Our first project meeting took place on the island of Samos at the 2nd Gymnasium of Samos. The purpose was to built new networks, get to know our project partners and learn a lot about Greek culture and robotics. This is our trip diary.
On Sunday, I had to wake up at 5:30 am. After a quick breakfast, we went to the airport. Our little travel group met at 6.45h and we went straight to the security-check. Our first flight was to Athens where we met the Italian students. Then we had to wait about 3h for our next flight to Samos which lasted 45 minutes. After we arrived in Samos, we collected our luggage and drove about 35 minutes with a bus to Samos City, the biggest city on the island of Samos. After checking in the hotel and having a look at the surroundings, we had a joint dinner at about 8 pm, where we met the Portugese students. (Hendrik)
On Monday, after we all had breakfast, we met in front of the hotel and went with the others to the city centre of Samos, where we had a look on the old town library.
Onwards we went to the Greek orthodox church and then our tour went on to the archeological museum. In the museum we could see the old Greek statues which were found on Samos.
The biggest statue in the museum was the gigantic statue of Kouros, which is 5 meters tall. Samos was an international trading post back in ancient Greece and thousands of votive offerings (even made of ivory from Egyptian merchants) could be found at the temple of Hera, the biggest construction in its time, also located on the island of Samos.
After the museum, Mr. Barekos, the Greek teacher, showed us the best coffee bar in Samos, because we were all tired from walking around.
Afterwards, we went to the 2nd gymnasium of Samos, where the Greek pupils were waiting for us. There, we had a presentation about the school and a demonstration of the IT projects and their robots.
In the afternoon, we walked to the traditional old town Ano Vathy and on the way we visited the Ai Giannaki theatre and the small cultural centre, where we got to know the traditional greek dance costumes.
The last point on the agenda for this day was the cultural workshop of traditional Greek dances in the Pythagorean school. There, Mr. Makis showed us some simple traditional dances and taught us the choreography: we all had to stand in a circle and were moving along as the music went. At the beginning, it was quite difficult to understand the order of the steps, but after a short time, it was quite entertaining and a lot of fun. (Svenja)
On Tuesday weh ad breakfast at seven as ususal. Afterwards, we went to Karlovasi, it is a town in the other part of the island, and visited the Folklore Museum. Then we went to the Aegean University where we got shown many cool robotic projects like humanoid robots (and who were able to perform the Macarena dance). At lunch time we had free time to walk around Karlovasi town and most of the students went to a bakery and had lunch. Afterwards, we the Germans, went tot he beach and spent some time in the sun. At 4pm everyone went to Kokkari a beautiful little village by the sea. We spent a few hours there and even got to watch the sunset. Aroiund 7pm we arrived back in Samos town (Konstanze).
On Wednesday we first went to a orthodox-christian monastery, where we visited a gold-rich Church and a Chaplan who gave us sweets. Afterwards we were driven to Koumaradaious village where Mr. Timos Chatzilagos showed us how to do traditional Greek pottery. Some of us even tried to create plates and cups. He also showed us the famous pythagorean cup, which was once used to share water fairly amongst workers. The famous Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras was born and lived on the island of Saos. The cup works the following: if one takes to much, the selfishly taken water or wine will flow out from the bottom of the cup.
Afterwards, we went to an olive oil production. The people showed us, how the olives are pressed and crushed. Then they are transported to a machine that extracts the olive oil. During the freetime we went to the beach and ate delicious gyros. (Philipp)
Thursday, two days left until departure. As usual we went to the breakfast hall to eat something from the buffet. The bus arrived at nine o’clock with all the Greek students on board. Today, we were planned to plant trees in order to offset our CO2 emissions. After the bus took us to a parking lot, we walked for about 15 minutes up to the top of a mountain.
After taking in a breath-taking view, we started digging holes into the stony ground while wearing old clothes that we had specifically brought for this purpose. In some places it was very hard for us to dig because of roots and large rocks. We even met a camel spider – an enormous insect which was in attacking mode before it was put aside by a forest guide.
Three hours and thirty seedlings later the sweaty group descended from the mountain. The waiting bus took us to the „Museum of Samos Wine“. There the owner gave us a tour through all the facilities with old machines to show us how wine was produced throughout history. In the evening the students and teachers were invited to a typical Greek folklore dancing performance presented by four different local dance schools. The show was impressive and everybody enjoyed it. We went on with Greek culture by having a joint dinner in a traditional tavern in the old town of Samos City. Finally, we ended the day with pleasant conversations and good food. (Clara)
On Friday we went to the secondary school of Samos (lyceum). We have already become friends with the Greek students during week. They, the Portugese and the Italian students showed us their presentations about their home countries and we presented our German culture. Furthermore, we discussed about how the different cultures could be integrated into a robotic programming task. We will be programming the robots in Java to do something according to the different cultures in the big project starting in January. For this we’ll need to work together with somebody from another country. So for example we could have a robot fill a German advent calendar. Between the presentations we conducted interviews with every participating pupil and filmed it. We asked them about their personality and about what they expected from the project. After the last presentation we said goodbye to the Greek and the Portugese students by having a joint dinner. (Jonathan)
On our last day, on Saturday we had to get up at 6 o’clock in the morning, we all were really tired but excited to get home. 30 minutes later, we had breakfast and at about 7 o’clock, the bus for the airport arrived. After a 30 minutes drive, we finally arrived at the small airport of Samos.
The flight to Athen was about 35 minutes. After we arrived, we had to say goodbye to the Italian students. Then we had to wait for 6 hours at the airport for our second flight to Thessaloniki. We used our time to rest, and prepare for the next school week (and also wrote this trip diary). Finally, after a quick stop in Thessaloniki, we could enter our plane to Munich. The flight to Munich took about 2 hours and arrived at 6:40 pm local time in Munich. (Hendrik)