Roads to Nowhere

Roads to nowhere – through the late nineties into the 21st century the ‘holiday home’ market in Cyprus was booming! Whole estates planned, roads and infrastructure installed, ready for the overseas buyers wanting their slice of sun away from home.

Then the 2008 global financial crisis was followed by the collapse of the Greek economy and vast swaths of building projects were cancelled.

These ‘roads to nowhere’ still exist, complete with lighting and access drop curbs.

R&R

Spending time away with the family this week with a return to Cyprus. Never too far from the camera though and always wanting to capture what I see around me.

During today’s trip to Polis Beach I immediately clocked the remnants of a concrete machine gun bunker listing into the sea. More likely a left over of the Second World War rather than of the 1974 Turkish invasion.

My obsession with this dark corner of Cypriot history keeps growing and I have a tremendous urge to visit and explore the Northern ‘occupied territory’. High on my list to visit is the city of Nicosia. As the last city on earth to have a wall and duel occupancy, it has an allure to me to document the aftermath of a war which is still felt nearly five decades later.

Portland Castle

Portland Castle was part of King Henry VIIIs plan for defending England from French invasion.  The move was away from the classical huge scale castles and towards strings of defendable positions which were strategically placed to create crossfires and killing fields.  The castle at Portland was built during the mid-1500’s to create a crossfire with castles in Weymouth across the harbour.

Like many defences, Portland Castle was built to repel a French invasion which never came.  The structures use for storage during both World Wars means that it only ever saw real action duringt the English Civil War of the 1600’s where it was captured by the Parliamentary forces.

In search of the past

I don’t regularly share personal stuff through this channel but I’d like to this time. I’ve spent the last couple of days on a bit of a family hunt on Portland where we’ve found the grave of Alice Caroline Otter and Hiram Otter. Hiram was a well known local character from the later 1800’s and left his mark on several places across the Island of Portland.

Why is this important? Hiram and Alice are my great great great grandparents. My grandmother was named after Alice and my own daughter, seen in the picture, is named after my grandmother. Being only two she’s entirely unaware of this connection but to myself and my mother this is extremely special!

I’m continuing to trace this side of my family tree and have found a distant cousin who has thus far traced the Otters back to the 1600’s!

Portland was always a special place for my family with countless memories of Summers spent on the Bill and climbing the rocks. From here it could get even more interesting!