Day 5: Seafarers and the Sea

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Today we had a later start to our day, beginning at 9:30 instead of 8. We again travelled to Limassol. Here, we met with BSM (Bernhard Shipping Management) and toured their maritime training facility. The facility can train around 60 people at one time, but each training room can typically hold 6 people. At this training facility, there were rooms with simulations for the various controls that would be on the ship. The simulations consist of interactive screens, where the seafarer will press buttons on it and monitor the controls. In one of the rooms, we got to interact with the simulation and steer a virtual ship ourselves; the controls for monitoring the ship are a lot more complicated than I expected them to be. Any seafarer that gets a certificate at this institute can use their certificate anywhere across the world. It is really interesting to learn more about the maritime industry each day; by the end of this trip, I’m sure I’ll be an expert in this subject.

Simulator for controlling the ship

After leaving BSM, we travelled by bus to Zygi where we had a group lunch at the Koumbaris Fish Tavern where we had a seafood mezze. I had a plate filled with squid, octopus, shrimp, and potatoes. There were also other dishes such as crab, fish, salad, and bread with various dips. Some people actually ate the eyes of the fish (I stayed far away from those). The restaurant was also right on the coast, so we were overlooking the shore as we ate our meal; this was an excellent backdrop to a great meal.

After this, we visited a mosque, Hala Sultan Tekke, near Larnaca. The women had to wear long pants and cover their shoulders, and we had to take our shoes off to enter. A bonus of this visit was that there were cats roaming everywhere around the mosque (and less of a bonus, there were birds flying around inside of it). We then travelled to Larnaca (the city that we arrived in by plane), and had free time to explore the city or go in the sea. I opted to go inside the various souvenir shops, and then we walked along the shore and put our feet in the water, which was warmer than I expected it to be. At the end of this exploration, we stopped at a shop and I got a crepe (that may or may not have spilled on my bag). Overall, today may have been my favorite day so far.

Hala Sultan Tekke from the outside

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