Cementing My Knowledge of Cyprus: VTTV, Vassiliko, and Larnaca

We began our day by meeting with VTTV and Vassiliko. VTTV provides oil storage for its customers. VTTV operates as a subsidiary of VTTI, an independent provider of energy storage worldwide. VTTV also adjusts the oil to meet specifications for the EU. The oil product specifications are different in the US than in the EU. VTTV explained that the supply chain has the following steps: crude oil which goes to the refinery to produce a product through a transportation and storage system, eventually reaching the end-user. Vassiliko produces cement. Limestone is its primary material and is abundantly found in the Mediterranean. Cement is energy-intensive and primarily relies on coal and oil as sources of its energy. However, Vassiliko has integrated alternative fuel sources such as chopped tires, dry sewage sludge, and meat bone meal. It is important to note that the current infrastructure cannot support more than 70-75% of alternative fuels, which is why they still rely on fossil fuels.

We then had lunch at the Koumbaris Fish Tavern. There, we ate the most seafood out of any day that we have been in Cyrpus. I tried shrimp, muscles, crab, and various fried fish (sardines, red snapper, and cod). This meal reminded me of the fried fish my grandmother would make when my family visited her in Nice, France. I have enjoyed observing the similarities and differences of Mediterranean culture among the different Mediterranean nations.

After lunch, we visited the third holiest place (after Mecca and Medina) in Islam: Hala Sultan Tekke. Unlike the monastery we visited yesterday, there were no visual depictions of religious figures inside the mosque. Instead, Arabic scripture filled the walls. The mosque was also separated between men and women and had no seats (in Islam, rugs are used for prayer). We also saw flamingoes outside on the salt lake, which I would never have expected to see in the Mediterranean.

We ended our day by the sea in Larnaca. I walked along the coast and observed the small waves that would roll over my feet. The water was fresh; it was warmer than the water in the Pacific but colder than the water in the Gulf of Mexico. I enjoyed sitting with my friends and playing cards to relax after today’s activities.

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