Search This Blog


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Marten's travel review

We took a trip to our Comenius  partner school in Sicily. Our trip started on Tuesday morning in front of the school-house. Everybody was excited and looking forward to this trip. As I was about to travel first time by plane, I was a bit nervous, but when we had reached Milan, everything seemed less scary. The second flight was by WindJet airlines and it turned out not as pleasant because the plane was making   an annoying  twanging sound. At one point also a smoky smell came into the cabin, but luckily we didn't crash. 
When we were at Catania airport, we immediately noticed Etna. It looked so enormous. From the airport we took a bus to the railway station and from there we went on foot to the hostel. On the way we bought strawberries which we ate later in the hostel. They were good. We spent some time in the hostel and then went to explore Catania towncentre a bit. Its culture is very old, but the streets were a bit dirty. We also went to a cafe where Hans and I had an Italian ice cream, the others ordered  a pannini. The ice cream tasted differently, I had not had such ice cream before.
On Wednesday we went to explore Etna. When the bus stopped for 10 minutes in Nicolosi, Kelly threw up. First we took a cable car to get a half way up to the mountain. From there we continued on foot. Walking wasn't as difficult as I had thought. The views were stunning and there was a lot of snow. At one crater we stopped and decided to walk all the way up. Teachers Evelyn and Edda decided to stay at the bottom. Warm smoke was diffusing from that crater. I had a feeling that any moment the crater could start erupting. It was the highest point we walked to. In the meantime we had a rest and some snacks. When we started to descend we discovered it was possible to make  short cuts by sliding down the snowy patches. So were sliding and also fell once. I liked it very much. In the evening we went back to the airport  and waited for the arrival of the Turkish and Spanish group. We rehearsed our presentation and chatted with each other. When we got on the transfer bus, we were all nervous because we had to meet our host families soon. When I saw my host family, then Claudio's father came to hug me. It was a bit strange, different from what Estonians would do at a first meeting. So I went to their home. I didn't want to eat anything, but went to sleep straight away because the day had been quite exhausting. 
On Thursday morning we attended some lessons. We introduced ourselves and our country. After that we gathered in the classroom to make a presentation. I think we did quite well, though I was very nervous. Then we had Sicilian breakfast which was prepared by the families. It consisted of a bun and a sort of a cold stuff in a cup which name was graniti. The bun was good, but I didn't like graniti. Our day continued by birdwatching tour although we didn't manage to see many birds. We were walking until we reached caves with catacombs. There was also an orange tree plantation on our way. Everybody wanted to taste them and rushed to shake the trees. Some students found a ladder and started to climb on it. I found two oranges, but then we were warned that when a farmer saw us, he could have used a weapon, and we left immediately. While walking on I ate both oranges. They tasted the best I have ever had. It was dark in the catacombs, but we took photos with flash and then we could see it was an interesting place. On our way back I wanted to find more oranges and managed to find two. In the evening we had dinner. The food was tasty. At home I got washed and went straight to bed.
 The next morning Italian students showed us some films and videos. It was a bit boring. Then at lunchtime we went to a restaurant. First we had pasta, then potatoes and nicely done meat dish. For a dessert we had a piece of Comenius cake. After that we drove to an old fishing village Brucoli. There we could also have a swim in the Mediterranean Sea. Its water was warm and salty. I liked it there. Then  we went to a pizzeria where we were offered four different pizzas. I ate two of them.
On Saturday morning I had breakfast with my host family and then went to school. A bus was there to take us to an ancient town Syracusa. The weather had been warm all the time, but Saturday was the hottest. We had to be outdoors most of the time. First we had a tour in an ancient Greek theatre. I liked it very much. Very close to it was a big cave which was very high and we could escape from the heat there. Afterwards the bus took us farther to a nature reserve. We had a boat trip on the River Caine to a place where guides spoke about the river and the papyrus plant. After that trip we had lunch in a restaurant where we ate pasta first, then meat and fries and a waffel  roll for dessert. After lunch we got some free time to look around Syracusa and to buy some souvenirs. In Augusta we went to host families right away. My family gave me a popular Sicilian dish with cous-cous which contained seafood and fish.  When I asked about the dish I got an answer that it had also snails in it. I was a bit amazed about it, but it didn't matter because it tasted good.
On Sunday morning my family gave me 3 lemons from their own garden. We all got together in Augusta in the main park. When I got there everybody was already crying and hugging. It was sad to leave because I had made several new friends, but we'll keep in touch via Facebook and letters. From Catania we flew to Milan again by WindJet airlines which didn't make a twanging sound this time, but rattled instead. At Bergamo Airport  we had a chance to do some shopping. When we came out of Tallinn Airport, I had goose bumps because the air was so chilly. I was still sad because I wished to spend another week in Sicily, but also happy to see my own family again. The trip had been awesome. The local people were different from Estonians. They were more energetic and cheerful. They have naturally growing palm trees and cactuses which was quite surprising.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Partner schools

ESTONIA: Kehtna Primary School is situated in the village of 1,200. There are no big towns nearby, although the capital Tallinn is just 60km to the north. We are surrounded by forests, bogs, farmland and therefore paying extra attention to nature studies and the environment is important to us. We are a school of the Green Flag and a Health-Concious school. There are 155 students and 20 teachers in our school. Students are aged 7-17.

ITALY: Liceo Classico "Megara" con sezione scientifica annessa is a secondary school for students aged 14-19. It mainly offers three different courses for classical, scientific and social science studies. The school mainly serves students from Augusta. Our school is located in a very important area for its nature, history, archaeology and tourism. Our suburban town of Augusta is very near to Siracusa, one of the oldest and most important Greek colonies in Sicily. Our students are all members of "Legambiente" which is a national leading environmental organization which offers educational programs in schools. We live by the sea and our area is very rich in waterways, rivers and ponds.

FRANCE: College Claude Bernard is in a suburban city (Grand-Quevilly) with about 30,000 inhabitants. A town with 400,000 people called Rouen is near to us. The area has little industry nowadays following the closure of the chemical factories and the Renault car plant.

TURKEY: Tepeköy Ilkögretim Okulu is a public school serving children aged 7-15, starting from pre-school till the 8th grade. It is a rural school and caters for 226 students and 18 teachers. Our school is in Nevsehir (Cappadocia Region), being situated in agricultural region. Our region does not have sufficient water resources and we need to focus on environmentally-friendly options.

SPAIN: IES Concepcion Arenal is a secondary education centre located in Ferrol, a town with 70,000 inhabitants in the region of Galicia (north-west of Spain). There are 85 teachers and 700 students in compulsory (12-16 years old), post-compulsory (16-18 years) part and in vocational training.