Project trip to Bulgaria
Absolutely unexpectedly I was lucky to hear about this project. Because I have passion for travelling and communicating with foreigners I agreed to participate without having second thoughts.
We started our journey right after the school had ended. We travelled by bus through Poland and Hungary. We stopped for a sleepover in Tocay, Hungary. We were lucky to visit this town while the traditional holiday was being held. During the holiday we had the opportunity to wander inside noisy, but really cosy Tocay. We spent our evening in concert of renowned Hungarian singer. In the morning we headed towards Bulgaria through Slovakia an d Serbia. Later we reached the place where we were going to stay, the town called Smolyan. We were astonished by the hospitality and friendliness of the local residents. Our first goal was visiting the Parliament of this town. After we were warmly greeted by the mayor, we listened to an impressively informative presentation not only about Smolyan, but also about whole Bulgaria. After that we visited the biggest observatory in Bulgaria. We were excited because we had a chance to meet with other exchange program students from Poland, Wales, Germany and Turkey during the first day of our trip. The following day we were nicely surprised by the meeting which was organized in one of Smolyan’s schools. We were greeted with the sound of traditional instrument and given some Bulgarian pie with honey. Charizmatically performed national Bulgarian dance was mind-blowing. The welcoming speech was given by the principal of the school. Interesting activities organized by Bulgarians awaited us: group work with other participants, communicating with school’s pupils, games. The point of this project was animal care so we visited a dog shelter near Smolyan. We could not only take a closer look at the homeless dogs, but also to take them for a walk or play with them. After the visit we arrived in the second biggest city in Bulgaria- Plovdiv. We had to deal with miserable summer heat so we were joyful to taste delicious Bulgarian ice-cream . In Plovdiv we saw an impressive number of ruins which were surprisingly similar to the ruins of ancient Rome. We spent our last day in Smolyan visiting the local museum of art and history. We were amazed by the variety of art pieces. After visiting museum we received certificates for taking part in the project. Finally, we were shown a performance by the police and their dogs. It was an unforgettable experience for all of us. On the first day of our trip we met a few very friendly Bulgarian girls. They showed us famous places of the city, offered traditional meals and travelled with us to simply have a good time. We were not excited to leave because we wished to stay in this mountain surrounded city for a couple of days. On our way back to Lithuania we stopped in Sofia the capital of Bulgaria. There we saw a huge number of churches and monuments. Because of the heat we sat down near the fountain or in park in order to refresh. Our next stop was in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. It was one of the prettiest cities I have ever seen. I found it impossible to stop looking at the beauty of Buda castle. We visited the national gallery and Budapest history museum. From the bastion of fishermen we saw the amazing view of the capital city. Our final stop was in Wavel, Krakow. We saw fascinating halls, towers and the underground parts of the castle. After this excursion started our journey back to Lithuania as the weather kept getting colder.
While preparing for the trip I did not expect that it would become one of the most fascinating trips in my entire life. I met wonderful people, visited unforgetable places and what is the most important, I took part in my first international project.
Review of the trip to Bulgaria:
This week I and a group of other students travelled to a meeting of the project called „Developing Empathy for Animals“ which was held in Bulgaria. Representatives from all over Europe (from Turkey, Poland, Wales and Germany) arrived to learn about animal struggles in this particular country. I was a little bit nervous before the trip: I didn’t know what to expect from the teenagers of foreign countries, besides, I wasn’t very confident about my English skills. Luckily, all my worries went away as soon as I arrived – it became natural and really fun to communicate in English. We were invited to meet the representatives of the town, we were also able to watch a performance of the local police dogs. Furthermore, we went sightseeing to one of the biggest cities in Bulgaria and visited an animal shelter. Everyone was very nice to us – we could have felt really important. Students from Bulgaria showed us their town, helped to find some shops and never let us laze around.
During this project I was lucky enough to meet some truly wonderful people, gained English language experience and discovered plenty of new facts about traditions of other countries. It’s a shame that the week I spent there passed very quickly, though. I enjoyed this trip way more than I thought I would, hence I’m looking forward to the time when the participants of this project will be coming to Lithuania. I’m positive that the upcoming experience will be invaluable. I hope that I’ll have a chance to participate in this program again next year, maybe even live in a family, not in the hotel. Of course, I’d like to know more about the problems of the homeless dogs in different countries of Europe, as well.
‘’Developing empathy for animals’’ trip
In the first month of summer some schoolmates and I went on a trip across Europe. Our destination was Bulgaria.We passed through 4 different countries (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Serbia) to reach our destination. While travelling we made quite a few of stops to see famous different cities like Budapest, Krakow, Sofia and others. The further we went, the higher th landscape got. The mountains were huge and beautiful and it was really refreshing to see something different from the plains that Lithuania is characterised by for a change.
But we didn’t go there just to relax and have fun. We went with a project ‘’Developing empathy for animals’’ which is about sheltered, stray animals and animals in general.The serious part of the project began when we reached our final stop – Smolyan. The organisers had planned some tests for the participants of the project which taught us a lot about the statistics of animals that need help or care. The next day we went to see what an animal shelter is like. The shelter was specifically for dogs. The shelter caretakers told us about it and what it was it like to look after animals. From what I’ve learned, that there will never be enough shelters for animals, but it isn’t a forgotten problem and the European Union is issuing different policies which are trying to minimise it.
The Bulgarians in Smolyan were really friendly, spoke truly fluent English and not only looked after us, but also guided us through their town, traditions and the project.
So we not only learned a lot about different cultures, had a good time, but also learned a lot of things about serious and relevant problems and their solutions.