case where that border — which had been militarized, they've been on the front line because of a war in Cyprus, between ethnic Greeks and ethnic Turks — it was like a front line. It's called the Green Line. There were sandbags. There was kind of no man's land. But it was open. And trade was going back and forth. And when I talked to both the Cypriots on the Greek side and the Cypriots on the northern Turkish side, I said, "How are you guys living with this? It's been, you know, almost 50 years." They said, "Paul, we are more like each other than we are like Greece or Turkey." It was a kind of classic border culture, like the US-Mexico border. They have more in common with each other, this kind of hybrid zone of cultures, than they do with the big countries that border there.
But you were just easily waved through this border, which seems very porous. It's interesting to reflect that that border is getting much more porous, whereas so many others worldwide are being hardened. Migration is trying to be prevented.
That's absolutely right. That's kind of the high spots of that border, is that going from a front line that was mined and that would have been deadly to cross a few decades ago? It's actually kind of a bit blurry now. And let's see what happens. It's been in this cold, frozen war stasis condition, patrolled by the UN and whatnot. The hope I heard from the people on both sides was that there would be some weight to make that border go away altogether.

Inside of a historic building with light shining in

Waiting. Sinan Pasha mosque, the converted 14th-century church of Saints Peter and Paul. Join the journey at outofedenwalk.org.

Credit:

Paul Salopek/National Geographic

It is, of course, still there. And there is a deserted resort straddling the line between Greek and Turkish zones. You called it Europe's ghost city. What was it like walking through that?
There was this abandoned city. It used to have, apparently, 39,000 people or so in it. It was one of the most famous resorts in the Mediterranean. Big movie stars in the '70s, [like] Paul Newman and Sophia Loren, would go there for a holiday. Five-star hotels. And because it was on the front line and remains contested, it's been sitting and rotting under the Mediterranean sun. Empty. Seagulls live in those five-star suites now because there are no windows. The beaches are empty. It's been fenced off by the Turkish army. It was very bizarre like a Dresden-like ruin sitting on this beautiful, jewel-like beach setting.

Parts of this interview have been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Writer and National Geographic Explorer Paul Salopek has embarked on a 24,000-mile storytelling trek across the world called the “Out of Eden Walk.” The National Geographic Society, committed to illuminating and protecting the wonder of our world, has funded Salopek and the project since 2013. Explore the project here. Follow the journey on X at @PaulSalopek, @outofedenwalk and also at @InsideNatGeo.

  continue reading

700 episodi

Artwork
iconCondividi
 

Serie archiviate ("Feed non attivo" status)

When? This feed was archived on May 09, 2024 12:48 (11d ago). Last successful fetch was on April 08, 2024 22:03 (1M ago)

Why? Feed non attivo status. I nostri server non sono riusciti a recuperare un feed valido per un periodo prolungato.

What now? You might be able to find a more up-to-date version using the search function. This series will no longer be checked for updates. If you believe this to be in error, please check if the publisher's feed link below is valid and contact support to request the feed be restored or if you have any other concerns about this.

Manage episode 410831871 series 1340006
Contenuto fornito da The World: Science, Tech & Environment. Tutti i contenuti dei podcast, inclusi episodi, grafica e descrizioni dei podcast, vengono caricati e forniti direttamente da The World: Science, Tech & Environment o dal partner della piattaforma podcast. Se ritieni che qualcuno stia utilizzando la tua opera protetta da copyright senza la tua autorizzazione, puoi seguire la procedura descritta qui https://it.player.fm/legal.

Aid groups have stopped using a new sea route to get aid to Gaza after an Israeli strike on the World Central Kitchen convoy that killed seven workers on Monday, April 1. Ships had been leaving from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Cyprus is a popular vacation destination, and for thousands of years, it has been a center of commerce and migration.

National Geographic Explorer Paul Salopek walked the length of the island in 2014. He was and still is on a 24,000-mile walk, retracing the first human migration out of Africa.

Salopek caught up with The World’s Carolyn Beeler to discuss the juxtapositions of Cyprus' past and present.

Carolyn Beeler: Paul, you got to Cyprus on a modern diesel-powered ship. But how did the first inhabitants of that island get there?
Paul Salopek: Yeah, they arrived by sea also, of course. From what we know about the archeology of Cyprus, they were some of the earliest settlers to make villages, making this transition from hunter-gatherers to being settled. When they got to Cyprus, way back 12,000 years or so ago, there were miniature hippopotamuses and elephants on the island, and they ate them all. And then they settled down and started farming.
In one of your dispatches, you wrote that Cyprus is one of the oldest inhabited islands on earth. What do we know about those early inhabitants other than that they barbecued pygmy hippopotamuses?
Well, they eventually became very powerful as the centuries rolled by because they started to discover that they controlled a very valuable resource, which was copper. And so, leading into the Copper Age, which led into the Bronze Age, they were sitting on top of a giant bank account. And as a consequence, what's happened to Cyprus, it's interesting, even in today's news, given the tragedies that are happening in the Middle East right now, is that it became invaded and overrun by so many different civilizations. Back to, you know, the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Assyrians, Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Ottomans, just the list goes on and on. It's just been washed over, as if by waves, by different groups of people.

Mural of a woman

Two faiths: earthly vs. cosmic rewards, Famagusta, northern Cyprus. Join the journey at outofedenwalk.org.

Credit:

Paul Salopek/National Geographic

You can see that by looking at a map of Cyprus. Nestled in the eastern Mediterranean, it's so close to Africa, Europe, and Asia. How much does its location and those waves of conquest factor into the island's culture today?
I think that that kind of DNA imprint has got to be there. You know, it's kind of a layer on layer on layers in the many thumbprints of the people who've been there. And I suspect it'll continue today because of the instability in Israel and neighboring Lebanon. They just got 2,000 migrants who showed up on boats trying to escape that area, as the war started to spread into Lebanon. So, the waves continue.
Going back to your crossing of the island on foot, what was that like? Can you tell me about it?
Well, it was unique in this long, crazy journey of mine because normally, I walk with what I call walking partners. It's just baked into the DNA of the project that I walk with local people who act like the cultural interpreters of the landscapes they call home, making the storytelling much better. But because I was in a rush to reach the next country, Turkey, and because Cyprus is relatively small, I decided to hoof it across the island alone.
How did that impact your experience of the place not having those local partners?
Cyprus was unique. I've gone through, I think, 20 countries so far. Cyprus is the only one that I walked through alone because I was in a hurry. I had an appointment to kind of reach a walking partner waiting in Turkey, so I hoofed it eight days across the island, up through these beautiful mountains covered with kind of carob trees, olive trees, hay-colored fields and white chalky roads. And I could get by [speaking] English because the most recent wave of nomads to come through Cyprus are tourists. And so there's a tourist industry there.

Landscape of desert with a lot of trees

Into the layered foothills of the Troodos Mountains, Cyprus. Join the journey at outofedenwalk.org.

Credit:

Paul Salopek/National Geographic

I'm curious. We've been discussing this place being a draw for people from all over. So, what kind of languages did you hear while walking across the island?
It was like walking into a polyglot bazaar, where I saw African stevedores speaking North African languages. A little bit further on, they were Indian workers plowing the fields, listening to sitar music on their earbuds. And there Russian tourists laid out, you know, in pink ranks, baking under the sun. It was a very polyglot place.

A man buried in the sand on the beach

Empty rooms with a view. The hulks of old war-emptied hotels overlook Varosha’s fabled beach, northern Cyrpus. Join the journey at outofedenwalk.org.

Credit:

Paul Salopek/National Geographic

Speaking of Cyprus, which is famously divided between Greek and Turkish areas, you crossed the line from one jurisdiction into the other. What was that like?
This was another continuation of how borders figure into this walking project across the world. Sometimes, they stop me. I have to turn left or right and walk around whatever country is not letting me in. This was a case where that border — which had been militarized, they've been on the front line because of a war in Cyprus, between ethnic Greeks and ethnic Turks — it was like a front line. It's called the Green Line. There were sandbags. There was kind of no man's land. But it was open. And trade was going back and forth. And when I talked to both the Cypriots on the Greek side and the Cypriots on the northern Turkish side, I said, "How are you guys living with this? It's been, you know, almost 50 years." They said, "Paul, we are more like each other than we are like Greece or Turkey." It was a kind of classic border culture, like the US-Mexico border. They have more in common with each other, this kind of hybrid zone of cultures, than they do with the big countries that border there.
But you were just easily waved through this border, which seems very porous. It's interesting to reflect that that border is getting much more porous, whereas so many others worldwide are being hardened. Migration is trying to be prevented.
That's absolutely right. That's kind of the high spots of that border, is that going from a front line that was mined and that would have been deadly to cross a few decades ago? It's actually kind of a bit blurry now. And let's see what happens. It's been in this cold, frozen war stasis condition, patrolled by the UN and whatnot. The hope I heard from the people on both sides was that there would be some weight to make that border go away altogether.

Inside of a historic building with light shining in

Waiting. Sinan Pasha mosque, the converted 14th-century church of Saints Peter and Paul. Join the journey at outofedenwalk.org.

Credit:

Paul Salopek/National Geographic

It is, of course, still there. And there is a deserted resort straddling the line between Greek and Turkish zones. You called it Europe's ghost city. What was it like walking through that?
There was this abandoned city. It used to have, apparently, 39,000 people or so in it. It was one of the most famous resorts in the Mediterranean. Big movie stars in the '70s, [like] Paul Newman and Sophia Loren, would go there for a holiday. Five-star hotels. And because it was on the front line and remains contested, it's been sitting and rotting under the Mediterranean sun. Empty. Seagulls live in those five-star suites now because there are no windows. The beaches are empty. It's been fenced off by the Turkish army. It was very bizarre like a Dresden-like ruin sitting on this beautiful, jewel-like beach setting.

Parts of this interview have been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Writer and National Geographic Explorer Paul Salopek has embarked on a 24,000-mile storytelling trek across the world called the “Out of Eden Walk.” The National Geographic Society, committed to illuminating and protecting the wonder of our world, has funded Salopek and the project since 2013. Explore the project here. Follow the journey on X at @PaulSalopek, @outofedenwalk and also at @InsideNatGeo.

  continue reading

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