Today we took a break from the cities of Cyprus and entered the Troodos Mountains. Ascending a long and winding road, the environment quickly changed as we gained elevation. Gone was the drier desert climate as the air became bris and pine trees lined the street. As we reached the crest of our climb, we arrived at a quaint town situated in the crook of the mountain. Walking down meandering streets of cobblestone, small shops and restaurants added to the calm atmosphere. Further in our trip, we entered a monastery located in the heart of the village. Birds circled overhead as we entered this sacred area. At the altar of the church laid a piece of the cross on which Jesus was killed, serving as an important relic for the people who call this place home.
Following our excursion in the mountains, we returned to Limassol to meet with executives from the Cyprus Port Authority. The Port Authority serves as a public agency to manage the country’s various ports. During this meeting, I gained valuable knowledge on the running of a port. Most notably, I learned about shipping agents who play a vital role in the shipping industry. Shipping agents protect the interests of the shipping principals, such as ship owners and cruise operators. Acting as the eyes and ears on the ground, they submit documents to the PCS, attend to the vessel’s needs, and collect the income from the freight. This is an essential but often overlooked side of the industry and is a demanding 24/7 job.