Today was a packed day! We started off early again to drive up to the Troodos Mountains, the largest mountain range on Cyprus. There were absolutely amazing views– you could see mountains, trees, and streams for miles! We stopped and had some time to look around at the views and the shops in the area, and I wound up buying Cyprus Delights, which are a kind of candy with a texture somewhere between a Jello cube and a gummy bear, coated in powdered sugar. We also saw a donkey near the path we went down to take pictures!
After our stop, we went to a village called Omodos to visit the Timios Stavros Monastery. The monastery is famous because it has some of the rope said to be used on the Holy Cross. The monastery and the church inside were beautiful and had interesting artifacts from saints and art from the village. They also had an interesting exhibit about the Cypriots’ fight to overthrow the British rule of the island in their war of independence. We had some free time after our visit in the monastery, so we walked all over the village and visited many different shops– souvenir shops, jewelry shops, glasswork shops, lace shops, and more. We also found an interesting standalone exhibit on the edge of the village that was a house that was used as a hideout by Cypriots during the war. For lunch, we had mezeh as a group at Stou Kir Yianni. It was delicious yet again; the homemade bread was really good and my favorite dishes were the tomato and feta dish and the risotto!
We then left the mountains to head back to Limassol. Once we got there, we went to the Limassol Chamber of Commerce to hear from the chairman and director of the Cyprus Port Authority and the president and general manager of the Cyprus Shipping Association. From CPA, I learned a lot about how the government is involved with the ports and what they are doing to prioritize the future of Cyprus and its cities. Digitalization has also become important for Cyprus’ ports, so they have also been working on the Port Community System, which is an online database that speeds up their processes. The CSA talked a lot about what it means to be a shipping agent and the responsibilities that come with it, such as taking care of vessels and handling documentation regarding income and distribution.
Once we got back to Nicosia, we went out for dinner at a cafe in the Old City and got ice cream too. I got cinnamon flavored ice cream, which I’ve never had before!