The Troodos Ophiolite
The Troodos Ophiolite in Cyprus is one of the only places on Earth where ocean crust has been obducted over continental crust and exposed on land for us to observe. We spent 10 days studying and mapping it; here we are on the last day sitting atop an ancient coral knoll and evaporite deposit. The weather was great, the company entertaining, and the rocks as fascinating as ever. It was a good trip and an excellent way to end my degree. Thanks especially to Dr. Lawrence Coogan (lecturing) and Duncan Johannessen (intensely examining a rock) for leading the trip and passing along their knowledge. I am tempted to post a library of rock-porn that I took over the course of the trip, but I’ll spare you.
Ok just a few… From time to time we’d stop at a local historical site. A few of the most interesting were prehistoric, neolithic archeological ruins, and Roman ruins. Interesting fact: apparently the charcoal needed as reducing agent to produce all the roman slag piles found on Cyprus would require the island to have been deforested ~7 times over for it’s production!
We had lunch one day on a church terrace in a small rural village. Cyprus has a very interesting history and culture from the many civilizations that have occupied it over the past 10000yrs, neolithic tribes, Greeks, Ottomans, Romans, Catholics, and now Turks (as most every Greek Cypriot I talked with would bitterly convey).
Here we are on one of the first couple days on top of Mt. Olympus. Once our work was done and the final exam was replaced by a well deserved KEO (Cyprus brew) buzz, 21 of us rented a sail boat and went out to enjoy the sun and the Mediterranean. Laying on deck till you couldn’t stand the heat anymore and bailing into the sea was absolutely amazing. One of the most wonderful feelings I’ve ever had is actually being able to just lay on the surface of the sea and float without swimming because it’s so salty.
A few days later, after recovering from my graduation hangover, I found myself having breakfast (€6.5) in an open, beach-side restaurant enjoying a Cyprus breakfast and coffee (don’t drink that last bit because they brew it in the ground beans). I remember thinking that I must be the luckiest man on earth to be taking in this moment, with not a single deadline or demand on my time and nowhere to be excepting a flight to Egypt the next day.