Friday, February 23, 2018
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Merhaba Turkiye

Teachers and students of ZSZ and PCKU participated in the visit organized under the Leonardo da Vinci project "Building the common future". Project's coordinator - Miroslaw Michalewski, Wiesław Pawlica, Przemysław Hajski, Marek Czyż and also Piotr Kauch, Michał Weczerek and Łukasz Pietrzyk (a graduate of ZSZ, at present PCKU's student) spent a week in the Turkish Kayseri.

The trip participants will remember their journey to Turkey for a long time. First, a slight delay of an airplane from Warsaw due to runway icing in Munich and 7-hour wait for another flight to Ankara in the Bavarian airport. The worst was yet to come. Heavy snowfalls caused the plane to Ankara to be late for another 4 hours which we spent on its board. In Ankara the next hours of waiting for the bus to Kayseri were spent on the huge AŞTİ bus station. Fortunately, the atmosphere was great and good mood never left us. 38 hours after the departure from Wodzisław and nearly 6 hours on the bus (where we were served with coffee, tea, cookies oand other beverages - something unthinkable in the Polish transport companies) we arrived on the spot - in the hotel Almer. Students, with their Turkish hosts, went to their homes and the teachers met with the project coordinator Yakup Yuksel at the Turkish school to review the details of the visit program.

According to it the next day started with a visit at the school. After official meetings the students began assembling the final product designed by our school. We also had  time to see the school, in particular, the new part built in recent times - largely thanks to grants from the European Union. In the afternoon we went to the Erciyes University Faculty of Technology. In the university campus there is also located the technical vocational college with the automation and mechatronics faculties. Students of this school have their student radio, which we could see "from the inside". After that we had a very interesting visit in a training school for future employees of the textile industry. It was one of 3 schools in Turkey which were entirely built and financed by the union of textile industry companies. Modern school, well-equipped mechatronic workshops and studios aroused great admiration.

We spent the next day outdoors. The weather (around 18°C) allowed us to admire the magnificent views of amazing Cappadocia. Impressions are impossible to describe and the pictures reflect only a part of what we saw. We started from the village of Avanos – the center of handmade clay products. Then - around Göreme and beautiful tufa forms and rock city of Üçhisar. After a moment spent in Ürgüp we came back to Avanos. In the local restaurant, to "get" to the meal, we had to break a clay pot clogged up with baked bread.

Sunday we spent on... the ski slope. About 25 km from Kayseri there is the Erciyes Dağı - an extinct volcano 3916 meters high above the sea level. On its slope there is a beautiful ski resort. After several hours spent on the slopes we inaugurated ... a barbecue season. Yes, yes. Having a  barbecue near the hill is nothing unusual on Mount Erciyes. Sucuk (spicy beef sausage) with a very tasty bread and roasted chestnuts were a great attraction for us, prepared by the hosts of the visit.

Last day in Kayseri we spent in the school again. Our students had the opportunity to meet their peers from Turkey, because Friday was a day off from classes due to exams. In the afternoon there was time for sightseeing. Huge (3rd largest in Turkey) roofed bazaar and monuments connected with the Islamic culture (the great mosque Ulu Cami), Byzantine Empire (The Citadel) and the Ottoman Empire (Hunat Hatun Mosque) were the main points of the trip. In the industrial city of Kayseri there are a lot of interesting historical places. Kayseri is proud to be the home city of the current president of Turkey. It is also an economical model for other cities. Governing for 15 years the current president  built "for free" the modern stadium, tram line and a sports hall. He encouraged about 4 thousands  companies to invest in the 4 industrial zones. Unfortunately, due to transportation problems, we could not see a very interesting multimedia museum of the city nor the new football stadium.

Our visit in Kayseri was finished with a formal dinner with representatives of the Education Department of Kayseri and Kocasinan. During the dinner all participants received certificates and commemorative plates made by Arif Molu – a phisics teacher - the artist famous throughout Turkey. Delicious food, a local delicacy - pastirma (beef sirloin dried for 40 days in the sun in a special blend of spices) and a very sweet desserts - Baklava and kadayif will be in our memory for a  long time.

On Tuesday morning we went on the return trip. A journey to Ankara on a comfortable coach passed quickly. In the capital we went straight to Anitkabir - mausoleum and museum of the  founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (father of Turks).

We also visited the commercial district of Kızılay.

We had hoped that the return trip would be deprived of nature attractions we encountered on the way to Turkey. Unfortunately, when we were over Warsaw, a power failure and lack of communication forced the pilot to a 30-minute flight over our capital and then to return to Munich. After changing the plane we landed safely at Okęcie airport. And there was another surprise waiting for us - 2 suitcases were missing.

Despite all these inconveniences all participants of the trip to Kayseri found it very successfull. Goals of the visit were achieved and the details rich program offered us an indescribable experience. Yakup, Eroll and Serkan - thank you!

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.