Cyprus // Lefkosia (South Nicosia) //

The Ledra Street crossing

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Open since April 2008, the Ledra Street crossing provides pedestrian access to the north Cypriot part of the city (and indeed of the island) with the minimum of fuss. There are no formalities on the part of the republic’s officials, except that you might be searched for contraband on your return. On the northern side (all of 20m beyond the southern office) you need to queue at the row of kiosks, fill in a visa form (which you keep, and have stamped as you come back across), and off you go. In the past there was considerable propagandist posturing at the crossing, but now it’s all much friendlier. For example, on the southern side of the crossing a comprehensive display of photographs focuses on joint north–south ventures, such as the clearing of land mines, and police cooperation. It’s all a far cry from the UN-manned barrier, boarded-up buildings, barbed wire and no-photography signs that used to be here.