Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mobility 3, Tripolis, Greece

The Finnish delegation, our music teacher Katja and myself, left Lapua already on Thursday 23.10, by train, in order to catch a morning plane. Finland is far away from Greece! We changed planes in Copenhagen and saw once again that the airport there is a dangerous place: full of lovely shops and restaurants waiting for your money. We would take full advantage of it on our return trip.

We arrived in Athens at 1 and, following Nicky’s good instructions, took the bus to the bus station. When the bus left the airport, it started raining, and it rained, and rained, and rained... the trip to the bus station took 1,5 hours. And we ended up spending the next 5 hours in the next bus, as you all know. Quite an experience! We arrived safely in Tripolis and had time for a short rest at the nice hotel Nicky had found for us. Then, what a nice welcome dinner in a large, cosy room in a tavern, with a fireplace, delicous food and wine, meeting everyone... Thank you, Greek partners!

On Saturday morning we visited the IT Academy Boutsoukli and had a nice and productive meeting, structuring the future project tasks and other activities.  The day continued with a varied selection of Greek culture: interesting visits to a brand new local archeological museum, a very special cave, and a local winery where a student gave us a tour in English. We were also offered lovely snacks and wines to taste, and we bought some to take home as well. We still had time to visit a very pretty mountain village, where the IT Academy also gives lessons.

In the evening, another tasty Greek dinner with everybody, and we even continued with “drinks at the bar” –could not skip that part of the programme! It was fun, and a perfect ending of an eventful day.

Some of us had already visited Athens on Friday, our schedule allowed for this on Sunday. We took the bus in the morning together with Marta, courteously accompanied by Christos who happened to have a meeting in Athens. We visited the National Archeological Museum and, of course, Acropolis. We took more photos than any Japanese tourist ever has, so we cannot make fun of them anymore. What an enchanting place! To end the day, we had dinner on a rooftop in Plaka (this was a bad choice since it was almost freezing), and did some souvenir shopping as well. We are sure this was not our last visit to this lovely country, where we can get in touch with the history and the origins of our Western culture and democracy, and also enjoy the relaxed lifestyle, lovely weather, delicious food and sunny beaches.

On Monday morning we had breakfast and said our goodbyes with Marta, before buying some gifts at a stationery shop near the hotel and then catching a train to the airport. We admired the very clean and modern subways in Athens. On the way back home, as planned, we succumbed to the temptations of the airport of Copenhagen: shopping, sushi and Champagne. One more night at a cheap hotel in the centre of Helsinki, train home on Tuesday morning, and straight to work. Lucky Katja had a day off and went home to have a sauna.

We are looking forward to receiving our partners in Lapua in February!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Back to the origins – Greece, the cradle of Western civilization

Thursday 23 of October finally came. Upon getting off the plane in Athens most of us couldn’t help thinking we were somehow going back to the origins of our culture. The Greek alphabet greeting us on walls and signs everywhere did nothing but contribute to bringing back school day memories of ancient Greece history lessons, with its deities and perfectly proportioned statues of beautiful men and women.

The public announcements at the airport were a bit of a surprise, though. To our ears it was like Catalan or Spanish being spoken, only that in a way totally incomprehensible to us. In fact, we came to find out that Greek has very similar pronunciation to Catalan and Spanish, so the EOI Cornellà visitors were able to replicate quite a few words in Greek with a reasonable degree of accuracy. This made the whole mobility experience even more rewarding! This, and Greek food too, of course! Niki – our hostess for the whole stay in Ellás – already warned us on our first night in Athens: “You might well put on a few pounds during your stay here.” And… some of us did.
So, after a first taste of Greek cooking at a restaurant not far from the hotel we were staying at we put an end to the first day with a longed-for visit to the Acropolis just a few hours ahead of us. How exciting!

Friday 24 came and brought the rain with it – galore. The awe-inspiring walk around the Parthenon ruins had to be shortened because of the heavy rain. But no problem – the visit to the recently-opened Acropolis Museum was equally fascinating and gave us an insight into the wonders of ancient Greece.
A nice meal followed and after that a little bit of an odyssey in its own right started. Because of the heavy rainfall – unseen for the last 20 years, as we found out after returning to Barcelona and being told by friends and family who had seen it on the news – some roads were closed, and the otherwise two-hour trip to Tripoliss became a seven-hour epic journey in a van. Well, we were on Homeric soil after all! Luckily, a homely dinner at a cozy restaurant in Tripolis made everyone laugh about the adventure-filled trip and was the perfect setting for a reunion with all the Grundtvig partners. Day 2 was over now.

Saturday 25 started with the planned meeting at the hosts’ institution. What a lovely school it is! We were shown around the several-floor building and into all the classrooms. Honestly, we didn’t expect the school to be that big, so we were marveled at the good job being done by our hosts to keep it all running so professionally. It looked almost like a full-fledged, state-owned primary school to us!
Well, after discussing the development of the Communitek project so far and deciding on the next steps to be taken and tasks to be carried out for the project, we set off on a day trip around the Peloponnese.

A visit to a cave, a newly-opened museum, the beautiful village of Vytina and a family-run wine cellar – with the corresponding wine tasting tour – were a great way to dive a bit into Greek culture. Pity we didn’t have more days to spend there! We’ll go back to Greece for sure – everyone at EOI Cornellà agreed on that! A farewell dinner in Tripolis and some dancing at a nearby disco bar – well, only for those with still some battery power left! – completed Day 3.
Sunday 26 meant getting up early, driving back to Athens and flying back home with our bags full of little souvenirs, typical Greek candies – and lots of shared experiences and knowledge acquired! Next station: Lapua!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Welcome to Tripoli !!!!!!!! 

Communitek truly melts distances! We defy kilometres,obligations and daily routines and in each mobility 5 countries ( Spain,Uk,Finland,Belgium,Greece) become one.We get the opportunity to share precious moments with lovely people and get a glimpse of their city and lifestyle.

We truly enjoyed hosting this mobility.We tried to combine work and pleasure when planning the program and we believe we succeeded.Our meeting was very effective,since we brainstormed,exchanged ideas and decided everything concerning the tasks and the mobilities.After that we had arranged a range of activities so as to present to all of you, the best way possible Greek history,culture and food.

During your stay, we felt that we bonded with each and everyone of you and we thank you deeply for visitng our school and city.Looking forward to seeing you all in Finland!