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Project Leonardo Agropuzzle - Mobility Greece (reportage, outcomes)
Napsal RNDr. Milan Kubačka   
Pondělí, 07 listopad 2011
After having met in Levice (Slovakia) and Opava (Czech Republic), the participants in the project Leonardo - Puzzle for businessmen in agriculture carrying business in a permanently maintainable way were invited to the Greek city Preveza. Our Greek friends prepared for us a very interesting program, which included the world-famous archeological sites and important conservation areas of the system Natura 2000.

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The meeting of the delegations in the townhall of Preveza

At the beginning, all the students and teachers met the vice mayor of Preveza in the townhall. After the meeting, we went to see the town and its most notable sights. Preveza is a beautiful seaside town with a harbour for yachts. Through the immersed tunnel you can reach the Cape Aktion, the site of the naval battle in which in 31 BC Octavian (later Augustus) defeated Marc Antony and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Observing the nightlife, you can immediately notice that people in Preveza are active mainly at night, which is probably caused by high temperatures during the day.

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  1. On the right of the vice mayor Kosmas Koroneos are representatives from Poland. On his left are representatives from France.
  2. The vice mayor of Preveza Kosmas Koroneos, who is also responsible for the environment and culture.
  3. The photo of all participants in front of the townhall.
  4. The participants go sightseeing.

The sightseeing tour

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  1. Fishermen are preparing fishing nets.
  2. The most common fish are sardines, which are being sold directly on the wharf or on the market.
  3. The participants of the meeting stayed in the hotel Zikas.
  4. People are walking along the seaside mostly in the evening. The view of the Ambracian Gulf with illuminated yachts is fascinating.
  5. We visited also the Monolithi beach.
  6. The group of the delegates from Opava. Students and teachers from Masaryk Secondary School of Agriculture and Higher Professional School in Opava together with the representatives from Natura Opava Ivana Čajková and Jakub Kubačka. In front of them, the English-Greek interpreter Michal Ficek, who was of a great help to us also during the previous meeting in Opava.
  7. We could see Preveza from the train, which passes through the centre of the town.

We visited also the Monolithi beach.

The group of the delegates from Opava. Students and teachers from Masaryk Secondary School of Agriculture and Higher Professional School in Opava together with the representatives from Natura Opava Ivana Čajková and Jakub Kubačka. In front of them, the English-Greek interpreter Michal Ficek, who was of a great help to us also during the previous meeting in Opava.

We could see Preveza from the train, which passes through the centre of the town.

The visit to the Natural History Museum in Neochori and to the park in Agii Apostoli

The members of the delegations from Natura Opava and the Masaryk Secondary School of Agriculture and Higher Professional School in Opava went to the nearby village Neochori, where they visited the Natural History Museum, which was built by the city of Preveza and Natura Opava. The museum serves as a meeting place of young environmentalists, who contribute to the collection of the museum with their own findings. Since 1992, the young ecologists have been carrying out the natural research of the Preveza area, under the supervision of the experienced experts and teachers. We visited also the locality of the oak-olive park in Agii Apostoli, where the 11th meeting was held.

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  1. The Natural History Museum in Neochori with botanical garden.
  2. The museum with a map of the Preveza peninsula, where the "Ten Stops" of the Educational Trail are highlighted. The visitors are introduced to the significant natural and archeological sites.
  3. Our favourite olive tree in the oak-olive park, where we built our campsite every year.
  4. This sandstone wall helps us to teach children geology. It is the place where we found a part of a tusk of the elephant Loxodonta antiqua, which lived there 30 000 years ago. In 1992, a beetle Cerocoma prevezaensis which lives there as a parasite of the bee Megachile centuncularis, was discovered there.

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A visit to the archeological site Vergina

We visited a significant archeologial site Vergina, where the Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos discovered the burial site of the kings of Macedon, including Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. It is claimed that this site was the ancient Aigai the former capital of Macedonia, which was later moved to Pella. It is a place where Philip II was murdered, burnt at a stake and buried. According to the legend, the dynasty would be destroyed, if one of the kings was buried in a different place. And it came true after the death of Alexander the Great in Asia. The main tomb has been preserved and the artifacts can be seen in the showcases. Unfortunately, taking photos was strictly prohibited. We took only the photo of the alleged tomb of Philip II called the "Great Tumulus". The artifacts from the tomb are displayed in the museum. The part of the exhibits is in the museum of Pella, where they were taken from the museum of Salonica.

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  1. Our group in front of the entrance to the archeological site of Vergina.
  2. The tomb "Great Tumulus".
  3. The group of representatives from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland in Ioannina.
  4. A refreshment on the way to Vergina.

Links:

http://archaeology.about.com/od/vterms/g/vergina.htm

http://www.macedonianheritage.gr/Museums/Archaeological_and_Byzantine/Arx_Bas_Tafoi_Berginas.html

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The visit to Zalongo, Nekromanteion, Acheron, Parga and a presentation NATURA 2000

The third day of our stay in Preveza was quite exhausting, but enjoyable. We visited the memorial of Zalongo, an ancient Greek temple Nekromanteion, the canyon of the Acheron river and a famous tourist destination Parga.

Zalongo

is a place which is particularly famous for its monastery. The chapel was built in the 17th century. The monastery is surrounded by the huge monuments which were built in commemoration of a cruel historical event. In 1803, 602 women jumped down from the rock, as a protest against the oppression of Ali Pasha, whose court was in Ioannina.

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  1. "The stairs are wearing me out", says Kuba on the way to the memorial. "Don´t worry, we can refresh ourselves with sweet jelly in the monastery. In case of problems, I can speak Greek, replies Michal.
  2. "I can speak Greek, too", says Nikos Sotyriu from Preveza.
  3. "And I´ve just took a fantastic photo?, says a polish teacher Slawek Janiuk.
  4. "We love it here", say students from Opava.
  5. The memorial is being rebuilt.
  6. We will show the photo to our friends and we will tell them about cruel life stories of the women under the Turkish domination.
  7. We admired frescos in the chapel of Zalongo Monastery.
  8. At the end of the excursion, we could try sweet jelly and we didn?t have to use Greek, because it was for free.

Necromanteion

is the only ancient temple of necromancy which has been found. It is located on the banks of Acheron, which at the meeting point with Cocytus river constitutes the entrance to the realm of the dead. Necromanteion was mentioned in the works of Homer, and according to Herodotos, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice took place there.

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  1. Before entering the Necromanteion, we learnt about the history of this ancient monument.
  2. We admired the cyclopean masonry and we enjyoed the view of the sea and nearby limestone mountains covered by macchia.
  3. We listened to our guide carefully.
  4. Some of us climbed really high to have a good view of the area and surrounding monuments.
  5. Ceramic vessels were used for storing water, corn and honey.
  6. The important information before entering the Oracle of Death.
  7. Some of us were frightened in the chamber where the souls of the dead were invoked in the past.
  8. We were happy to take a breath of fresh air again.

The canyon of Acheron

is the area of the ecological and natural importance. The local ecosystem was included into the international system Natura 2000. We went for a walk along the walls of the canyon, admiring the fantastic sceneries which the mythical river Acheron has created. The canyon is full of karst springs and it is dominated by bizzare shapes of limestone rocks. According to the Greek mythology, the river flows to the underworld.

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  1. "What?!" The river flows to the underworld? I´ll ask the ferryman if his name is Charon."
  2. The French teachers aren?t afraid at all.
  3. Unlike their students. They had to be forced to go by water.
  4. We are heading towards adventures.
  5. The Czech and Polish students share the same idea.
  6. We observe limestone rocks and plants on the banks.
  7. Crooked trunks of platanus are very interesting.
  8. The Slovakian students have a Greek girl in the boat and they are having a great time.
  9. We should go against the flow and find the entrance to the underworld.
  10. "Let´s go, Michal! We are almost there?", says Kuba.
  11. "We should send there a woman, what about the Slovakian teacher Martina?", thinks Michal.
  12. We finally found the entrance to the underworld! We don´t doubt it, although we know that the real entrance to the underworld should be at the meeting point of Acheron and Cocytus river. This is one of the kalt springs of Acheron.

Parga

Looking at the coasts of Parga, you realize that the colours on the postcards from Greece aren´t exaggerated at all. This picturesque resort is known for its castle, which was built in the 15th century. You can walk through beautiful narrow streets with many shops which offer a wide range of typical Greek souvenirs.

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  1. The city of Parga with a beach.
  2. You can hire a boat and visit the nearby islands.
  3. A beautiful beach and the sea. A perfect relaxation.
  4. We visited the city centre with its typical narrow streets.
  5. The Polish students are having a rest before the walk to the castle.
  6. A beautiful view of the sea and islands with chapels and a church.
  7. It´s necessary to check the photos.
  8. We lighted a candle in the church, thinking about our families at home.

The presentation of Acheron and Ambracian Gulf

In the evening, a presentation for all the participants of the project was held. It was focused on the important Bird areas and Special Areas of Conservation of Greece which are included in the system Natura 2000. The presentation was prepared by Jakub Kubačka, the member of the unprofitable organization Natura Opava. He presented the interesting localities of the Preveza peninsula, focusing on the Bird area of Ambracian Gulf. Jakub knows this area very well, since he has been involved in the research of the area since 1992. The research is organized by Natura Opava which cooperates with the members of the Environment Society of Preveza.

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  1. The presentation Natura 2000 was held in Epaggelmatiki Sholi Prevezas.
  2. Jakub Kubačka from Natura Opava presented the canyon of Acheron, which is considered the Special Area of Conservation. Furthermore, a significant Bird area, the wetlands of Ambracian Gulf, was introduced.
  3. Our interpreter Michal Ficek made Nikos Sotyriu, Christos Belos and Ioannis Theofanous laugh.
  4. The presentation was really useful, since we were supposed to visit the Ambracian Gulf the following day.

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The Ambracian Gulf, the fish farm and the fauna of the Gulf

The wetlands of the Bird area of the Ambracian Gulf were included among the Wetlands of International Importance called the Ramsar Convention. Furthermore, they are involved in the european system of nature protection Natura 2000. It is also considered an important nesting and wintering site of more than 290 bird species, such as pelican, flamingo and others.

The visit to the fish farm

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  1. Our guide to the fish farm was Nikos Sotyriu.
  2. Fish are kept in tanks.
  3. The tanks are regularly checked and fish are fed.
  4. The fish feed contains all the important nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
  5. Cipura and Lavraki fish are kept there.
  6. Fish are pulled out of water and put into carrier boxes with ice.
  7. Fish are sold to the restaurants and markets.
  8. The visit to the farm was an interesting experience for both students and teachers.

A field trip to the Ambracian Gulf

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  1. Ardea alba is one of the 290 bird species which can be found in the Bird area Ambracian Gulf.
  2. On a boat trip we could observe fauna and flora of the conservation area.
  3. The teachers from Masaryk Secondary School of Agriculture and the member of Natura Opava Michal Ficek.
  4. The Common reed is the most abundant plant of the gulf.
  5. The member of Natura Opava Jakub Kubačka with the Polish teacher.
  6. The field trip was a very exciting experience for us.
  7. Grebes were hiding in the reed.
  8. We were all captivated by the beautiful nature of the gulf.

The map of Ambracian Gulf

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Water buffalos

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Water buffalos were introduced to the locality 10 years ago. They are suitable objects for photographers.

The map of the Preveza peninsula with the educational trail ?Ten Stops in the Nature of Preveza?

   

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Stop No. 1 "Quarry in Agios Thomas"

Stop No. 2 "Macchias, pastures, skrape fields" - Limestone hill with medieval fortress

Stop No. 3 "Park" in Agios Apostoli"

Stop No. 4 "Geological profile of the Sea Coast in Agios Apostoli"

Stop No. 5 "Amvrakian Bay and its Coastline in Agios Apostoli"

Stop No. 6 "Settlement of Neochori with the Natural Science Museum"

Stop No. 7 "Swamplands and Reed Areas"

Stop No. 8 "Nikopolis and its Neighbourhood"

Stop No. 9 "Forest vegetation of the Ionian Sea Coastline"

Stop No. 10 "Ionian Sea and Beaches"

Photography: Jakub Kubačka, Hedviga Guľová, Ivana Čajková, Slawek Janiuk, Irma Kubica, Urszula Pietruszka Andrej Tárnik, Radmila Šrajerová, Martin Váleček, Martin Guriš, Filip Angleta a Denis Bátovský

Links:

Charakteristika Amvrakijského zálivu PDF - Engineering_the_restoration_of_a_coastal_freshwater_wetland

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The visit to the archeological site of Nikopolis

Nikopolis, the city of victory, was founded by Octavian in commemoration of his victory over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium, which took place in 31 BC. Nowadays, the remnants of the city walls, the Roman theatre and the modern museum, can be found there.

The visit to the archeological site and museum of Nikopolis

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    1. Flowering Urginea maritima.
    2. Justinian walls can be seen from the adjacent road.
    3. Amphitheatre Odeon.
    4. Dressing rooms of the actors in the amphitheatre.
    5. The precious mosaics are protected by a shelter.
    6. One of the mosaics on the floor of the former house in Nikopolis.
    7. The statues can be found in the new museum.
    8. A relief on a limestone block.
    9. Martin Váleček did not hesitate to take a photo.
    10. Amphoras under the picture of ancient vessels.
    11. Visitors of the museum seen from the stairway.
    12. Our group in front of the museum.

Links:

http://www.mesogeia.net/trip/nikopolis/nikopolistop_en.html

http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/270/

Photos by:

Jakub Kubačka, Hedviga Guľová, Ivana Čajková, Slawek Janiuk, Irma Kubica, Urszula Pietruszka Andrej Tárnik, Radmila Šrajerová, Martin Váleček, Martin Guriš, Filip Angleta and Denis Bátovský.

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The products of the project Agropuzzle in Greece

Presentations about Natura 2000 in Greece:

EN: Presentation Natura 2000 in Greece ppt

Worksheets and activities of Natura Opava in Preveza region (PDF)

CZ: Příroda Řecka a Natura 2000 v Řecku - in czech

CZ: 10 zastavení v přírodě prevezské oblasti

EN: Nature of Greece and Natura 2000 in Greece - in english

EN: 10 stops in the nature of preveza region

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