Today we got to sleep in a little bit before we headed out for the day. Our first stop was back in Limassol, where we visited the BSM Maritime Training Centre. We got to hear a little bit about how training for seafarers works and the steps they go through to gain certification for various jobs on vessels, such as cooks, engineers, and officers. The whole building looked like a ship, complete with sails, a big wheel, and the dorms along the sides had wooden shiplap on them– it was really cool! We also got to see two of their simulation rooms, the engine room and the bridge room. In the engine room we saw their touchscreen simulators for the main switch board and the engine. I thought the engine simulator was especially cool; it showed a replica of a real engine room on the screen. When you clicked on a piece of machinery, the program would zoom in to show you what it would really be like to adjust that machinery. For example, if you would have to turn a dial to adjust a setting, the screen would display a dial and turn when you clicked on it. In the bridge room, we got to play around with what was basically a sailing simulator. It had lots of different settings for the weather, the ship you were sailing, and where you were sailing it.
After BSM, we went to a village called Zygi, that was halfway between Limassol and Larnaca, for lunch. There, we had a seafood mezeh meal as a group right next to the ocean. I was really glad they had hummus– I had been looking to try some and it was fantastic! They served lots of different seafood, mostly fried. I was a little intimidated by some of the dishes, but I tried a few and they were good!
After lunch, we continued on in the direction of Larnaca but made another stop along the way at Hala Sultan Tekke. This is a mosque that is very holy in Islam because it is the burial site of the Prophet Muhammad’s aunt. We got to see the mosque, the tomb, and some ancient ruins. It was very beautiful there! There were also SO many cats!
Finally, we made it to Larnaca. Here, our first stop was to see the Church of St. Lazarus. The sanctuary was incredibly ornate, and underneath the church we saw St. Lazarus’ tomb, which was very cool. We then explored the area, went into some shops, and went to the beach for the first time! I only went in up to my knees, but tomorrow we’re all planning on swimming. We went for a walk in the water and then got ready to go. Once back in Nicosia, we went out for dinner. Today was one of my favorite days!