Dark Tourist (2018) s01e05 Episode Script

Europe

1 [water bubbling] [David] I'm a journalist from New Zealand investigating dark tourist hot spots around the world.
Places made famous by death and disaster.
So, it seems quite weird I'm at a beach, sand and suntans and me with a center-parting and some rather attractive goggles.
[whistle blowing] But this is no normal beach.
Hey.
- [David] Give you that? - [man] Give me this.
- Will we? - No, we are going to police station now.
- Police station? - Yes.
[David] And this is no normal holiday.
On this trip I’m traveling around Europe’s Dark Tourist hot spots.
In the Mediterranean holiday island of Cyprus I go undercover to break into a forbidden city.
What if we went at night when no one can see us? You might get shot.
[David] In the UK I go drinking with Nazis.
We’re the bad guys, the very bad guys And I visit the world’s most disturbing museum.
- You realize this is quite odd.
- Why did you come in and see it? [man] You didn’t have to come and see it.
[David] I'm David Farrier, and this trip is stranger than I’d ever expected.
[theme music playing] [music ends] [David] I start my journey in the English countryside, 30 miles southeast of London in the small town of Paddock Wood.
[man]Thank you! [David] They say war is hell, but not for this lot.
For many British, it’s a dark tourist vacation in their own backyard.
I’m on a farm in Kent, at what I’d call a dark tourist festival.
Billed as the Glastonbury of war, this is the world’s biggest military reenactment.
Eighty thousand dark tourists come here every year to pretend to be soldiers from different wars, different sides, and different times.
They don’t just come to watch.
Many take a week off work just to hang out in the mud.
I don’t understand the appeal, but the best way to figure it out is to get a little dirty myself.
I've enlisted as a soldier to take part in a full scale mock battle.
- [David] Hello.
- [man shouts back] [David] Is this To Hell And Back? I’ve been assigned to a company called To Hell and Back.
They’re a bunch of Brits pretending to be Americans in World War II.
Lose the pink shorts before the battle now, bruv.
Yeah, I'll think about it.
[David] My dress sense has pegged me as an outsider.
I'm hoping Dan, an ex-British soldier and the man charged with seeing me through all this, takes me a little more seriously.
[David] What am I going to be dressed as? Who am I going to be? It's a lovely cerise color that we've got.
Yeah, off the shoulder.
- No, no.
101st Airborne.
- Okay.
Who are we going to be battling when we go in? You'll be battling against the SBG, that's the Second Battle Group.
- Okay.
- Germans.
- So, we'll be taking on the Nazis.
- I mean, obviously you don't want to get involved with SS stuff and all that crap.
It's just German soldiers.
Okay.
[shouting orders in German] [David] This is my first brush with the politics of war reenactment.
Dan emphasizes the difference between the Nazi political party versus the German people and their army.
So, it seems I shouldn’t use the word “Nazis”, but instead say “Germans”.
It’s a pretty big swastika-bearing elephant in the room.
Having established the correct etiquette for referring to the enemy, it's time to bond with my own side.
Out of my pink shorts, I’m hoping my fellow grunts will explain the attraction of sitting in a muddy hole.
[David] I’m dressed more appropriately.
- [woman] Come join us, mate.
- [David] It's quite It's quite weird how you can't have cell phones or anything, you're just kind of living this for the weekend.
- [man] Yes.
- [David] It's raining, we're in a hole.
- [woman] Yep.
- And this is fun? - Yeah.
- This is The whole running around shooting people thing, yeah, it's not too bad.
That's all we're waiting for, really, the battle.
We'll get to that in time.
We won’t jump the gun.
But you realize, this is a strange way to spend a weekend.
[David] Everyone is preparing for the big battle tomorrow where I’ll get to kill some Germans.
I agree to undergo a bit of extra training.
This is the “fun” they saved up their holidays for.
I think it's probably best you can either sit in the middle, David - Yep.
- you know, like the girls do.
- [laughs] - What? All right.
Let's have a bit of a cheer for him.
Go! Go! Go! - [man 1] Keep going, come on! - [man 2] Good job! - Push on! Go! - Go, go! Come on! [man shouts] Roll over! Roll over! Go for the front line.
Just there! His face is a bit clean.
 Go again.
- There you go.
- [scattered applause] Thanks, guys.
[David] Fun had, I’m a muddy mess.
I guess they’d say this is authentic.
And nature helps out with a downpour, so that I can fully experience the proper degree of wartime misery.
[man chuckles] [David] There are no showers, so I head to the canteen to warm up, where I notice the Nazis the Germans are serving up the food.
Is it normal to have the Germans cooking for the Americans in this scenario? They’re not Germans, we’re not Americans.
We’re all people.
Just cause we’re in a uniform doesn’t mean they’re not our friends.
We’re not “at war” any more.
You know, it’s Hollywood.
Everybody’s cross dressing, play dressing.
It’s just it’s play time, isn't it? Play time.
[David] Thank you so much.
[David] With a hot plate of German grub, I head back to my battle buddies to try and get to the bottom of the politics around the Nazis.
[David] It’s interesting, because obviously we're dealing with history and we're role playing, and so you've gotta have both sides.
- [man] You gotta understand - Because no one wants to be a Nazi though.
[man] This is the subject that everybody tries to stay away from, just in case.
It can be interpreted in a way that causes offense to others, which you don't want.
[David] To me it’s a bit of a catch-22.
They want all this to be as authentic as possible, but they have to avoid the inconvenient parts of history.
So, we're meant to be Americans, we’re being cooked for by Nazis.
- [man] They're Germans - You're eating some Italian Germans.
You're eating Italian pizza.
[David] It all makes sense.
Just normal.
[David] The drinking goes on into the night, and I don't want to use the unmentionable word, but there’s two Dutchmen in SS uniforms.
Surely no one can deny these guys are Nazis? The SS played a major role in some of the worst humanitarian crimes during World War II.
Particularly, the genocide of six million Jews.
It’s illegal to even wear SS uniforms in Germany.
And yet here they are, smiling and drinking with everyone like it's Oktoberfest.
And no one seems to mind.
Do you get a lot of attention from people? You don't want to know.
Because I was watching you in there, and there were people coming up to you.
I don't know, I think people respond in their own way to this uniform.
I don't know.
Also the women, to be honest, their reactions were all positive.
All kinds of reactions, every one was positive.
Even Yesterday in the bar, we had to take off the swastika bands because they said it was a political statement.
- But you've got the swastika up here.
- Yeah.
Well I didn't make a fuss, we didn't want to make a fuss about it, so I said, "Okay, we'll take it off, no problem.
" Well, I guess this is probably the one place you could dress like this.
- Yes.
- Yes.
Correct.
What would you do if you dressed like this back home? - I would hide.
- Yep.
Because you can't wear Out of respect for all the people there, I wouldn't wear it at all.
- And it's forbidden.
We'd be arrested.
- Yeah, forbidden.
But we wouldn't do that.
- It's a unique thing you can do here? - Yeah.
Yeah.
But we wouldn't there.
We do not want to offend people.
We don't want to propagate anything that's behind the uniform.
- You understand? - Of course.
I want to be clear in that.
[David] They seem like nice guys, but there's a question here that I haven't figured out.
Is it possible to reenact this stuff without somehow condoning the bad parts? Are there some things we just shouldn’t be bringing back? Today's the climax of the festival.
A giant battle reenactment, where I’ll take on the Germans or the Nazis, or whatever you’re meant to call them here.
I don't know how to hold this.
[David] Our guns are real, actually used during World War II.
[man shouting] [David] We'll be firing blanks, but what if someone accidentally puts a live round in? What if it jams and backfires? [David] I feel a bit sick, I don’t know why.
I'm nervous as hell, and this isn't even a real war.
Then it just starts.
[David] All right.
Bloody hell.
I guess that's how wars happen.
No one warns you.
It's loud, so loud.
[David] All set.
Fucking hell.
And with sweat in my eyes I can’t even see who I’m shooting at.
[gunfire] [man] Look out.
Thistle.
[gunfire continues] [David] Ow! [David] Everyone is completely in character now except maybe me.
I'm just in panic.
Watch for Jerrys in the grass.
[David] I don't like war.
[man] Come on, move, move! [David] It's only towards the end that I spot the spectators and remember this is all just pretend.
[man] Don't shoot.
[David] But some people are taking their roles very seriously.
[man screams] He's dead.
[man on P.
A.
] Yeah.
I think that's it.
Thank God, it's over.
[David] It was the longest, most frantic 20 minutes of my life.
We’ve been told we’ve won, but who could tell? My ears are still ringing.
It was so full on.
I got quite scared.
I sort of forgot it wasn't real.
- It's an adrenaline rush, isn't it? - It kicks in.
- It's 'cause it's so bloody loud.
- Yeah.
- Yes.
- You can't help it.
Then you start thinking it's real even though it's not real.
And this is, like, your holiday? - Yes.
- Yes? It's a good laugh.
It’s, like, why didn’t you go to a beautiful island in the Caribbean? Sitting down on a beach doesn’t really do it for me.
[David] I'm glad this war is over.
I'm exhausted.
[man on P.
A.
] Thanks guys, all the reenactors, the vehicle drivers, owners.
[David] But I can see why people come here for an immersive experience and an adrenaline rush.
But I’m not sure that making a ghastly piece of history fun is the best way to understand it or avoid repeating it.
It’s definitely not my idea of a holiday.
[David] Three hours' drive west, and I’m 10 miles from the Welsh border in the middle of the most picturesque English countryside.
What could be of any possible interest to a dark tourist here? But I’ve heard that tucked away in the middle of all this chocolate box- ness is the world’s most politically incorrect crime museum.
[cars speeding] [David] Hidden in a 200 year-old prison, the museum’s collections are described as disturbing, gruesome, and deeply offensive.
I want to find out who would create such an upsetting collection.
And is the purpose education or just plain shock value? Andy, I'm David.
- David.
You okay? - [David] Nice to meet you, sir.
- I'm good.
This place is impressive.
- Different.
It's such an unusual thing to have in this sleepy, little, cute town.
Is it famous for anything else besides this? I keep seeing this on signs, what else Well, I don't think we're famous, I think we're infamous.
What's the main theme you've got going on, 'cause I see a lot of different things? Where good and evil collide.
That's it in a nutshell.
So, it’s a very divisive collection.
Every bit of exhibit material is is controversial in some shape or form.
[David] And it's all from your passions? It's everything that you are passionate about? My madness, I suppose, yeah.
[David] I'm totally intrigued and wonder which exhibits require such explicit warning signs at the front door.
But Andy doesn't waste any time getting into the questionable stuff.
I mean, how do you come upon something like this? - I picked this up in a model shop.
- Right.
You know, I probably don't present it in a way a lot of people want it presented, 'cause that's the way I am, but the fact is, you know, poor little black children and black people were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan.
And as you can see, I've put them all together.
Wow.
[David] To be honest, I'm just so gobsmacked I don’t know what to say.
It’s controversial, that’s for sure.
But then you see the Golliwogs with the Ku Klux Klan.
The Ku Klux Klan would obviously be a bit annoyed by the fact that they're seen to be playing with Golliwogs.
A lot of black people want to see it, because that’s part of their history.
[David] It's confronting isn’t it? It is confronting.
[David] I'm not sure that Andy has presented this part of history accurately.
Is he genuinely trying to educate people or just shock them? The whole jail is packed wall to ceiling with stuff, in no discernible order.
And things get even darker when Andy shows me the Nazi room.
[Andy] You've got a lampshade made out of human skin.
[David] This distressing item is part of Andy’s concentration camp exhibit.
[Andy] I had that tested, and it is actual human skin.
[David] It’s heavy stuff, isn't it? It just seems insane that people would actually pull skin off the back of people and have it made into lampshades.
[David] The lampshade is insane, but it seems just as bad for Andy to acquire it and put it on display.
This sometimes upsets people, but you've got these dioramas here, which we've put together.
That's a death camp scene.
- And you've made these up yourself? - I made these up.
You've got a scene there, which again, people say, "Well, that's disgusting.
" This is, if you like, it's a rape scene.
This is a typical example of, say, Auschwitz.
The Nazi death camp officers were raping, you know, Jewish ladies and it happened.
I've definitely never seen a diorama like it, put it that way.
And you won't see it anywhere else either, because - [David] No I don't think I will.
- [Andy] I prefer it to be hard-hitting and the element of truth and fact is there.
I can definitely see how people could find this offensive.
'Cause it's creative license as well, isn't it? I mean, you've made this.
But it happened.
[David] But some of this didn't happen.
As far as I know, Michael Jackson was never in Nazi Germany, let alone a concentration camp.
He may be recording history, but he’s clearly making some of it up.
after corridor, I wonder if Andy’s soft spot for serial killers might provide a clue as to why he spends so much time and money on this collection.
The West Murders were the most notorious in Britain’s history.
A total of 12 bodies were discovered buried in and around their house when the killer couple were finally arrested in 1994.
And somehow Andy got his hands on souvenirs from their place.
How does he get hold of this stuff? You broke into the house or you No, I didn't break in.
I was given access.
- Again, I can't - Give me something.
No.
Again, I can’t.
It's a subject matter I'm not able to talk about.
[David] For a man so proud of his collectibles, Andy isn’t keen on letting on how he acquired any of this stuff.
I mean, is any of it even real? Then, seemingly out of nowhere, he tells me someone has turned up today claiming to have a tie actually worn by Fred West.
[Andy] It's kind of amazing that on the day we come to meet you someone calls up with West's tie, you know? [David] Andy says he thinks the tie was probably used by West to strangle some of his victims.
Where did you find the tie? Your grandmother's house? Grandmother's house, yeah, with the paper and the cutout.
How would you figure out if that's the tie or it's just your grandma's gone and seen a similar one and bought it? - [man] Yeah.
- Age-wise, it's probably worth just smelling the sort of musty essence of that tie.
It does smell musty, it smells old.
[Andy] Yeah, it's certainly aged.
I'm convinced it's around that period there.
In my mind, that's Fred West's tie, and you just sniffed that tie.
- How would you feel knowing that - Pleasant thought.
.
.
that man was wearing that tie? Yeah, it's a strange thing, but just, like, a normal day for you.
- Right? - [Andy] A normal day in the office.
[David] I don’t think a smell test is particularly scientific and I’m dubious of the story.
But Andy tells me before this new artifact ends up in the museum he'll get it DNA tested.
Where do you get his DNA from? It's just some of the people that I deal with privately that help on certain cloth material.
So, you can't say where you get his DNA from? I would never disclose any inner circle privileges.
'Cause when you talk about the inner circle, it sounds, like, very I don't know whether that's legit or not.
What's the point in trying to be deceitful if you own or run a museum? What's the point of trying to fake an acquisition? No point.
To get people in the door to the museum.
[David] Sensing my doubt, Andy’s now determined to prove that he and his museum are genuine by showing me how far his inner circle extends.
[cackling] Enter Charles Bronson, Britain's most notorious and violent prisoner.
He's even had this movie made about him.
Bronson’s been behind bars for over 40 years, thirty-seven of those in solitary confinement.
His crimes include armed robbery, assault, and strangling a prison warden.
And Andy says the two of them go way back.
Is that you with Bronson up there? Yeah, that was when I went to his wedding.
Are you friends with him through the collecting? [Andy] Well, he's very proud to have his artwork on display here, and, you know, it's gonna stay here.
- [David] You first.
- [Paula] Thank you.
[David] On a mission to prove his legitimacy, Andy’s invited Bronson’s latest fiancée, Paula, to come and meet us at the jail.
[David] I believe you're in love with this man, for whatever reason, but you want to live with someone who is known - for becoming unhinged at different times.
- I am.
But that’s a real practical worry.
Well, it doesn’t worry me because he Charlie’s old school, he’s never hurt a woman You know, he’d never dream of hurting me.
Are you worried about, like, that you have to consummate this relationship, you know? When he gets out, straight to the hotel room, I bet you I finish him off, and he has a heart attack.
- Dead.
- And he said, "Forty fucking three years.
I get out, and you fucking kill me off in one night.
" Just imagine it.
 Bless him.
[David] Paula has agreed to let me join in on her weekly phone call to Charles.
The thought of talking to Britain’s most dangerous prisoner fills me with a crazy combination of nerves and excitement.
- I feel a bit nervous.
- Are you ready? Hello.
[Bronson singing] Welcome home Welcome Come on in and close the door You've been gone So long Come on in And close the door Hey, Charlie, it's David.
It's nice to talk to you.
[Bronson] Hello, Dave, how are you, me old China? I'm really good.
I've been a bit nervous.
We've been here waiting for you to call, and I was almost getting a bit nervous about talking to you.
[Bronson] You should never be nervous of me or Paula.
We only eat pygmies.
[laughter] Hey, Charlie, I've been talking to Paula today about how you two met, and how your relationship started.
I was just I was wondering what your first impression was of her when you met.
- Yeah.
- [Bronson] All right.
I'll tell you.
When I first met her, set eyes on her, she lit the room up.
- Oh, That's nice.
- [Bronson] Beautiful.
As soon as I seen her, I thought, "I'm gonna marry her.
" She's like an angel come into my life.
It's wonderful.
Thank you.
That's really nice of you.
- Thank you, sweetheart.
- [Bronson] It's the truth.
Everything I hear about you paints a different image to what I'd known about you from reading some of the early stories.
I mean, just talking you now, you seem like a really lovely, reasonable gentleman.
[Bronson] I'm first to admit, Dave, I was a nasty bastard, mate.
I really was.
I was violent, horrible.
- But every day I wake up - [Paula giggles] - [Bronson] I've got a smile on my face.
- [Paula] Smile.
And I'm locked up in a fucking cage.
- [Bronson] Andy's there now? - Come here, it's me.
- [Bronson] Me old China, how are you? - Keep behaving yourself, and Yep, just stay strong.
- What do you think about that? - Different to what I expected.
Now that is the real Charlie.
[David] So Andy’s proved his point.
His inner circle is real.
And maybe all the stuff in his museum is real, too.
Maybe even that musty old tie.
I’ve decided this place is all about titillation.
Whether it’s violent criminals, serial killers, or just a perky pair of breasts, Andy is drawn to the stuff we’re not meant to be.
I suppose you could say Andy’s a dark tourist himself.
He’s put an incredible amount of time and money into this place, but I leave still not knowing why.
I don't think you could find a collection like this anywhere else in the world.
Maybe that's reason enough.
After all this darkness and depravity, I feel like some R&R.
So, like many other British people, I travel two thousand miles south, to the Mediterranean, to the island of Cyprus.
Here it's all sun, sand, and selfies.
The perfect paradise to relax in.
Cyprus is a former British colony and has been a popular European holiday destination since the 1950s.
But in 1974, the Turkish Army landed in Cyprus, and, depending on who you talk to, invaded or liberated the island.
It was a bloody affair and it split the country into two parts.
Caught in the middle was the beach resort of Famagusta, one of the most famous and glamorous holiday destinations in the Mediterranean.
Famagusta was a favorite with the international jet set, but it was abandoned during the war and now it’s a ghost city.
completely cut off by the Turkish Army and completely off limits.
Which, of course, puts it on the dark tourist bucket list.
I've come to Cyprus to break into the forbidden city.
I start my journey in a cafe in the south with a great view of my target.
- [David] How are you doing? - Morning.
[David] I've come to see your lookout.
- I hear this is the place to come.
- You're welcome.
[David] Antonis fled from his home in the ghost city, and has never been back.
He built this viewpoint in 1979.
If you go over here, you can see Famagusta.
[David] Even at this distance, it surprises me how big it is.
This place used to be home to 40,000 people.
It's amazing to think that it's now completely empty and no one lives there.
- It all just stretches out, doesn't it? - Yeah, yeah.
[Antonis] So, all the town you can see is uninhabited.
No civilians are allowed in.
[David] Getting in is going to be a challenge.
This is as close as I can get from here, and there are three military zones between me and the ghost city.
Closest to me is the Cypriot Army zone.
Then there's the UN buffer zone.
Then, finally, I’ll have to cross the Turkish Army zone.
It's funny, I read and heard about this place and I sort of had in the back of my mind that I might be able to get in somehow.
- What would happen if I tried to go in? - You'd get stopped by the UN.
[Antonis] If they don't see you, straight away you will see soldiers from the Turkish lookout post to come to watch you and arrest you or interrogate you.
What if we went at night, when no one can see us? They'd say it's on your risk.
You might even get shot.
- [David] Really? - Of course.
[David] I didn’t come here to get killed, but surely there’s some way to get inside the ghost city without actually becoming a ghost myself.
I’ll need to cross the border, so I’m heading to Nicosia, the world’s last divided capital.
Here, Greeks and Turks live just meters apart, separated by a wall.
And what better way to tackle a former war zone than on a Segway? Our guide Andreas is keen to demonstrate how safe they are.
[David] Is it true the person that owns Segway Segwayed off a cliff? Is that true? Did you hear that story? - Yeah, it's true.
- [David] It's true? Yeah, but it was his own fault.
He went up on a narrow path of a river cliff and fell in the river.
- Yeah, it’s a funny way to die.
- Yeah, sure.
[David] Gliding through the town, the old parts of Nicosia look like they are crumbling away.
[David] Oh, you okay? [man] I'm sorry, I didn't see you.
- [David] We had a crash.
- [Andreas] It's okay.
Maybe Segways aren’t as safe as Andreas says.
- We’re all okay that’s the main thing.
- Yeah, yeah.
- Don’t worry.
- I'm glad it was you, not me.
- [David] That’s the main thing.
- [Andreas] Okay.
Back on track, we hit the UN buffer zone separating the north and the south.
[David] Would they talk to us if we called them over? I don't think so.
- No? - We're not even allowed to to - Are we not allowed to what? - To make a film.
- Oh, really? - Really.
Hello.
Can you come over? Just come over for a little bit.
I just want to know what they were doing.
Hey, how are you? Hi, gents.
I’d like to advise you that you can’t film inside the buffer zone.
- You’ll have to Can't film.
- We can't film? [David] I’ve come from New Zealand.
I just wanted to know what you were doing.
I can tell you, but turn your cameras the other way.
[David] Okay, we can do that.
We can sort of turn around.
[David] The UN soldier tells me that the Turkish Army is a little bit touchy about anyone filming the buffer zone.
That’s a Turkish observation point just over there.
Good.
- [Andreas] Please, everybody.
- All right, single file.
[David] It all seems a bit over the top to me as the invasion was over 40 years ago.
We shift to a more deserted part of the border.
It's like so close, but so far.
People must sneak across just to have a little look, like, a little cheeky No, no, no.
- [David] No one? - [Andreas] It was very dangerous.
[David] I feel like if this was in New Zealand, like, we're quite cheeky, I think New Zealanders would just sort of sneak in just to see what was there.
Because we don't like being told we can't go somewhere.
People were shot down dead, so Yeah, the whole being shot thing sort of takes the fun out of sneaking in.
Yeah, I believe that if your life is in danger, - you see things - [distant explosion] from a different perspective.
What was that? [Andreas] Well, is shooting something.
Shooting something? It doesn't happen very often, these things.
[explosions continue] [David] So, are those bullet holes up there? Yes.
There are bullet holes everywhere around the buffer zone.
- [explosion] - [dog barking] [David] Things suddenly seem a lot more serious.
Hearing those gunshots makes me keen to understand what the invasion was actually like.
- [David] Anna.
- Hi.
I'm David.
It's nice to meet you.
[David] I meet with Anna, who used to live in Famagusta before the war.
How much warning did you get about the invasion? A friend comes and knocks at the door and says to my mother, "We have rumors that they're going to bomb Famagusta.
" [David] So it was quick? It was like “It's gonna be bombed, let's go.
" "Get your act together, get into the car, we have to go.
" We left the house open.
We left a normal house, a normal household, right? - Yeah, well you're gonna go back.
- We're going to go back, but we never did.
[David] Anna’s made me realize that Famagusta isn’t just some dark tourist dream destination.
It was once her home.
[Eastern music playing] She’s agreed to cross the border into northern Cyprus with me to get me even closer to the ghost city.
But It's also the anniversary of the 1974 invasion, and tensions will be running at an all-time high.
The next day we travel to the Turkish north in a pair of retired UN trucks.
In past years there have been protests on the anniversary, and our crew would rather be doing anything else than coming with us.
We've literally picked the worst day of the year.
Sorry about that.
The Turkish Republic of North Cyprus is only recognized by one country, and that's Turkey.
We're on our own.
And that's all our passports.
Thank you.
We're now cut off from the rest of the world diplomatically, so, I'm eager to make a good first impression.
Busy day for you? Busy? Quiet.
David here.
That was the friendliest border crossing I've ever encountered.
[David] There are Turkish symbols everywhere.
There's no mistaking who's in charge.
Two more big flags.
Yeah, they're everywhere, it's crazy.
There’s no mistaking where we are.
[David] As the military celebrations take over the streets, Anna takes me above to a rooftop overlooking the the ghost city.
Here we are.
And on the roof, I get my first chance to see the city up close.
It's just meters away.
It seems incredible that so many buildings, hotels, apartments, shops, and homes, - are just empty.
- This, to my eyes, is taking me back 43 years.
[Anna] It's an exercise on your ability to to withhold pain.
I could see you getting affected by it when you came up here.
[Anna] Yeah.
[David] This is the ghost city I came for, but I didn't expect the story that came with it.
Things get interesting when we decide to get some shots outside.
- [man] Turkish? - From New Zealand.
[David] The moment we pull out our camera, local police descend on us.
[in Turkish] Have they got permission? If they don’t have them, they cannot shoot.
- [David] Yeah, we have media passes.
- [man] May we look at it? - [David] This one here, yeah? - [man] Yeah.
[David] Yeah, yeah.
[David] You know things are serious when plainclothes officers pop up out of nowhere.
You have the permission to It is not valid for security zones.
[David] Oh, this isn't military.
All right, we've stopped, yeah.
[David] We're detained and taken to the local police station.
Apparently, even filming the ghost city is considered a crime.
There are no holiday snaps here.
After three stressful hours in an interrogation room, we're released.
We're told our filming in northern Cyprus is over and we should leave.
I'm not ready to give up.
I still want to get into the city.
Can’t see anything really, but It might be stupid, but I’m going undercover with a $30 dollar pair of spy glasses to see if I can sneak into the beach next to the forbidden city.
[David] Okay, this I get dropped off at a beach resort directly next to the ghost city.
There are signs everywhere telling me I definitely shouldn't be filming.
But, hey, I'm just a tourist wearing suspiciously thick glasses.
There's a guard tower on the beach, so my plan is to head into the water.
Just a travel blogger with a GoPro.
[David] So, that is the guard tower, and then all the way along here is the ghost city.
It just stretches on and on and on.
I start swimming towards the border believing I'm now invisible, just another swimmer.
[David] There's your border.
And there’s the border, just some floating buoys.
All I have to do is swim underneath and into the ghost city.
I'm about to take the plunge.
[whistle blows] [David] There's a whistle.
It’s the Turkish Army and they’re not happy.
All right.
[David] Hey.
- [man] Give me this.
- [David] Give you that? [man] Give me this.
- [David] We were just - [man] We are going to police station now.
- [David] Police station? - [man] Yes.
[David] Are we not allowed to film? [man] There we go.
You understand, please.
- [man] Give me this.
- [David] Oh, why is this? [man] Please, give me this.
We are going to police station.
[David] This was my last chance of getting into Famagusta.
They really don't want anyone to see the ghost city.
[man] I tell you, "Come here.
" For what? You don't listen.
- For what? - Sorry, I don't have my glasses on.
- [man] No glasses, huh? - [David] I don't have my glasses on.
[crew member] Honestly, we didn't know.
Okay.
Sorry, we don't want any trouble.
[David] After some fast talking, I'm allowed to leave - [man]You must delete this.
- [crewmember] Delete? Yeah.
- as long as I delete the footage.
- Yeah, we can delete this.
[David] We did delete the footage, but we recovered it.
When I came to Cyprus, I thought getting into Famagusta would be a bit of an adventure, but the situation around the ghost city is far more complicated than I ever imagined.
It's an ugly reminder of a violent Invasion, which has split a country in two for over 40 years now.
I guess I have to accept that this particular destination is simply out of reach.