Today we flipped the script. We started out the day with a cultural excursion to the Troodos Mountains and Omodos village. The temperature was chilly since we were high up in the mountains, but it was really refreshing. The air up there was also super crisp, certainly much better than the average Pittsburgh air. The Troodos area was really cute but was pretty empty since their prime time for tourism is during the winter. After some impressive tour bus maneuvers to get us through the mountain, we ended up at Omodos. Here there was a beautiful monastery that was supposedly home to a famous christian relic: rope from the holy cross Jesus was crucified on. I am not sure I buy it, but it was fun to imagine anyway. Plus, the monastery was still vey cool to walk around. I then explored the village a little bit and had a meze lunch with the group. The food was great, but with such a large meal we all felt quite tired going into the business meeting. We drove down from the mountains to Limassol to meet with important members aligned with the port such as the port director and the Cyprus Ports Authority President. They each gave presentations and the fielded any questions we had. It was really interesting and was clear that these were people who knew what they were talking about and were experienced in their field. Finally, we drove back to our home base in Nicosia and got dinner on the later side. Today was a nice change of pace doing the cultural visits first and then listening to a business presentation. I was also extremely happy with the group lunch.
Reflections for the CPA and port managers: Despite being very tired during the presentation, I thought it was very well structured and intriguing. It was good to learn a more in depth understanding about the Limassol Port’s long term development plans and how the shipping agent profession works. This is certainly an industry that I could see myself in, so I made sure to take in all that I could. The panel discussed the future of Limassol Port which is heading in the direction of online integration and sustainability. The online integration part is utilizing a dynamic and evolving information system to manage the port’s data. This increases the ports overall efficiency since necessary information for operations can be processed faster. In terms of sustainability, the port is looking to start relying on more sustainable forms of energy for power. They also place a high emphasis on protecting the local marine life and areas. It was important to note that they mention COVID and more recently the Russia invasion through a major wrench in their short term development plans due the added costliness of implementation of certain features. Hopefully, for the case of Limassol port and the rest of the world, these issues will subside at some point soon, allowing things to resume more normally.
I thought today was a really great day! I also feel like the Cyprus 1 group is really starting to come together which is super nice to see. Tomorrow should be another fun day, so I can’t wait to see what it holds.