Cyprus, the birth place of “Kypria” (Cypria) and where Bitcoins Reign Supreme?

The 8th stop on the “Domain Island Tour” is Cyprus. The ccTLD (country code top level domain) for Cyprus is “.com.cy“.

◆Where is Cyprus?

The island of Cyprus is located in the Eastern Mediterranean, along the coast of the Anatolian Peninsula of Syria. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily and Sardinia.

Table of Contents

◆The Birth Place of “Kypria” (Cypria)

◆Discovering the Waiting Room of the Strongest of Humanity in RPG; Gladiators

◆Investigating the Popularity of Bitcoin in Cyprus

◆Crossing the Green Line Separating Cyprus and North Cyprus

◆Finding Counterfeit Luxury Goods While on a Stroll in Northern Cyprus

◆Interesting Things on Cyprus

◆How to Purchase a SIM Locally and Testing Internet Speed

◆Finding the “.com.cy” Domain Around Town

The island of Cyprus is divided into two parts, in the south, Cyprus (the Republic of Cyprus), and in the north, Northern Cyprus (the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus). The ccTLD (country code top level domain) for Cyprus is “.com.cy”, but as Northern Cyprus has no country code, a ccTLD is not assigned. Travelling around Cyprus, famous for Bitcoins, and Northern Cyprus, about which very little is known.

◆The Birth Place of “Kypria” (Cypria)

First, for a bit of sightseeing on Cyprus, I go to the must-see Petra tou Romiou coastline. Known all over the world, according to legend this is the birthplace of Aphrodite (also known as Venus), the goddess of love and beauty. In addition to the name Venus, Aphrodite is also called “Cypria.”

At 5:30 in the morning, I start driving towards “Aphrodite’s Rock”.

At 6:00, I park the car in the parking lot opposite the coast, and walk to the coast. There is a restaurant by the parking lot, but it’s not open yet. The public washrooms are to the right, facing the restaurant. They were open.

The walkway heading to the coast.

A small stone tunnel just before arriving at the coast.

Here we are. This is Aphrodite’s Rock. This was the exact spot where Venus was born. I thought it would be sandy, but it’s a pebbly beach. A place where the sea is so beautiful and people can enjoy swimming, it’s usually very crowded with tourists. As it was early morning, there was only one group of tourists besides us.

They say that if you find a heart-shaped pebble on this beach all your dreams about love will come true. But I couldn’t find any heart-shaped pebble. It seems that those who want all their love dreams to come true write messages on the stones or make messages with the stones. There were even stones that expressed love for pets. This is a power spot for love.

There are handkerchiefs and plastic bags etc. tied to the tree branches. It looks messy, but maybe it’s to “bind up a wish.”

Another name for Aphrodite is “Cypria”, and this reminded me of the “Legendary Warrior: PreCure” (pronounced Purikyua in Japanese). PreCure is a combination of “Pretty” and “Cure.” Some Japanese people claim that the name of PreCure comes from Cypria (Kypria), but this has officially been denied.

◆Discovering the Waiting Room of the Strongest of Humanity in RPG; Gladiators

Located in the southwestern part of Cyprus, the ruins of the ancient city “Kourion” are situated on an elegant hill where you can see the ruins of Hellenistic times, Roman times and early Christian times. The entry fee is 4.50 euros.

After passing the ticket office, you immediately come to the Roman amphitheater (The Theater.) This theater was built in the 2nd century BC and collapsed in an earthquake in the 1st century. Later, it was rebuilt between the 2nd half of the 1st century and the 2nd century.

Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

In an area furthest from the Theater, I discovered the waiting room for the strongest of humanity in RPG (role playing game); Gladiators (The House of the Gladiators). Here is a mosaic that depicts battle scenes of Gladiators. The ruins have been given a roof to protect this mosaic.

There are 11 sites in the ruins of Kourion and it takes about an hour and a half to see them all. This day was sunny. It was very hot. I recommend bringing a drink.

Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Investigating the Popularity of Bitcoin in Cyprus

It was the financial crisis of Cyprus in March 2013 that made the name Bitcoin known to the world. To gain support from the EU when Cyprus fell into a financial crisis, the government of Cyprus decided to levy a 9.9% tax on all deposits of its citizens. However, deposits of the decentralized Bitcoins could not be taxed, therefore, many citizens of Cyprus purchased bitcoins in order to protect their assets. (※CNN BUSINESS)

As our company loves making questionnaires, (see our past questionnaire on Japanese idols “JapanExpo” (Paris) we decided to make a questionnaire to find out how many people in Cyprus own bitcoins. First, I asked the two ladies at the front desk of the Hotel.

Next, two ladies working as clerks in an eyewear shop. They happily let me take a picture of them with the Pikachu gum I gave them in thanks for filling out the questionnaire. However, all four of these ladies didn’t own any bitcoins. Maybe they are too young?

I took the questionnaires to Ledra Street and walked around to the different shops, there are restaurants, fast food places, clothing shops, souvenir shops etc. Ledra Street is the main street of the capital Nicosia.

There were plenty of shops for “Otaku” (geeks).

And some street stalls.

An IQOS shop in an alley off Ledra Street. In Cyprus its ok to smoke e-cigarette.

There was a shop selling loofahs off another side street. Huge!

The price for the one on the far left is 4.80 euro.

As Cyprus has many ethnic Greeks, they sell many items with symbols of ancient Greek knowledge, like these small owls etc.

The cute owl tote bag is 7 euros.

The cute cat tote bag is 1.95 euros. Ledra Street and its alleys contain many fun places to shop.

I got hungry so I went to an Italian restaurant, “il forno”.

I ordered quattro stagioni (12.60 euros) and coffee (3 euros).

I asked the waiter if he owned bitcoins. “I don’t have any, please give me some!” he answered back. This waiter told me that during the financial crisis, bitcoins, which at the time had little value, were distributed for free on Ledra Street. I found that hard to believe. No matter how many times I asked, he said “it’s true!” The quattro stagioni was lightly seasoned compared to in Japan and very delicious.

Once my stomach was full I went back to the questionnaire. I found three pleasant gentlemen playing backgammon on an open terrace. Maybe they’ve kept their wealth by buying bitcoins and are now enjoying a life of leisure? “Bitcoins? We don’t own any.”

In the end, I asked a total of 23 people, but not one of them had any bitcoins. Though, if they did own some, they might not want to admit it to a strange Japanese man who turned up and suddenly started asking questions.

Crossing the Green Line Separating Cyprus and North Cyprus

If you head north on Ledra Street, you will find a green line that separates Cyprus from Northern Cyprus. This is a buffer zone (ceasefire line), drawn by the United Nations in 1974 to stop the conflict between the Greek residents of southern Cyprus and the Turkish inhabitants of Northern Cyprus who were seeking separation and independence.

Before the border checkpoint, there is a monument to commemorate the end of the conflict.

You cannot bring animals over the green line.

It’s time to cross the green line. I present my passport at the border checkpoint of Cyprus. I am allowed to pass without any delay. I leave Cyprus.

I enter the green line zone. From here to the border checkpoint of Northern Cyprus there’s about 100 meters that belongs to neither country. There are buildings, but no one lives in them.

What’s that? A cat! Among all animals, it seems that only cats are allowed to live in the green line zone and travel freely between the two countries.

Now, I’m entering Northern Cyprus. People waiting for inspection at the border checkpoint.

“It is forbidden to travel with cash exceeding €10,000!” “Send money using the banks” it says. It seems that checking people’s cash is the reason it takes time. Still, it seems nice of them to mention it before crossing the green line…

There was quite a line-up, but it moved smoothly and no-one seemed nervous. The passports are not stamped with any entry or exit stamps. And no one was checking cash. It seemed more like the ticket counter of a theme park. I entered Northern Cyprus on foot without any problems.

Finding Counterfeit Luxury Goods While on a Stroll in Northern Cyprus

There is no ccTLD for Northern Cyprus, which is not acknowledged by nations other than Turkey. In Northern Cyprus, they are using “.nc.tr” which is a second level domain of the “.tr” assigned to Turkey. So, I’m going to explore Lefkoşa (the Turkish name for Nicosia), the capital of Northern Cyprus.

Northern Cyprus belongs to Turkey, but you can use euros without any problem.

Walking towards the Selimiye Mosque, a famous sightseeing spot of Northern Cyprus, I spotted many shops selling fake brand items. There were many ordinary shops and restaurants too, and I was surprised that the shops selling fake brand items seemed very high end.

The man running this shop says “Japanese people are smart and their ancestors were samurai so I’m afraid to make you angry”.

Finally, I arrived at the Selimiye Mosque, all the while shocked at the hordes of fake brand items sold in Northern Cyprus. It used to be called the Cathedral of Saint Sophia. The largest gothic church left on Cyprus is being put to a different use. The red flag on the left represents the Republic of Turkey, and the flag on the right represents the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Within the mosque it seems that a “Whirling Dervish Performance” is about to start, this kind of dance originates in Turkey. If I miss it, I doubt I will get another opportunity, so I decided to go in and watch. The entry fee is 7 euros.

The performance begins. The two men are just spinning. There are brief intervals, but immediately, without missing a step, they start spinning again. For about 30 minutes they do nothing but spin around. If you watch them your eyes will start spinning too.

With my eyes going around so much I started getting hungry. Speaking of Turkey, Kebabs. I found a kebab restaurant with an open terrace near the mosque called “f.kelebek papillio”.

An alley with a roof made of umbrellas. The shops on the other side have no people.

As the restaurant seem to be popular with humans and non-humans alike, I decided to go in.

I ordered a kebab, fries, salad, nan and rice set, called ‘karışık döner’ for 6 euros and a cola (1.5 euro). In Northern Cyprus it’s not “COLA” but “KOLA”. And beer is called “BIRA”. Its 3 euros.

Some cats are hanging out under the table.

Is it ok to give food to the cats? Glancing at other customers, they seem to be handing out kebabs without hesitation. Alright then! And… just sincerely wanting to take a picture of the cats, I held out the kebabs to them, and they battered my hands and scratched me. They were not intentionally naughty, but they are half feral and their claws very sharp. Fortunately, my wounds healed without gangrene, but next time I’ll keep in mind that its safer to put the food on the ground rather than in my hands. Other customers placed it on the ground.

Next, I head to the largest Caravansary (Caravan Inn) in Cyprus, the Büyük Han. Our captain (president) who likes RPG said “You must stay at a Caravansary otherwise your HP (health point) and MP (magic point) won’t recover. I arrive at the entrance.

Going in feels like entering a movie set. This is said to be the most beautiful building on Cyprus. It has recently been renovated and includes souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes etc.

Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

selling handmade crafts.

Six postcards on sale for 1 euro.

These seem to be “vintage” items. On the subject of postcards, they used to be a staple souvenir, but now few people buy them.

The most interesting thing about Büyük Han was the fortress in the center. I have seen it in RPG. I want to try going inside.

I couldn’t go inside, but I could peek inside from outside. I was wondering if the landlord used to keep an eye on the entire Caravansary from here.

In recent years Northern Cyprus is considered a safe city filled with tourists, however, there are deserted areas with half ruined buildings which if you wander into you will soon feel unsafe.

As Northern Cyprus is not recognized as a country, the Japanese government has no diplomatic relations with it, and there is no Japanese Embassy. As well, please note that there is no Japanese embassy in Cyprus either because the Japanese embassy for Greece is in Athens.

Interesting Things on Cyprus

It’s getting dark, and since the HP and MP of the captain of our troops has recovered, I will return to Cyprus. Leaving Northern Cyprus and re-entering Cyprus. I repeat the routine in reverse to return to Cyprus. This is a castle wall from the old city area. The total length is about 5 km.

A monument for ΔΩΡΟΣ ΛΟΙΖΟΥ (Doros Loizou). (※place。Mr. Doros Loizou, who is not so famous in Japan, is a politician from Nicosia born in 1944. On August 30th, 1974, when he was a leader of the Social Democratic Party, he was murdered by an armed group. Besides political activities, he also translated foreign literature and wrote his own poetry collection. After his death, this poetry collection was translated and published in Greek and English.

Bet on Alfa” is a sports betting shop licensed by Cypriot National Gaming Association that currently has 66 branches in Cyprus. Football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, cricket, rugby, snooker, American football, Formula One, World Cup, European Football Championship etc. are available for making bets. Strangely, you can even bet on the Eurovision song contest.

How to Purchase a SIM Locally and Testing Internet Speed

You can buy a SIM at a kiosk just outside the gate at Larnaka International Airport.

The communications company is MTN. The cheapest price is 15 euros. If you ask the clerk, he / she will activate the prepaid SIM card, enable the internet package, take care of all settings etc.

The result of the speed test was 13 Mbps.

Although Wi-Fi rental services for going overseas are on the rise, some areas are still not covered. In that case, consider purchasing SIM locally.

Finding the “.com.cy” Domain Around Town

Various places use the “.com.cy” domain, restaurants, event venues, schools, retail stores etc.

Asian cuisine in Nicosia called “bamboo”. You can eat sushi here. (https://bamboorestaurants.com.cy/)
A ticket sales site, for plays and concerts.
(http://www.soldouttickets.com.cy)
A site for finding stores on Cyprus. They also have a lot of information about discount coupons.
(http://magiccyprus.com.cy/)
A vocational school for aviation / travel.
(http://attc.com.cy/)
An accessory shop.
(http://www.ginigroup.com.cy)

 

For how to get to Cyprus, Click here

For Domain details, Click here

 

 

Is Anguilla, the Island Behind Google’s “Domain for AI” a High-tech Island?

It tookAfter a 40-hours one-way trip to get to Tuvalu, in and meeting fishing pigs in Tonga I met fishing pigs, and now it was off to the seventh stop on the Domain Island Tour, is Anguilla. The ccTLD (country code top level domain) is “.ai”.

◆Where is Anguilla?

Anguilla is a British island in the Caribbean Sea (West Indies). The shape of the island is like an “eel”
so it was called “Anguila” (Eel in Spanish) or “Anguille” (Eel in French).

Table of Contents

◆Domain “.ai” Also Short for Artificial Intelligence, is Used by both Google and Microsoft
◆The Most Beautiful Beach in the Caribbean!
◆The Most Dangerous Beach in the Caribbean! How to Climb Down?!
◆Modern Art and an Expensive “Buddhist Statue Made in Japan”
◆The Oldest House in Anguilla
◆Satisfied by the Caribbean Cuisine of a Popular Local Restaurant
◆Anguilla and Artificial Intelligence

◆Domain “.ai” Also Short for Artificial Intelligence, is Used by both Google and Microsoft

Artificial intelligence is being talked about more and more. Websites related to artificial intelligence are beginning to use the domain “.ai”. Since the domain name is the abbreviation for “Artificial Intelligence”, it has become popular as a domain name to directly express a connection to AI in a URL or e-mail address.

For example, I found some artificial intelligence related websites that use the domain “.ai”.

Microsoft Artificial Intelligence (microsoft.ai) Google AI (google.ai) Intel AI (intel.ai)
Albert (albert.ai) NDR (ndrconf.ai) Insight (insightdata.ai)
Luminovo (luminovo.ai) x.ai (x.ai) Recast.AI (recast.ai)

It is used by well-known companies like Google and Microsoft, that invest large amounts of research money into the development of artificial intelligence.
So, the people of Anguilla are possibly living in close quarters with AI, don’t you think?
With this expectation in mind, I start off to investigate the island.

◆The Most Beautiful Beach in the Caribbean!

The island of Anguilla, floating in the Caribbean Sea, has many beaches. Of these, I visited “Shoal Bay Beach” where Hollywood celebrities hang out.

It is approximately ten minutes by car from the capital “The Valley”. The sea is already visible when I get out of the car.

This is Shoal Bay Beach. Idyllic blue skies and sea, with white sandy beach.

I have to agree that this is the most beautiful beach in the Caribbean.

I took videos of the beach using a drone. You can see that the gorgeous coast line goes as far as the eye can see.

I tried searching for Hollywood celebrities, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find any.

When you get tired of playing in the ocean, you can take a break at the hotel bar. A Hollywood star might sit down beside you.

Click here for shots with the 360° camera.

Beautiful Shoal Bay Beach (Anguilla) – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

◆The Most Dangerous Beach in the Caribbean! How to Climb Down?!

On the island of Anguilla, I used a taxi to do some sightseeing. The beloved car of the driver, Mr. Conner, is a Toyota Vellfire.

No way, this car is the Japanese model!

After leaving the popular Shoal Bay Beach, we head for a beach recommended by Mr. Conner. I see the hull of an old ship out the car window.

We come to a stop on a grassy cliff. “Here we are. Just go down this road” says Mr. Conner.

“Road”… What road? I’m quite bewildered.

Finally, I spot animal track that I walk down a few minutes. The sea appears before my eyes.

This is Mr. Conner’s favorite beach “Little Bay.”

The clarity of the water is true Caribbean.

As far as I can see from the top of the cliff, there is not a single person. A perfect private beach!
Let’s head down to Little Bay. Looking for the stairs, I spot a yellow rope.

There are no stairs. There is no other way to get down this near vertical cliff than to hang on to this rope and climb down. In other words, only those who want the thrill of descending the cliff can reach Little Bay.

Of course, you have to climb back up the rope on the way back. No wonder there is no one on the beach.

360° camera

The beach I couldn’t reach, Little Bay (Anguilla) – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

◆Modern Art and an Expensive “Buddhist Statue Made in Japan”

Along Route 1 (the main road) near Meads Bay, you can find shops selling modern art and antiques.

First, “Cheddie’s Carving Studio” which uses driftwood from the islands to make art.

The inside of the store has an open space utilizing natural light, where creative works are on display. You can even buy these things. They might make good souvenirs.

This is probably a cat. I was able to enjoy Anguilla’s best modern art to my heart’s content.

“The GALLERIA World Art & Antiques”, a antique specialty shop is nearby.

The Caribbean makes me think of “pirates”. Surely, “Antiques” equals “loot wrested from pirates”. What kind of hidden treasures can we find?

I enter the shop and antiques from various countries come into sight. Yes, definitely a pirate.

There were some relatively old Buddhist statues. When I asked the owner of the store, he told be the Buddhist statue from Japan is worth more than 2 million yen. However, when questioned closely, it came out that the things that are exhibited and sold here were bought by the shop owner in various countries. They were not “treasures wrested from the pirates of the Caribbean”, but “treasures bought by the connoisseurs of the Caribbean”. The shop owner also happily told me: “My niece is studying Japanese in Shinjuku.”

◆ The Oldest House in Anguilla

In 1632, Anguilla was taken over by England and became a colony. While I was exploring the town, I found a remnant of the colonial period.

“Wallblake House”, built in the late 1700s. It’s the oldest house on the island.

The stone monument states that this mansion was built by slave labour, and that sugar and cotton were cultivated on the plantation.

Next to Wallblake House there is a church that was built a few years later, it was full of the voices of people who came to pray.

◆Satisfied by the Caribbean Cuisine of a Popular Local Restaurant

What kind of dishes come to mind when you think of Caribbean cuisine? In Japan there are few such specialty restaurants so I had no idea. So, I went to a popular local restaurant called “Tasty’s”.
There is a bar counter at the front of the shop, and a dining area arranged at the back.

First, I ordered Bahamian cuisine, the renowned Conch fritters (16 dollars.) The conch shells that make natural jewelry were also used to elegantly decorate the interior of the restaurant.

An abundance of springy conch snails encased in crisp coatings of batter.

Next, a dish well known in Hawaii, “Mahi-mahi” (or dolphinfish.) Sprinkled with a kind of bean sauce (24 dollars.) Light and easy to eat with no fishy smell.

This one is “Shrimp sauté” (24 dollars.) Many dishes use seafood.

However, the meat dishes were not to be left behind. The thick but soft “Pork sauté” went wonderfully well with a sweet salsa-like sauce (24 dollars).

If you visit Anguilla, be sure to get your fill of delicious, locally sourced Caribbean cuisine.

◆Anguilla and Artificial Intelligence

Freshly picked coconuts on sale in the supermarket.

Instead of having a lot of traffic lights, there are “speed hump” zones. The size of these “humps” is much bigger than the ones in Japan, so be careful if you are driving and talking.

I stayed at the “Easy Corner Villas” equipped with Wi-Fi and TV. Unfortunately, I could not use the Wi-Fi or TV, so I spent a very quiet night ($180 / per night, / per person)

Mr. Conner honks his horn loudly when passing other cars and people. When I asked why, he said he was: “Greeting friends”.

Since Anguilla provides the “.ai” domain, I thought that the people living here would be living in close association with AI, but as you can see, AI is in no way a part of their daily lives. From now on, “.ai” will continue to grow as a domain for artificial intelligence, and more people will know about “Anguilla”. But, as the people of Anguilla themselves have no idea of such a thing, they are left to the quiet flow of life.

■For access to Anguilla click here

■For Anguilla’s Domain “.ai” Click Here

アンギラへの行き方

ビザの申請は必要ありません。アメリカ、プエルトリコを経由してアンギラへ行く場合、ESTAの申請が必要。パスポートはお忘れなく。
出国の際は、“出国税”を支払う必要があります(20ドル)。

《 空路 》

日本からプエルトリコへ


直行便はないので、アメリカ国内(ダラス、シカゴ、アトランタ、ニューヨークなど)で、1~2回の乗り換えを行う。航空会社もアメリカン航空、デルタ航空、USエアウェイズ、ジェット・ブルーなど毎日多数乗り入れている。所要時間22時間~。エコノミーなら往復約77,000円~。なお、90日以内の観光目的の滞在ならビザは不要だが、アメリカ自治領のためESTAの取得が必須。

プエルトリコからアンギラへ


プエルトリコのルイス・ムニョス・マリン国際空港から、アンギラへの直行便がある。片道約3万円。

往路 シーボーン航空 BB4638

プエルトリコ
ルイス・ムニョス・マリン国際空港
(SJU)

13:55 発

約1時間5分
アンギラ
クレイトン J. ロイド国際空港
(AXA)

14:55 着

復路 シーボーン航空 BB4638

アンギラ
クレイトン J. ロイド国際空港
(AXA)

15:25 発

約1時間5分
プエルトリコ
ルイス・ムニョス・マリン国際空港
(SJU)

16:30 着

※2018年4月現在の情報

アンギラのクレイトン J. ロイド国際空港(空港コード:AXA)。
アンギラのクレイトン J. ロイド国際空港

空港内にはファストフードのお店あり。
空港ファストフード店

国際電話もできます。
空港の電話

《 海路 》
セント・マーチン島 マリゴ(Marigot)の船着き場ギャール・マリティム(Gare Maritime)からアンギラ ブローイングポイントフェリーターミナル(Blowing Pont Ferry Terminal)まで、フェリーが運航している。終日、午前7時30分から午後6時15分まで(アンギラから出発)。セント・マーチン島からアンギラへの最終便は、午後7時。フェリーは約45分ごとに運行され、所要時間は約25分。片道運賃20ドル前後(フェリー会社により異なる)。

正式な入国手段としては小さすぎる気もする“レディ・マリア号”。
レディ・マリア号

案の定、船内パンパン。出航後に運賃を支払います。
レディ・マリア号2

セント・マーチン島から約25分。「ようこそアンギラへ」
ようこそアンギラへ

海路での入国は、この建物内で審査を受けます。お手洗いは、ありました。
入国審査建物

現地の情報


アンギラは、カリブ海 リーワード諸島にあるイギリス領の島。島のすぐ南方にはセント・マーチン島がある。

首都 バレー (The Valley)
言語 英語
時差 日本との時差は-13時間。アンギラの方が遅れている。サマータイムはない。
気温 年間を通して常夏
気温は24°C~31°C
通貨 米ドル可
コンセント形状 Aタイプ
Wi-Fi Softbankのローミング不可
GlocalmeのWorldWide不可
Wi-Fi利用可のホテルに宿泊したが使えなかった
今回は全土で利用できず。
タクシー
フェリーターミナルからダウンタウンまで約$24
4時間貸切で$110
Uber