Paxos delegation to Kirchheim 13-15.02.2010
Tuesday, 23.02.2010 - Faye Lychnou
One more trip to a Cultural Village of Europe is coming to an end. We are a group of 33 Paxiots on board “White Mountains”, a Cretan ship travelling from Venice to the Greek port of Igoumenitsa. We saw west Austria covered in snow from Braunau to Brenner. We walked in the picturesque streets of Salzburg, climbed to its castle on a lift, visited Mozart Museum, we drunk “Mozart” coffee and bought charming boxes of chocolate from Furst. We took photos under the golden roof in Innsbrug, we slept at a warm family hotel in Mattrei in the middle of impressive snowed in slopes of the Alps in white washed soft sheets and fluffy bed covers.
We sacrificed our night’s sleep to gain free time to walk in the streets of Venice during the last day of their carnival.
None of the above impressed our people as much as the neat, tidy, clean, well organized village of Kirccheim with its kind people. Their hospitality was impressive. In all the 7 years I have been arranging accommodation for these trips, it was the first time I did not have to deal with a single complaint!
Both the Kirchheimers’ innovative ideas (the local products market and the thematic day) were a big success. Only 4 youngsters among our group left our party for only a few hours during Saturday, the day the Kirchheimers dedicated to discussing, exchanging information and participating in workshops concerning waste management and recycling methods. We visited various recycling centers in combination with walks in the nearby picturesque villages of Braunau and Sinbach (on the border with Germany).
Presentations took place in the sports hall of the local school, where for about 1.30 hours we all learned about the recycling system in Upper Austria, the environmental problem Porrua faced and the solution chosen and about the recycling projects that are nowadays starting in Paxos. Then we were devided in smaller groups and took part in workshops to pick up garbage by the river, separate different rubbish types in the recycling center of the village, see how compost is prepared, create puppets and other artifacts from recycled material.
We were then all rewarded by a wonderful costume party in the village pub, where we all tasted Weissbeer and danced like crazy till the early morning hours.
On Sunday the market of local products, music, dancing and eating all took place at the sports hall and at the yard outside the school until 6 in the evening. More than 600 people passed by even though it was a very cold day, many more than what the Kirccheim organizing committee expected. Visitors could check local food products and artifacts, enter the buffet, where they could taste dishes from Porrua and Paxos and enjoy their drinks inside the hall listening to the Kirccheim choir, the Paxos bouzouki band or Marta’s enchanting voice giving the pace to the Porrua dancing group. Some of our producers made a deal with the local shop and left some of their products behind to be sold there during the whole year.
Monday we were all sad that time flies so quickly and the Kirchheimers had tears in their eyes to see us go.
I am collecting my memories in the non smoking lounge, sipping a coffee that a very polite waiter served a few minutes ago. A mild force 4 south east wind is blowing outside in the middle of the Adriatic sea under a cloudy sky. Maybe we will gather tonight to play music and drink some ouzo…..