CLOSER – Thebes, Greece

At the end of April a group of Journalism and Social Communication students took a trip to Thebes in Greece to participate in the CLOSER project which is a part of ERASMUS+ programme. This project focused on teaching young ones how to be more ecological and to live closer to nature.

The journey began on Wednesday 26 April at 5:00 am. Together with Ola – my friend from the faculty – we got on the train in Lublin to get to Puławy. At the station in Pulawy we met with Dr. Joanna Szegda – the leader of our group, and with Zuza and Alicja – students of the Catholic University of Lublin, who went with us on this beautiful journey. We all got on the bus to Modlin Airport in Warsaw and started. The road to Warsaw itself passed rather quickly, it was worse in Warsaw itself. A lot of cars and road works led to a lot of traffic jams. And not far from the airport we got lost a little, but fortunately we arrived at the airport on time. At the airport we met Tomek who joined us.

We checked in quickly and we were already sitting on the plane to Thessaloniki. I was lucky and sat by the window. The views from above were amazing. We flew over the clouds and I felt like I was in paradise. Flying I could admire the views of mountains, fields, lakes and rivers that break through between the clouds. As we approached the landing in Thessaloniki, the view was breathtaking. The scenery was wonderful, fields, cottages and what impressed me the most was the view from above to the sea. The airport is so located there that when we landed we flew very low above the surface of the water. Luckily we landed and waited at the airport for a flight to Athens. This flight was very short and pleasant. Landing in Athens again we could admire the beautiful views and the panorama of Athens.

Landing in Thessaloniki.

We are already in Athens. We had some time for the meeting with other groups to go to Thebes and we decided to make the best use of it. We got on the bus and went to the city center. What surprised us – the bus was exactly the same as those in Lublin. From the stop we went to the Acropolis. On the way we passed a lot of Greek cats – which I was very happy about because I love cats. In addition to cats, we also admired beautiful panoramas of the whole of Athens, although the best such panorama was visible from the Acropolis itself – the view of the city and architecture, but also the beautiful sea. After visiting this beautiful place, we separated and bought souvenirs. We have already arranged at the meeting place with other groups to get to Thebes by bus. The collection was quite near the Acropolis, although Ola and I lost a little bit. Instead of going to the garden, we went to the castle, which is located opposite the garden. But there is no harm that would not work out for good – we watched the change of guard under the castle and then ran to the right place. There we met with groups from Greece, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria. We got on the bus and went to our main destination – Thebes. After our arrival we stayed in a hotel and went for dinner to one of the pubs. We were all very tired, but despite that we had a great time with delicious dishes and integrating with others.

On the second day we went to the cultural/cinema center in Thebes and there we had various workshops and tasks in groups. First, a leader from each group that came to participate in the CLOSER project presented each group briefly. Working in groups not only brought us closer as colleagues, but also made us aware of how we can live to make us, and the Earth in particular, better. On the same day we went to the Archaeological Museum in Thebes. For lovers of ancient history and ancient culture, it was the perfect place. We could learn from the guide when the object was created, what it was used for, and what was the reason for its appearance in the life of the ancient Greeks. After a whole day of working in groups and visiting the museum, we had some free time, which Ola and I used to rest, due to the fact that the fatigue from the previous day still kept us, and in the evening we went to the second greek pub and ate and talked and ate and talked and so until late in the evening. The atmosphere was such that despite fatigue and overeating, we did not want to go back to bed.

The next day we went to the Waste Treatment Plant. It is a place where mixed waste is segregated into various materials, and then everyday objects are created from them, and from biological waste gas is collected, which is later processed into electricity. It is one of the first such places in Greece and despite the rather unpleasant smell, it was an interesting experience. In this place met with us the mayor of Thebes – Mr. Giorgos Anastasiou. He told us a little about the whole project and thanked us for coming to Thebes. Then we went to an organic farm near Thebes. ECO Ktima promotes not only the non-use of chemicals for growing plants, but also ecological life. Our task on the farm was to divide into groups and plant tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants and zucchini. We all had a great time and at the same time we did something good for the plants. After a light launch on the farm we had various fun to get to know each other better and integrate. After returning to Thebes, we went to an Italian restaurant. Together with Ola we sat at the table with our new friends from Italy – Stefan and Diana. We all ordered pasta, but of course they were not as good as the real Italian pasta.

From the left: Christos, Stefano, Martyna, Ola and Tomek

On our last day we went to Moschopodi Forest. It is a forest planted by man about 50/60 years ago. We were told that the forest is now being monitored all the time to determine if, for example, a fire is coming. Thanks to drones, the behavior of trees and plants is observed. We learned that trees communicate and warn each other if something happens, and that trees are moving, which is very interesting. The gentlemen who currently deal with this forest told us that every year they organize a marathon in it, which is attended by runners from all over the world. After a short walk in the beautiful nature, we returned to the bus and went to the Delphi Museum. We could admire beautiful sculptures, and in the archaeological part of the museum, which is located in the mountains, we could admire the ruins of old buildings, and climbing up, admire more and more beautiful mountain landscapes. It is an amazing experience to walk around the places where such an interesting story was created, about which we can learn now. After a visit to Delphi, we returned to Thebes, and after a short rest we went to the pub where we were the first evening. The food was of course delicious, the atmosphere wonderful and the best fun. It was our last night together, so we spent it having fun. After eating, dancing and singing began. We danced Zorba around the table. Other people were recording us or dancing with us.

It was a magical evening that lasted until dawn. Unfortunately, we finally had to go back to the hotel, pack up and relax, because the next day we had a long trip home. At 7:00 in the morning we left for the airport to Athens, there we said goodbye to other participants of the trip and flew to Katowice. The train journey from Katowice to Lublin took a long time, but in the end we all arrived at our homes and we could rest and sleep with beautiful new memories from Greece…

From the left: Glory, Maria, Tomek, Ola, Martyna, Alexander, Kalim and Elena

Martyna Pakulska-Modrzejewska

Hej! Mam na imię Martyna i jestem studentką kierunku Journalism and Social Communication na KUL-u. Uwielbiam podróżować i fotografować piękne miejsca, ale nie tylko! Zapraszam Was serdecznie do czytania i oglądania moich prac w Coś Nowego :)

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