Today started with our last company visit before the weekend: the BSM Maritime Training Centre. The facility acts as a main hub for Cypriot ship management training. The training center is located within one of the Old Port’s original warehouse buildings, preserving Limassol’s architectural history. BSM provides incoming ship managers with dorms, classrooms, and most importantly complex simulators. The two main simulators represent the engine room, which is a big focus on problem solving and engineering, and the bridge, which focuses on the piloting of the ship. Next, we headed to lunch at a fish tavern in Zygi, which was a lot of fun. It was great authentic seafood despite it looking a little bit scary. It was a great way to get out of my comfort zone in terms of food. After lunch we went to Larnaca. Upon arriving in the city, we went to the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque which was mildly underwhelming. The exterior of the ancient structure was really beautiful but the interior just felt generic and left something to be desired. Next, we visited the Church of St. Lazarus (Pictured). The interior of the this church was incredibly ornate and stunning. It was a stark contrast to the humble monastery and mosque we had visited earlier. The coolest part of this church, though, was the underground tomb where St. Lazarus had been buried before his remains were removed. For anyone who doesn’t know, St. Lazarus is from the bible. Jesus supposedly brought Lazarus back from the dead. It was cool to see such a unique place and connect it to religious history. Finally, we went to Finikoudes beach to finish off the day. This was really fun, as we swam out to the buoy and back which was surprisingly far away. When we returned to Nicosia from Larnaca, we grabbed dinner at Il Forno Restaurant, a quality Italian restaurant within a few minutes of the hotel.
Reflections for BSM: The ship training facility was really quite impressive. The electronic interface of the simulators is certainly more cost efficient than regular physical training, plus it allows trainees to experience more variable and complex challenged. Visiting both of these simulators, however, did give me a greater appreciation form how complex a ship’s internal systems are. There are some many elements to the system, that I’m sure it would take a lot of precision to gain the necessary understanding of engine engineering. Also, this is separate, but hearing from the Captain who was showing us around talk about piracy was really intriguing. Some countries provide their own military protection. Some rely on others. Some sail unprotected. Also, I heard about how the U.S. has a very specific but sneaky little rule that helps our shipping. The rule is that if good need to shipped from one U.S. port to another, a domestic ship must take it. International ships can only take items to and from U.S. ports and international ports. As far as I am aware, the United States is the only country to do this.
Much like in the miracle of Lazarus, today was a reawakening for me. I had been very tired over the past few days due to the nonstop action and I was able to take today as a little break. This break will continue into the weekend where we will do cultural visits. I’m very excited to see the ancient areas in Paphos and hopefully, catch up on some rest, as well!