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Comenius Project Culture guide

Intercultural dialogue

through music Meeting in Larnaca, Cyprus May 26th – 30th 2009


Larnaca Larnaca is the international gateway to Cyprus, being its second port and having an international airport. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and has plenty of historical sightseeing on offer to complement its deep-blue sea, bright sandy beaches and reliably sunny skies. With its 400-berth marina, Larnaca is also a favoured destination for visitors with yachts. Land-based tourists enjoy the palm-lined harbour promenade and the city's international calibre shops, inviting cafes and panoramic ocean views. The city was called Kition in the days of the Old Testament and the ruins of the ancient city can still be seen. Much of its rich archaeological heritage has been preserved and is showcased in two of its main museums. The surrounding area beyond the city is also a treasure-trove of historic ruins from the Neolithic period onwards. Markéta Dolská’s impressions (CZ) On 25th May, Míša, Romča, Lenka, me and our teachers Dagmar Milotová and Vojtěch Dlask left Brno for Vienna. We had a long night waiting for the plane to Larnaca which was supposed to leave before midnight. Though it was delayed, my first flight was really gorgeous.  When we arrived to the Sun Hall Hotel in Larnaca, we looked forward to one simple thing: bed… The next day was a free day. After delicious breakfast, we went to Ayia Napa beach for the afternoon. It was the first time I saw the sea and could swim in it. A great experience! However, some people got sunburn as it was really very hot. In the evening, we had our dinner in the hotel along with students and teachers from other countries. The very next morning we all went to the school to work on dictionaries. We translated sentences that we needed to be ready for the concert. Then there was a presentation by local students from the American Academy in Larnaca. In the afternoon, we went to Ayia Napa beach again. The dinner was provided in the school. The next day there was a lesson on traditional Cypriot dances in the


morning which was very funny. Later on, we went sightseeing by bus to see the ruins of the antique city of Kourion, Aphrodite’s beach and the city of Paphos where we swam again. Everybody went to see a mosque near Larnaca the next morning after a lesson on singing and painting Cypriot gourds. It was a great fun! At five o’clock, a rehearsal for the concert started. And at eight, the concert began. We sang a couple of traditional Czech songs. Our Cypriot friends had a traditional dinner with us in the late evening. They served kebab with sheep milk cheese called féta. It was excellent.

The very last day, as we were going to a beach (surprisingly Ayia Napa again :) our bus had an accident. A car crashed into it so we had to wait for another bus. Luckily, no one was hurt. In the end, we got to Nisi beach. A lovely place! We borrowed a treadle and we also jumped from a cliff. It was super! The sun was shining, the sea was clean, blue and hot… it was beautiful!!! And again, we had to wait a long time for the flight back home. We flew to Vienna at 5.00 am. Huh! Cyprus is beautiful. It is full of history, beautiful nature and beaches. And tourists.  The project gave me a lot. It helped me improve my English as well as fight against the stage fright. I saw new culture, habits, and dances and last but not least I got to know new people. I liked our stay in Cyprus very much. I love Cyprus. A Few Perfect Days By Romana Švachová (CZ)

First of all, I must admit the return from Cyprus to our country was terrible. The Czech Republic is (especially now) a quite cold and rainy land and so while in Cyprus the temperature is still around 30 degrees in May and June, here we're trembling under our umbrellas. I still remember the warm fresh sea breeze on my face...


Anyway, my speech about the weather is just the beginning. As for the Cypriot people, I was pleasantly surprised by their nature. I think many southern nations have a little bit affected nature and they often exaggerate their national pride. In Cyprus, everyone was friendly, but not smarmy; nice, talkative and casual. I was feeling very good there.

What surprised me personally a lot, was visiting a local mosque with the American Academy. I had believed that non-believers cannot enter a mosque and also that women have a separate room there. Personally, I was feeling so inappropriate there that it spoilt the rest of sightseeing. It was here that I could feel the division between Turkey and the European part of Cyprus more then elsewhere. Overall, I can say I really liked our stay in Cyprus and the way the American Academy treated us including the final concert performance. At home, on my table there is a painted gourd which reminds me of those perfect days...

Lenka Kovačová’s impressions (CZ) It was the 25th May when our group (Markéta, Romča, Míša and me as well as Dagmar Milotová and Vojtěch Dlask, the teachers) left cold Brno heading for the island of sun, warm sea and the beach of Aphrodite. Sunbathing, palm trees, bathing, cocktails and of course singing.  I am looking forward to Cyprus so much! The journey takes 12 hours. On the plane, we are trying to sleep but those of us who are flying for the first time, look as if they were willing to lean out of the windows so that they could see more, watching all the lights and shadows. Someone even shouted: “I am flying!” However, on our arrival to the Sun Hall Hotel in Larnaca, everybody slept like a log.

The next day we made the best of our free time which means that after the delicious breakfast we went to Ayia Napa beach.


I was looking forward to the next day a lot! We went to school to learn traditional Cypriot dances. I enjoyed it very. In the afternoon, we travelled from place to place by bus sightseeing. We saw the ruins of the antique city of Kourion, tested the acoustic of an amphitheatre and looked for Aphrodite on the “her” beach. The day ended in the city of Paphos where we had a swim. What would a day in Cyprus look like without swimming in the sea!  The next day we were at school again singing and painting on Cypriot gourds which we could take home with us later on. My gourd got a special place in my room.  After this we went to see a mosque near Larnaca and at five o’clock a rehearsal for the concert started. We were the last group to get ready before the concert which made me nervous. There were some minor complications which made me feel even more nervous as the rehearsal did not proceed well. At eight o’clock, the concert began. My nervousness was one of the biggest ever. While standing in front of the public, I forgot it all and just did my best. All’s well that ends well. Later we enjoyed a traditional Cypriot dinner. The last day we decided to go to Nisi beach again. While ridding on the bus, a car hit it. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Later on another bus came for us. Nisi beach is so wonderful place! There are various attractions and a high cliff from which we jumped and enjoyed a few second flight. This time it was me who shouted: “I am flying!” I was my first time in Cyprus. The nature and (of course) the sea was the most beautiful thing. I think that I will get back to Cyprus one day. And last but not least, the project taught me that I shouldn’t fear to speak. Cyprus By Michaela Osičková (CZ) Cyprus was a salt, hot, super island. One day, I would definitely like to come back. Perhaps when I am rich. Before we flew there, I had been worried as for the weather (I don't like high temperatures) and the local people (I hate people and crowded places). But it was OK. It was hot but the wind was blowing and people were friendly and kind.


However, the superstition about people from southern countries and blond hair is really true: they were crazy because of Markéta who was very attractive for everyone – they kept inviting her for lunch or just a drink and so on. Anyway, I love the Cypriot sea. It's so clear, like a sky of blue. I saw little fish, urchins and crabs too, although I did not have diving equipment with me. It

was

amazing.

Luckily,

the

program

wasn't

exhausting, we had good food (just one day we went to MacDonald for dinner, I mean other students went as we did not). It was a beautiful time and I'm really very happy I was there. Just the return to school reality is a little bit harder than I had expected.

Gdynia students’ impressions I was delighted with Cypriot people, they were very nice and kind toward all the students and their teachers. I very much enjoyed the art workshop and learning the Cypriot dance. The concert had been really well planned and it was nice that all the students were involved in running the program. Cyprus enchanted me with its beautiful weather, clear sea and all the beautiful places.' Dominika H. 'Cyprus is a very beautiful place but its sea arrested my attention most as I found the legend about Aphrodite and the sea foam really interesting. Everything had been planned in an interesting way. We decorated unusual fruits - the gourds - and it was really nice we were handed them in after the concert.' Magda M.


'All the stay in Cyprus had been really well organized. I liked the art workshop (run by a nice teacher) most. Of course the beach, the sea were lovely too. Teachers and students were nice and everybody helped each other.' Paula L. I very much enjoyed the art class and the Cypriot dance lesson. Students of American Academy Larnaca were very nice and kind. Monuments of Cyprus are very pretty but sightseeing would have been more pleasant if the temperature outside had been lower. All in all, I enjoyed everything in Cyprus though in my opinion it/everything would have been even better if the air temperature had been a bit lower. Aleksandra S.

Bulgarian group Impressions

Cyprus is a lucky country despite the unfavorable climate conditions and geographical position. Thanks to the influence of the European civilization Cyprus everything else but not a desert. It looks like a paradise.

I have never imagined that I would see beautiful flowers just in the middle of the desert. They were everywhere. When you travel toward the Rock of Aphrodita,


one of your side you see all those beautiful flowers and on the other the Mediterranean sea you could only imagine the astonishing atmosphere.

You can feel the calmness everywhere in Cyprus.

There you can taste the most amazing orange juice.


Kamil Szydłowski ‘s impressions Poniatowa

At this work I would like to describe my impressions concerning the stay on Cyprus. It was really a great adventure for me and all my friends from Poniatowa. To be honest, Cyprus had been unknown for me before I went there. I imagined Cyprus as country overfilled with the tourists craving for the sun. In a way it worked, but I didn't think that there people so wonderful and opened to world lived. I got to know a lot of countries worldwide and it is hard for me to remember the place, where local people are so friendly and cheerful. You can believe or not but I fell in love at first sight with this country. At least beginnings weren't simple. We arrived at 4:00 and spent 3 first hours waiting for the taxi on the airport. Then it was only better. The visit in Kourion and sightseeing of the amphitheatre was the biggest event for me. The crystal-clear water and sandy beaches did the huge impression on me. However not that was most important. I will never forget Elena singing “Ave Maria” there

  I am very happy that I had an opportunity to participate in this project. It was one of the biggest, if not the biggest adventure in my life. I got to know many interesting and fascinating people. What’s more, it was a great chance to improve my language skills and just to have some fun during the school year. I’m lookin at my “masterpiece” made of gourd and think that the time spent in Cyprus was just unique. If somebody asked me whether it was worthwhile being a part of the project, without the thought I would answer “YES”. Kamil


Meeting in Cyprus : Italian group impressions Since the very beginning of our journey while we were still on the plane we could appreciate a wonderful sunset which made us feel very happy. This was just a prelude to what was as to come. We arrived at Cyprus in the late afternoon, we met Elena at the airport kind and smiling as usual. She took us at the hotel ,which was just opposite the sea, with a view on the beach.

the other partners were already there, waiting for us to have dinner together. The following day we met at school very early in the morning...! There we worked on the friendship dictionary, listened to the suggested anthems and met the school headmaster. After that we met the mayor who welcomed us in a very friendly way and gave us some interesting information about Larnaca.


The tour around the town allowed us to discover the wonderful church of Saint Lazarus one of the most significant and oldest churches built over the saint’s tomb in Byzantine style. And the medieval castle from where we could admire amazing landscapes of the town. In the afternoon we could relax, swim and sunbathe in the clear waters of Ayia Napa

The following day was a special one! It started in a peculiar way : dancing. Everybody enjoyed a lot trying to imitate Cypriot students who with great patience taught us traditional Cypriot dances. We had a lot of fun and it helped us to socialize with the others.


It’s very difficult to describe the magical and almost unreal atmosphere we breathed when Elena sang Schubert Ave Maria in an enchanting place in a hot afternoon of May in kourion in Cyprus. everybody seemed bewitched listening to and looking at Elena who was standing in the middle of the amphitheatre. it was really a very moving and unrepeatable moment which will last forever in our memories.

Not far from there was Aphrodite’s birthplace. the Greek Goddess of Love came exactly from these waters, near rock of Petra tou Romion. this part of the island is very beautiful, beaches are splendid, remote and here you can feel an unexplainable tranquility and calmness.

The next day the activities began with music and art lessons, we found particularly astonishing the art labs which consisted in painting gourds which was very surprising and amazing. And the surprise was even greater when our Cypriot friends gave us the gourds as a present the last day in a typical Cypriot restaurant.


The day continued with the visit of the mosque of Hala sultan tekke,

the salt lake ,


Angeloktisti church in the village of kiti with rare 6th century byzantine mosaics

And the pictouresque village of Lefkara famous for its local laces and filigree silver- ware

We succefully concluded our day with the concert which was held on the school grounds. It was a great success as ever!!

Cyprus  

Culture guide Comenius P roject Meeting in Larnaca, Cyprus May 26 th – 30th 2009

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