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Comenius-trip to Aydin, Turkey 21.5. - 25.5.2012
Two years with Comenius-project and it's time for the last visit and project meeting.

The last Comenius- meeting was in Aydin in the end of May. Our coordinating school Aydin Sosyal Bilimler Lisesi had organized us brilliant day with fantastic programme. Teachers Hanna Miettinen and Riitta Muurasniemi and students Ella Pellonperä, Jenna Rantanen, Minka Leppänen, Jose Toivonen and Joona Lintunen made this trip together. It was nice to travel with a big group to the last meeting.

On Monday we hopped on a bus in Huittinen and started our trip to Aydin. We flew from Helsinki via Istanbul to Izmir. We had some difficulties on our journey like delay, hurry and sickness but we managed to get to Izmir because we got help from a nice airport officer. From Aydin we drove with a bus to Aydin with some hosts. The first impression of Aydin was very pleasant.

On Tuesday morning we met all participant of this visit at our partner school. The headmaster of the school was welcoming us to Aydin and then we had a tour around the school and we could also take part in some lessons. The Turkish students were really interested in us, our school system and our homeland and we had to answer many questions concerning the Finnish school system and Finnish way of life. The Turkish students wear a school uniform and they were very polite towards us. We visited also a private elementary school and had lunch there together. Our next stop was Trelleis ruines outside the city and were could really feel the presence of history there. The theme of our Comenius-project is wiping out the prejudices with olive leaves and so we planted an own olive tree for all countries. In the afternoon we visited the city centre and went to a mall to have a concert together. Our students performed two songs in Finnish and they did it very well. All students who performed there made a good impression. It was nice to see local people there listening to our concert. After the concert it was time for a good night sleep!

On Wednesday we made a bus trip to Pamukkale. This place with it's white calk stone is a miracle of nature. It says in history that Cleopatra has bathed here in the healthy water with many minerals. We enjoyed the view and some of us wanted to put their feet into the water. On our way back to Aydin we had lunch in a restaurant of a school of catering. We came back to Aydin we had only little time to prepare us for the dinner at school canteen. In the evening there was a disco for students and teachers had coffee at the university café up on hill with breathtaking view to town of Aydin.

On Thursday we had a whole day trip. First we went to the ancient town of Ephesus. It's unbelievable how already so long ago could build such buildings and palaces! In Ephesus we saw also a little play of the fighting gladiators. From Ephesus we went to a "Model Village”. In this museum we saw models which showed us how the life has been in the countryside.
The band of Pellonpuisto.
We continued to Kusadasi on the coast. This is a tourist town but it was a nice one. We had lunch there and some free time to look around. We hopped on the bus again and drove to a beach on the nature protecting area. Some students and teachers went swimming although the water wasn't warm yet. Then back to Aydin, changing clothes and we had the last dinner together in front of us. It was a nice evening and we talked a lot and had fun together. Then it was time for goodbyes because the Hungarian group started the journey home already in evening.

On Friday morning it was time to go home! We waited in front of the teachers' hotel for our bus which didn't come on time and neither did one of the students! So when the bus finally came we were in a hurry and the driver drove like a maniac and it was frightening. We flew back to Helsinki via Istanbul and in Helsinki we missed the bus and had time to sit and chat about our journey. We can only say: we have seen, experienced and learned a lot.

Two years – new friends – new experiences – less prejudices. Will we meet again?