The day was split between touring Troodos and a business meeting. The drive to Troodos, the tallest mountain in Cyprus, was about an hour and half. There were some very windy roads and sometimes I was wondering if the bus was going to make it around the turns. However, we always made it thanks to the skill of our bus driver. On the way up, I loved being able to look out the window and see the view get progressively more impressive as we traveled up the mountain. The first stop we made had some cute shops as well as places to look at the valley and surrounding mountains. It was so beautiful to look at because you could see all the terraces on the surrounding mountains, some of which are used for vineyards. There was one lookout from which were we able to walk down a little bit which was fun. Unfortunately, pictures don’t due the view justice because the depth is just not the same. After some free time at this stopping point, we got back on the bus to go to Omodos village in which we also got time explore. Omodos village is home to the Timios Stavros monastery, which was founded by St. Helen. The monastery holds a piece of the rope that was used to tied Jesus to the cross which is a point of pride for the village. There is a beautiful Orthodox Church in the middle of the monastery that had tons of gold decorations and wood carvings inside but we were not allowed to take pictures.
After exploring the monastery, we walked around the town and went into some of the many shops. I absolutely loved this village because the streets were just so beautiful and there were flowers everywhere. Everyone was so friendly; I feel like I could have spent the whole day there.
After our free time was over, we had a group lunch in town. The food was absolutely amazing. We had salad, greek sausage, halloumi covered in sesame seeds and honey, pasta (orzo) with a creamy sauce and truffles, and a stunning platter with chicken kabobs and crispy skin pork. I really love doing the group lunch because they are tapas style so I get to try many different kinds of local food instead being to tied to just one. They brought us perfectly ripe oranges and apples after dinner which were also delicious. It was my friend’s birthday today and they brought her a chocolate cake which I was fortunate enough to have a piece of so shoutout to Lucy.
Once lunch was over, we drove to Limassol for a meeting with the Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA) President, the CPA General Manager, the Limassol Port Director, and a professor at UNIC. One of the most important things they talked about was sustainably and making their ports more sustainable. To do this, they have created 4 goals: sustainable infrastructure, taking care of marine life, decarbonization, and giving back to the communities that the ports are a part of. The EU was actually in the process of drafting a bill to have members be carbon neutral by 2070. However, once the war in Ukraine started, all of the EU’s focused turned to the conflict and sustainability measures have been put on hold. I found everyone very engaging and I felt honored that they took time out of their very busy and important jobs to talk to us.
Today was a very fun day and, for all interested parties, I did in fact take naps when we were traveling between destinations. Tomorrow, we get to sleep in a little bit because we are meeting at 9:30 not 8 so I am looking forward to a good night’s sleep.