This structured study visit to Bulgaria investigates a wide range of cultural sites covering the full spectrum of cultural heritage: historic buildings and towns; archaeological sites; museums; traditional crafts and skills; and intangible heritage and traditions. Your route will take you from Sofia on a loop through the centre of the country, passing through Plovdiv and Hissarya over the Shipka Pass to the Devetaki Plateau, Etara and Trojan. The programme is hosted by the Devetaki Plateau Association and your guide will be Velislava Chilingirova.
September 2015 saw myself and four other cultural heritage professionals travel from Scotland to the island of Cyprus under the Erasmus+ cultural research exchange programme through ArchNetwork. The theme of the programme was entitled ‘Empowering Communities’ and took the form of a structured training course. Our home for the week was to be in Pano Lefkara […]
Learning about Lefkara Tuesday 15th September 2015. Our all-female, party of five had travelled from Scotland to engage with the Erasmus+ course, Empowering Communities in Cyprus. The group consisted of heritage & education professionals with definite interests museum practice, interpretation, learning and community engagement. Although, through the week other interests & skills would surface as we […]
A special mention must be given to the Troyan Museum of Crafts. This is an excellent museum at all levels. Situated in a building with a long history of its own, it details the history of the folk crafts of the region including textiles, pottery, metalwork and woodturning.
The arrangement of the exhibits is chronological and the information detailed and accessible to all age groups. All the exhibits have detailed information about their place in both the geography and history of the region and give a good understanding of the development of land use in the region. Visitors can choose the level of detail they wish to achieve with a selection of ‘apps’ being available to those who wish to see more about how people actually worked in the sector. This facility is particularly attractive for school groups. I would love to be able to take my students to visit, to demonstrate what can be done. The National Exhibition of crafts in Oreshak provided a good complementary visit.
The visit provided many special opportunities for informal learning that could not have been acquired by any means other than interaction with the local community experienced within their cultural and natural environment. The project was based in a school house in the hamlet of Rîmeţ which sits at about 1000 metres above spectacular rural scenery that is only accessible by rough track roads. Rîmeţ is in a wonderful natural setting, surrounded by prolific flower meadows that are unspoiled by any chemical fertilisers. There is a fantastic matrix of wild plants that attract a wide variety of butterflies and insects which it turn allows birdlife to flourish there. There are some simple tracks and paths that thread their way through the landscape and would provide some potential for Eco tourism ( eg walking or bird watching holidays),
Amongst many things, we learnt about home cooking, we were given lessons in folk dancing and we were shown how to make traditional corn dollies. Our senses were spoilt sampling local delicacies and we got the chance to listen to traditional music, dance and singing. We crammed in a whole range of new experiences, many of which were truly unforgettable.
“Discussion took place about how this type of activity could be promoted – both in Cyprus and back home in Scotland, if foraging walks or mountain biking trails could be advertised either as written texts, mobile phone applications – or as guided tours, with descriptions of the local environment, plants and wildlife incorporated into them. […]
Sally Hutchinson Between the 18-25th May 2014 I took part in the CHIST exchange to Eastern Slovakia funded by the EU “Leonardo da Vinci” programme. The organisation of the trip came from Arch Network based in Scotland, with the host company being Krajina, who specialise in the development of Eco-tourism in eastern Slovakia through […]