North Cyprus – Book Review – One Man in a Bus – by Robert Wingfield


One Man in a Bus

by Robert Wingfield

By Margaret Sheard ……

Book Review  “One Man in a Bus” by Robert Wingfield

We were told of this travel book by Kyrenia Animal Rescue (KAR) and the fact that the author, Robert Wingfield, will be donating 50% of the royalties to KAR so I was very keen to read it.  I obtained a copy and settled down to read and I must say it was hard to put the book down. It is a personal account of Robert’s holiday in North Cyprus, told in a very humorous and yet very interesting and enlightening way.

Book cover

Living in North Cyprus, I have visited many (although not all) of the places Robert and his fellow travellers visited and could relate with many of the tourist attractions but from a different aspect as viewed by Robert, so it brought back memories and made me feel perhaps I should re-visit some of them……. 

Kantara Castle image

Kantara Castle

North Cyprus is steeped in the history of many cultures which have inhabited the island through the centuries so for people who like to explore the history as well as enjoying the peace and tranquillity of many parts of North Cyprus, Robert has given a taste of what to expect.The information about the various places visited was very comprehensive and informative (without being boring) and the humorous asides makes you feel what a great week’s sightseeing holiday was had by all.  Robert took lots of photographs so there are many pictures of the places which were visited and this helps to show the historical attraction of the country. In a week the group certainly managed to see many of the historical sites and places of interest and with the background information this made the book very interesting to read and will hopefully persuade others to come and enjoy the experience.

Salamis

Salamis

The book also includes useful information covering many aspects for travellers to North Cyprus which is not always found in basic travel guides.

The book can be purchased through Amazon and by ordering through the KAR website they will receive the benefit of 50% of the royalties from Robert Wingfield.

Following is some background information provided by Robert Wingfield about the book.

North Cyprus – One Man in a Bus

The thing that struck me most about The Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) is that there are few travel guides that tell it like it really is. To experience a country on your own gives you freedom, but you can potentially miss many sights that you wouldn’t normally visit, so either go for a guided tour, or follow the trail detailed in this book.

Ancient Theatre of Salamis

Ancient Theatre of Salamis

If you go in summer, then sitting on a Mediterranean beach is what you are looking for. It is too hot to explore. Choose a place with the best exchange rate and you can’t do any better than TRNC, with food and drink being of high quality and low price.

However, that is not why I visited the country. I am interested in the history of the place, meeting the people and experiencing the culture. Because the British were here for 85 years and left in the 1963, the TRNC has a wonderful feel of having been frozen in time then. Driving on the left side of the road, and stopping at familiar traffic lights and seeing speed cameras ready to catch the motorist who is concentrating more on driving than slavishly following an arbitrary speed limit, all help with that feel. Most people speak English too, and that includes the migrants from Pakistan. There is a Muslim culture here, but the overall feeling is one of relaxed devotion. The five-daily call to prayer is mostly ignored by the populace.

Girne Castle

Girne Castle

I decided on a guided tour. Our guide was a lady who has lived in TRNC all her life, but travelled widely in the English speaking world, so her translations were faultless. She was so good that I couldn’t even trick her with our quirky phrases such as ‘Know what I mean, John,” and “Leave it out.”

We were taken to many of the major sites in the country and given a very good historic background to each, all from memory. I never saw her with notes. I of course took lots, writing them up on a handheld device each evening before the wine levels got to eye height, and it is these, along with a great deal of extra research that are summarised in the book.

Vouni Palace

Vouni Palace

I have added my own photographs, which unfortunately in the paperback means that the price is quite high. This is not me being greedy, but a measure of the costs charged by Amazon for colour publishing. I am thinking about converting it to greyscale, but perhaps that would detract from the experience. I am also considering shortening it to facts and figures and releasing it as a picture-less pocket guide, which will be eminently affordable (and really fit in a pocket).

As with all my writing, there is an underlying element of humour – real life is funny enough if you look at it the right way.

Note: The pictures which have been used throughout this article, other than the book cover, are from our own archives so as not to detract from the lovely pictures taken by Robert and included in the book.

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