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Inese Barkovska: "Our stay in Greece lasted from 7th to 14th of October. As it was my first visit to Greece, I found all possible information about Crete and Heraklion. I found out that Heraklion is the 4th largest city in Greece, it is a very old place. Nowadays it has around 140 thousand inhabitants. And we were witnesses that every 7-8 minutes some plane landed in its airport, while we were on the Egean sea beach. Where all these people find place?
In fact, Crete seemed to us as a great place where people can find where to live and have meals. As for us, we lived in a very good hotel in the center. If to talk about food... Let’s discuss it later! First about our programe.
Our host school had prepared a very rich programe for our stay on Crete island.
Every day there were planned activities which took all day. We had meetings in our hotel as the school is under repairs just now, and we even did not see the interiors of it. Students presented their information about labour market in their countries, unemployment rate, proportion of immigrants, etc.
We had a possibility to visit different places related to careers, starting with a small family enterprise, where baklavas were made, to a huge enterprise where plastics were made. Coloured and white granulas are exported to make plastic things to other countries, and also used for local production of plastics for hothouses and other purposes. It was very interesting to see how a big “balloon” was created and then folded and rolled to be ready to be transported. Besides, studens visited a site where local pottery was made. They had possibility to make a small pot or vase or anything else. Teachers were shown how local strong alcoholic drink rakia is being processed.( Especially interesting for my collegue, who teaches chemistry!) While visiting these places we enjoyed the magnificent scenery of mountains. We must admit that vegetation on Crete is completely different from ours. Every patch of arable land is occupied by olive trees. They were everywhere! The island needed rain badly, all was dry. It was interesting for us to see that water is delivered just to the roots in parks and other greenery. We visited the botanical garden, where we saw really nice flowering bushes and trees. And it is also profession! Everywhere we went we could see different people doing their jobs. For example, I quite forgot one more rare profession we saw at the university- it was an old book “doctor”.
In technological institute we met a very interesting and nice man who was our guide to Knossos later. We must admit that he was fantastic!
All places and events have mixed up in our memory, - there were so many! One of the most impressive ones - a visit to Meldoni cave. The tragic fate of people who persihed there and stone stalactites and stalagmites will stay in our memory. As well as the evening in Cretan village with national food and dances.
We admired both Greek teachers and students who were very active at folk dancing. How couldn’t we join?! And now about food: it was tasty and rich. We never thought there is so much meat eaten in Greece! And zuccini flower stuffed with rice and baked in flour! We can continue and continue...
And all these things were planned and prepared for us by our hosts. Thank them from all of us! Latvian team is really worried how to catch up with high standards set by the Greek team!"
"Taking part in Erasmus exchange program was a great experience . We had a chance to visit Heraklion, Greece. We lived in host families . That means that we had an opportunity to see how greeks life in their everyday life. My host family was very friendly and as we talked a lot, I got to know more about their everyday life, their culture and their traditions We had workshops about mobility in Europe, about studying and working in European Union. As well as we visited Greek school and Greek Universities. Moreover we were taking part in different excursions for example to the Knossos and Rethymno, and all of the excursion were really interesting . It was unforgettable experience and a wonderful way to learn about mobility in Europe and get to know new people from different countries."
Egita Vanaga: "I am pretty sure that I am really lucky that I had an opportunity to participate in Erasmus+ Project. I have spent an amazing week in Greece with great people from 7 countries. Crete is a perfect place that can easily unite 7 cultures. The best impressions I’ve got in a small place (Rhetymno), where we went through beautiful small streets, ate tasty Greek food and where we had an amazing opportunity to listen to live music, beautiful traditional Greek music.
In a small village we and also saw traditional Greek dances performed by professional dancers and after this performance we could also dance! That was wonderful- all together, students, teachers, dancers, waiters- we learned the steps and danced, just danced! I will never forget this unity feeling! That’s what Greek culture is about for me! I fell in love with this island, fell in love with this people and this culture!"