After sleeping in an extra hour today, we had the chance to have a two-in-one company visit with VTT Vassiliko (VTTV), which handles the storage of oil products for its customers, and Vassiliko Cement Works, which produces cement from limestone and other raw materials. VTTV discussed their specific role in the supply chain, as a midstream or downstream constituent depending on if the oil being stored is crude or part of a final product, respectively, as well as why they are necessary and how they set themselves apart. Vassiliko Cement Works focused more on the steps and engineering that goes into their process, from the harvesting of raw materials to the final product. We were also able to visit both facilities’ functional sites and I found them to be impressive in scale.
VTTV, with all its massive infrastructure, employs around 50 people total, between logistics, maintenance, operators etc. Vassiliko Cement employs just over 230 while being one of the largest exporters in the whole country of Cyprus. I have found that it is common here for “larger” businesses here to have a lean staff compared to companies in the United States, which is certainly due to the difference in size, resources, and economic status. Also, both companies mentioned their goals for sustainability within their presentations, such as using alternative fuels and ways they are trying to reduce energy consumption. I found it interesting that both companies, as well as most of the others we have talked to, have brought up their sustainability plans for the future without prompting, which is something I am not sure we would think of as a priority in the US.
We were lucky enough to have a seafood style mezze for lunch with a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea. I enjoy the mezze style for the fact I do not have to decide on one dish, however, I feel that it wastes a lot more food than we do at traditional sit-down meals in the United States. Afterward, we visited Hala Sultan Tekke, and learned that it is the 3rd most important mosque for the Islamic faith behind Mecca and Medina. I found the area the mosque occupied to be very peaceful, likely intentionally so, as it was built where it is nearly surrounded by water on three sides. We finished our day at Miami Beach in Larnaca. This was the first place I found to look the most similar to the United States so far, as the town included boardwalk-similar food and promenade right off the beach and there were many of almost-the-same souvenir shop at every turn. While this was reminiscent of my home beaches, the upkeep of the promenade and the quality of the restaurants was much nicer than any boardwalk I have ever been to in the United States. I am now more excited than ever to start our weekend on the beach in Paphos!