AEGEE-EUROPE HERITAGE BLOG

Here you find local stories of AEGEEans around Europe!


Route #4 at Neapolis - hic SUnt leones

#route4 #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

Napoli was the 6th stop of our route and it welcomed us with open arms and scorching heat. We met the participants at the former NATO offices in Bagnoli, a neighbourhood in Napoli. Together we came up with some cool ideas to revamp the place giving it a new lease of life while helping boost the local economy.

 

Afterwards we headed to the camping in Pozzuoli where we would spend the next days. That was the night where the (in)famous European night took place, however this writer regrets not being able to report about it because she was so tired that she fell asleep like a baby before it began (#sorrynotsorry).

 

Thursday was workshop day (again, thank you YEP for making this adventure possible!) and in the evening we attended a typical Italian festival at the seaside called sagra. There we enjoyed traditional music, dances and food from the area, and I for one could not imagine a better way so spend our last night there.

 

Next day we got to relax at the beach while the participants practiced kayaking. We adventurers were leaving that day and it was just as if the weather new it because when it was time for us to go, dark clouds gathered in a big storm and soon it began to pour down. As if the sky mirrored our feelings at that exact sad moment of saying goodbye.

 

hosted by AEGEE-Napoli

written by María (AEGEE-Madrid)


Route #4 at Non Solo Sole XXX Edition - the Show mUst go on

#route4 #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

We arrived in Salerno quite late, but some of the organizers were still awake. They were welcoming us with a big smile, we went to eat something together, because we travelled 14 hours by bus, and we were hungry.

 

Next day’s program was travel to the island Capri. We went there by the ferry. The island was amazing, full of green plants and stuning bays. We spent the whole day there, but still there remain undiscovered places.

 

On the second day, we packed everything and went to a small villige by bus. Petina is located between mountains in every direction, far from civilization.

The locals gave us a workshop about how to make cheese and play properly as a special drummer with a hat. Later on that day we gave back an interactive workshop about democracy.

The preparations for the European night started, lots of people cooked their national dishes in the kitchen. Other people were walking around the village. Time flied, and the tables were fillet with a lot of colorful food and traditional drinks. We had a great night and enjoyed different cultures from all around Europe.

 

On our last day we went to the forest to have a barbeque together. Some of the locals and organizers brought a guitar and drums, so we were playing music and singing while lunch got ready. After the lunch we got a big canvas and everybody was invited to paint on it. I think it was a successful idea, people were active and interested.

The day ended with a karaoke night at the gym. People were singing horribly, but it was funny though. The goodbye was hard, we were integrated in a perfect group full of kind people. We left Petina heading to Naples with unforgettable memories.

 

hosted by AEGEE-Salerno

written by Zoltan (AEGEE-Debrecen)


Route #4 at W.I.N.E - Water Isn’t Nutritious Enough

#route4 #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

We arrived in the morning; backpacks fastened, eyes open and ready to discover our third stop. Every Summer University is different and unique in its own way and when we got there, we expected to be mere guests. And boy, our experience could not have been more different.

Our job there (if you can call “job” something we enjoyed that much) was to capture the essence of the Summer Universities while spreading the word about the importance of voting at the European elections next year (thank you YEP for providing the funds for this project; it would not have been possible without you!). However, when we started to get to know the group, we realized that we simply could not just stand beside and observe them, because both organizers and participants made us feel part of the family.

AEGEE-Torino had prepared a program full of activities that balanced fun and learning, all dressed with wine and sight-seeing. We discovered the city on the following day with a short city tour around Torino, where we were told about its history. However I must admit that the organizers were so good at bullshitting us that at this point it is hard to recall what was truth and what was a joke. Now that I think of it, probably the stories about phallic references were made up.

 

The next day we visited Asti, which is a small medieval city located near Torino. After lunch, we got on the bus again and drove to Canelli to visit the Bosca cellar, where we learnt about the art of wine-making. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that it takes so many years to create something that is destined to last only a few hours.

 

But if I was to pick my favourite activity from this part of the journey, I would choose the aperitivo linguistico, hands down. We went to this big kind of restaurant where we were given a card at the entrance. The aim was to find the person with the other half and have a little chat with them. There were other random tasks that got you points (there was a price at the end!) like telling your most embarrassing secret, barking like a dog, finding a bald person or taking a picture with someone with a tattoo.

 

During three days we shared long walks around the city, delicious pizzas, debates, laughs, music, ice-cream, stories, and of course, wine, and when Friday came and it was time to leave we could not believe that three days had already gone so fast and felt like we knew them for three months. Thank you AEGEE-Torino, organizers and participants for making us feel at home!

 

hosted by AEGEE-Torino

written by María (AEGEE-Madrid)


Route #2 at Millennial Tribe - Journey to the Unknown

#Pivapčići #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

Balkans – one of those holiday destinations that gains in popularity each year. But why is that so? What is so special about that region of South Europe? What do you actually know about the former Yugoslavian countries, apart from the fact that not that long time ago there was a war over there? Or maybe you’ve heard the expression ‘Balkans mentality’? They are said to be very extravert and stubborn. Well, there is usually at least a kernel of truth in each stereotype, but is this the reason for visiting those countries? Architecture, historic monuments or breathtaking landscapes are definitely not the attributes of the region, but honestly, since going there you don’t have high expectations, you might be really surprised, and I mean in the very positive way.

 

Our final stop was Belgrade. Unfortunately, this time I had to travel alone . Alberto was already back in Italy, so I was the only Adventurer to visit Millennial Tribe - Journey to the Unknown - Summer University organized by AEGEE-Novi Sad. Reaching the Serbian capital a day before the event started, I had plenty of time to discover the city on my own. First impression? Much more vivid city then I expected, probably because of numerous greenery places, where whole families spend their afternoons. Having observed random people on the streets I’ve seen plenty of smiling faces. Passers-by were really talkative and there was no language barrier – almost everyone speaks communicative English. The only thing that may be tricky while visiting Serbia is the alphabet that is used there. As long as you don’t speak Russian or know any other language that uses Cyrillic it might be quite a challenge to read anything. Oh, and if you plan to visit Belgrade or any other place in Serbia don’t forget that you will find yourself outside of the EU and there is roaming, so unless you decide to buy a prepaid SIM card there you can forget about using internet on your mobile. So yeah, maybe you should consider buying a traditional paper map instead of relying on Google maps?

 

Anyways, it was not only me who decide to give Serbia a try to steal my heart this summer. Over 20 AEGEE members from all around the network have chosen Belgrade and Novi Sad as their summer destination and to most of them (if not even all) it was the very first time to visit Serbia. Among participants there were numerous nationalities but regardless if I’ve asked people from Spain, the Netherlands or Hungary the answer was the same – I want to experience something new this holidays and Serbia seemed to be a perfect place for non-cliché summer. Did the event meet their expectations? Well, I’ve been there only for the first 3 days but even after that short time I’ve got the impression that indeed, it is a place where you can get to know the Balkan culture and at the same time don’t have to struggle with thousands of tourists everywhere. Sounds quite tempting, doesn’t it?

 

The second day of my stay in Belgrade I finally got a chance to meet both organizers and participants of the summer university. I really enjoyed the fact that for the first time during the whole route I was there during the first day of the event. Thus, I could join all ice-breaking games and take part in all integration activities from the very beginning. Of course, the best way is combine business with pleasure, so after Novak, the SU’s main organizer, had provided a short presentation about what AEGEE is, as part of the introductory game, me along with AEGEE-Novi Sad prepared a “speed dating” session, since is there any better way to break the ice than actually share the craziest and funniest stories of your life? Later on I’ve also provided a short kahoot quiz on the history of the Summer University Project, so both newbies and more experience participants could assess their knowledge. But as the main objective of each SU is to get acquainted with the culture of the place you stay at, there were also plenty of activities connected strictly to Serbian heritage. And believe me, you would never image how much Serbia can actually offer. I spend two afternoons only on city tour through Belgrade and I still feel there are numerous places that I didn’t manage to reach…

 

But everything comes to an end at some point, so did #route2's adventure. After travelling around 2000 km in 10 trains through 7 countries, visiting 4 different SUs and one special stop in Zagreb I could finally head back home (and spend the next 24 hours in buses and trains). I’d lie saying those 2 weeks weren’t tiring, but if anybody asks me to do it again I won’t hesitate even for a second. Because summer is made for adventures and I don’t think there is a better way to spend free time then travelling! Europe is beautiful in its diversity and I’m pretty sure I will never have enough of exploring the rich and differentiated culture that all European countries offer.

 

hosted by AEGEE-Novi Sad

written by Marta (AEGEE-Warszawa)


Route #1 at SUrreal: Unravel the mysteries of Dutch culture

#germanic #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

Well, finally this part had to come: our final stop as an adventurer team was the Summer University arranged by AEGEE-Groningen. This was the northest point of our long journey. As an university town, Groningen has a pretty young population. Our accomodation was near the train station. On the first day we had a luck to enjoy the amazing dinner cooked by the locals. As a whole this day was pretty calm, we had a movie night and some chat with the locals and the participants. As we were not spending the night at the same spot as the participants we also head a qick trip through the city.

On the next morning we started with a WS about equal rights. This was a great and informative workshop which involved the participants and made them think about a topic that is not always as well represented as it should be. After that our workshop seemed to be enjoyed by the group. Later came something more physically demanding: dance. Such activities lifts the mood and builds a better community as a whole. For sure not everyone is going to be a professional but it seemed like only a couple of feet were stepped on, so it turned out to be a lot of fun.

 

At night we participated in a gala. As we were told this is a local custom. The night went on with a nice dinner, some classy clothes and nice conversations. Also the previously learned dancing moves were handy through the night.

The next day started with two workshops. The first was an interesting presentations about AEGEE as a whole and the opportunities that come with it if you are member. It was full of interesting and helpful tips, backgrounds about the organisation. Also it was really inspiring to hear it. It was followed by a workshop about drugs. The whole presentation was well collected and professional. Of course drugs are an unavoidable part of the country but to hear about the effects of drug use, the longer term effects from people around our age was interesting and also very helpful. Later we played some dutch games at the park. Eating hanging cookies with backtied arms, balancing an egg on a spoon…all the soon to be olimpic games were represented there.

 

Unfortunetly the next day was the time of the departure. The group headed to Amsterdam and I travelled back to home (Zita went back home a day earlier). As the whole trip finished, I could not think about all the great memories that we were given by all the organisers and groups. The whole adventurer project was an amazing experience and I am greatful for being part of it.

As I am writing this, I am thinking about that travel is not always easy. It can be hard, challenging, face you with obstacles. But it also teaches you how to improve yourself and solve the problems. Also to make new friends, and to meet all those cultures and people that we did, makes the travel all worthwhile which is gonna be part of ourselfes forever. As a whole the whole route was a great experiences, which was not only fun but also very useful. After going through those SU I can only say: do not even hesitate about the application next year. Europe is waiting for you!

 

hosted by AEGEE-Groningen

written by Bence (AEGEE-Budapest)

 


Route #4 at Train your taste: a BiG voyaGE BeyOnd your flavours

 

#route4 #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

The first stop of route #4 was Bergamo. Bergamo is an Italian city very close to Milan. Unfortunately we had to wait for the group because they were in a waterpark all day, but when they came back, they gave us a warm welcome and presented their dance to us.

 

The next morning we started our way to Genova – we had the pleasure to be on a Travel Summer University (TSU). That was the last stop of this SU after Bologna and Bergamo. It was a really hot day, so after we arrived to the gym, we went straight to the beach. One of the organizers was leading us with a huge speaker backpack. The way was really enjoyable.

 

The beach looked really cool, for example we took part in a game. It was taken in a little kid pool, lubed everywhere. 2 people had to go inside the pool and try to push the other out of the pool. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds.

 

The time goes on we went back to the gym to take a shower and get ready for the dinner. We ate a special Italian food called Trophy. It’s a handmade pasta with pesto. Everyone should taste it, really delicious.

 

After the dinner, we went for a walk at the coastline, watching the lights and drink some beers. The people were really happy and the night ended with a dancing event in the middle of the street.

 

We had a very short but intense time between workshops, travels culture and good food with Train Your Taste. We really enjoyed our experience there!

 

hosted by AEGEE-Bologna, AEGEE-Bergamo & AEGEE-Genova

written by Zoltan (AEGEE-Debrecen)


Route #2 at the preparations of  Smells like GREEN Spirit

 

#Pivapčići #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

As the Australian poet Pam Brown has once written: “Happiness is rarely a reward, more often it is an unexpected gift” and honestly, after what happened to us in Zagreb we can’t agree more.

I hope you all remember moments of your life when you simply thought you were born lucky, even if the feeling lasted only a few minutes. Of course, I wouldn’t say that our attitude or behaviour doesn’t matter and it’s a luck that determines our happiness in 100% but I think each of us can recall at least one situation when you accidentally find yourself in the right place at the right time. You can call it luck or karma, it doesn’t really matter, but what is important is that somehow you manage to experience something you will probably never forget (or it can even become one of the stories someday you will tell your grandchildren)… And that was exactly the story of #route2’s 4th stop.

 

When we were informed about the initial schedule of our trip a few weeks in advance we were totally unaware of how lucky we are gonna be… We got a list of cities we were about to visit in the upcoming weeks and Zagreb was simply one of them. Soon it turned out that it’s the only stop of any routes where adventurers don’t visit a Summer University but we will basically be there during the preparation time, a week before the event starts. But that was not the biggest surprise waiting for us…

Obviously both me and Alberto followed the FIFA World Cup that time. Even though Poland was already out of the game and Italy hadn’t qualified at all, since football is the national sport in both countries, we were watching all matches possible. Thus, we knew that Croatia was performing really well. And then, right before the Croatia-Russia quarterfinal, we got informed by Valentina, our host in Zagreb, that the initial schedule for our stay will change if the Croatian team keeps winning their games… And then we realised it – there is a chance for us to actually be in Zagreb at the day Croatia can play in the World Cup Final! Ever since then it was obvious which team to support in front of a TV. Luckily to us, and most important to all Croats, Zlatko Dalić’s team didn’t let anybody down and make the dream of Hrvatska come true. At that point we knew – our 4th stop will be unforgettable and full of real sport emotions!

I honestly must admit that I have never even thought I could find myself in the middle of thousands of people crowded in a main square supporting the national football team in the World Cup Final (the Polish football team has never given me such a chance and being realistic, I don’t think it will happen within next decades). I have been to plenty of sports events and matches, repeatedly thawed my throat while cheering my favourite team, but what I have seen in Zagreb on July 15th cannot be even compared to any of my previous experiences.

 

You should all know that Croatia is literally crazy about their national teams. It is also the case of other team sports, like handball, but of course, football is said to be the national discipline, just like in almost every European country. But believe me, regardless of where you come from, the way Croats support Hrvatska is incomparable. Going to Zagreb I was aware that their nationality is said to be very passionate about cheering their team, but what we’ve experienced there left both me and Alberto speechless.

We took a direct train from Maribor to Zagreb on Sunday, the big match day, morning and the moment we got out of the train we already felt the magic atmosphere. The main railway station was crowded with Croats and their national team supporters coming from different regions of the country, there were numerous journalists catching random passers-by to make some interviews. You could literally feel that you are just about to be a part of the breakthrough for the whole Croatian nation.

 

After getting picked up by Monika, one of AEGEE-Zagreb members, and having a small talk in the car we found out that it’s the first time in many years Croats feel really united. We were said that normally Croats love to argue. There are plenty of disputes and foreigners can easily get the impression that the nation simply does not like each other. And then, since it was my first time ever in Croatia, I couldn’t believe those words. All we could see that time, in the restaurants, the public transport or on the streets were people wearing clothes in national colours, talking and smiling to each other… Ok, it’s a match day – I thought. It will probably change in case they lose today… (which I hoped wouldn’t happen)

Our host, Valentina, who was also the Incoming Responsible for the Summer University that took place a week later, turned out to be a huge football fan. Thus it was obvious that me and Alberto will accompany her in watching the game on Ban Jelaćić Square. As a result, along with Franjo, SU Main Organizer, we joined thousands of people who gathered on the square a few hours before the game began. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that me and Alberto are among ≈1% of the crowd that doesn’t wear proper red-and-white checkered jersey or hat, which made us look a bit strange…

 

The atmosphere before and during the match was really incredible. Of course, we all know what the final score was. Sadly, we couldn’t enjoy Croats’ victory, but it doesn’t mean that the great attitude and the feeling of a pride to be Croatian that was observed literally everywhere in Zagreb has changed. Nothing could be further from the truth! I’ve made a wrong assumption (and simply took it for granted that after losing a game, even the big final, there is always a hate, spiteful comments and criticism of the team, just like it takes place in Poland) and therefore, I didn’t expect to see those thousands of Croats celebrating… And the way they celebrated – gosh, it was definitely the highlight of the whole trip of ours. People kept singing Zapresić Boys’ anthem Neopisivo (Indescribable) and Lijepa naša domovino (Croatian anthem), hoisting giant national flags …That was really inspirational! Of course there were tears as well, emotions got the better, after all it was so close to become no. 1 worldwide. But we haven’t heard even a single word of complaining. They simply haven’t registered it as defeat, but an enormous achievement. Being the smallest country to compete in World Cup final since 1950, Croatia has accomplished something that most of bigger and richer countries will probably never do. All Croats were proud of their team, which after all, did something amazing. No doubts, they have gone down in the history of world football and what is more, I won’t lie saying that they have won hearts of football lovers all around the world.

 

Can you imagine a situation when while driving a car an hour or two after the match, due to foolhardiness and lack of attention or simply focus on the celebration you cause an accident and significantly scratch two innocent as a lamb cars, but, instead of arguing and yelling at you, the harmed drivers get out of their vehicles with the smile, look at each other’s cars and decide to continue celebration together? Or passing by the police station where you can see a few policemen who instead of keeping an eye on the craziness on streets decided to join the crowd and start walking around waving national flag, smiling and singing national songs? Welcome to Croatia! No more doubts whether sport unites or rather divides society. Doing any sport you will not always win but if you have done the best of yourself and lose anyway, you should take an example of Croatia. There is no reason not to be proud of your hard work and that’s the lesson Croats gave us this summer.

 

Thought the celebration lasted only one night? Well, for sure not in Zagreb! Next day was far away from typical Monday. Hardly anyone went to work as the prime minister had asked companies to relieve employees of their duties that day. The city of Zagreb decided to make all public transport free and Croatia’s state railway company cut ticket prices by half since there were thousands of people coming to the Croatian capital in order to welcome their beloved team. So guess where have we spent that day? Of course waiting a few (really long) hours together with our AEGEE-Zagreb friends on the main square, singing Croats song, cheering the team and recalling the best moments of just ended World Cup. Even the extreme heat didn’t discourage Croats – in total there were over 500 000 people (the country’s entire population is 4.3 million) who spent the whole day waiting for their national heroes and celebrating the great achievement together. And even though, World Champions have landed in Paris more or less the same time as Croatian footballers in Zagreb, in case of Zlatko Dalić’s team way to the main square took much more time. Not only football fans in Croatia know how to celebrate, so does the team - the way from the airport to Ban Jelaćić Square with an open-top bus took them over 6 hours (and a few hours more of celebration on a big scene)! But believe me, it was really worth waiting that long to see for myself the great team – Modrić, Mandžukić, Subašić and the rest of the fantastic football team who made a history. That time all of us really felt on cloud nine! So the next time someone ask me about Croatia and its culture, I’ll use just one single word – Neopisivo! Their unbreakable spirit is something indescribable!

 

hosted by AEGEE-Zagreb

written by Marta (AEGEE-Warszawa)

 

PS: Of course, apart from spending a great time watching the final game and welcoming the 2nd best football team in the world during our stay in Zagreb we had a chance to meet the whole SU core team, discuss their agenda and visit some places where later on also participants of the Summer Course: Smells like GREEN Spirit have been taken. Although it was really busy time for organizers, they were the best hosts we could imagine, so big thanks to AEGEE-Zagreb, especially Valentina, Monika and Franjo. Hvala! If participants of your Summer University enjoyed their stay in Croatia (and your spirit) like we did, it was the summer of their lifetime for sure!


Route #1 at Travel Like A King: I Want To Ride My Bicycle

#germanic #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

After the previous destination we headed to the next one in Utrecht, organised by AEGEE-Nijmegen and AEGEE-Leiden. First, as usual, we got introduced to the group and briefly explained what we were up to do with them. Then we participated in a WS which dealt with the art of exchanging stuff to other. This played a mayor role in the task that the groups were given: they had to start to trade and swap stuff that they had. The hosts also participated and helped in the game. This programe was not only a lot of fun but gave a great oppurtunity to explore the city in an unique way. We walked around the whole place and tried to get something better than the stuff we already had. Of course we were not the first one to play that game so most of the shops refused to participate, but local citizens were up for the fun and we collected some crazy stuff and some useful also. After a couple of hours everyone got more and more involved. Of course the route there and back again happened on bicycles. Utrecht provided, one of the loveliest sight in the whole route.

 

The next destination was Rotterdam. Even at the train station we soon realised the extraordinary sight of the city. We had lunch in the park. Whole Rotterdam has an unique modern architecture style. We had an interesting sightseeing tour in the city, where we were informed about, not only the past of the city, but also about the the backgrounds of some landmarks. Fortunetly we could use the elevator to climb up to the top of Euromast, an observation tower. The sight of the whole city was amazing and an unforgetable memory. The best part of the city is that, wherever you go you see amazing buildings all over.

Later on we also explored the night life of the city with some explanation about the local customs. After that we stayed at the city, and moved from there to the next stop before we waved goodbye to another great group of new friends.

 

hosted by AEGEE-Nijmegen & AEGEE-Leiden

written by Bence (AEGEE-Budapest)

 

 


Route #3 at Yabadabasu! 2.0

#calimocho #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother #Valladolid

 

The first day of the Summer University we had a gymkhana visiting the city centre; it was a sunny day, so we were able to appreciate the city in all its splendor.

We watched the World Cup in a pub and then headed to the sleeping accommodation. We finally had some time to adjust and relax, but not before having given a session on the 30th anniversary of the SU project. The participants explained what they thought the SU project was and what they wanted to keep doing for the next 30 years.

 

The second day we took a bus to Segovia, we visited its castle and ate some amazing tapas in the city centre.

Segovia is an ancient roman city, with an aqueduct which could be used for the local’s logo if it was an AEGEE antenna. It was really interesting to see how Spanish people kept Roman buildings and adapted them to their own culture. Tapas are a very tasty dish made of several different things from ham and tomato to fried calamaris, and we had the opportunity to try all of them at lunch. Then we came back and had a party in the accomodation.

 

Of course, also on our third day with Yabadabasu we delivered a workshop, this time on Policy & Advocacy, were participants learned how AEGEE as an NGO represents the interest of the youth and how they can communicate to stakeholders to reach their goals. In Salamanca itself, another famous roman city in Spain, we had a brief city tour and then free time in the city centre until 22.00, when we had a Hawaiian party. The morning after we took a bus for the city of León, Stop #2.

 

hosted by AEGEE-Valladolid

written by Lila (AEGEE-Paris) & Diego (AEGEE-Brescia)

 


Route #5 at SUits off: BEERcome A changemaker

#route5 #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

In Osnabrück we found out that trains can delay even in Germany (danke, public transport!). So, we started our last stop running against the time and trying not to lose three coincidences of 2, 5 and10 minutes. But somehow, we succeeded, and we arrived in Bamberg just in time to listen the gossip. We learnt that the group spend the all-day canoeing, but they had some energy for the pub crawl! We joined one of the squad and we gave proof of our skills in some interesting tasks as asking strangers to pay our drinks, singing for fake birthdays, ice-cube games and exchanging bras.

 

The next morning the group had some free time, so we let Anne lead as through Bamberg. It seemed to us a city just out a Grimm fairy tale: we followed the brick road until the hidden rose garden near the old cathedral where it took place one of the largest witch trail in the history of Germany. Then, with the head still stuck in the images of bonfires, we took an ice-cream and we had a walk following the Regnitz river and the fachwerk houses -those traditional houses where the bearing construction is made of vertical, diagonal and horizontal laminated timber beams.

During the afternoon Tori delivered a workshop about policy and advocacy that aimed to teach how it can be used as a tool by citizens to make a change in the society. And after such a rewarding brainstorm -or at least we hope so-, we chilled near the lake where a real storm come to visit us. But it wasn’t scary enough for the Bambies that amused us with some games that involved beer, running with a swimming suite or without it, beer, being dirty or being clean, beer, and other stuff somehow related to beer.

 

Then just a few hours of sleep after a night campfire, we woke up early, at 6.30, getting ready for Erfurt with a morning cycling and a walk until the Flixbus stop. Actually, we were pleased about that: it was our real first time of traveling with the squad!

A few hours, trees, corners, trees, corners and we arrived in Erfurt!

A nice surprise was expecting us: a welcome shot of a typical alcohol with a kind of mouthwash taste. But it was nice to start the afternoon in such a good mood.

We delivered some ice-breaking games from slaps to hugs, and soon we were ready for dinner and… guess what? Wurst!

Our last adventure was a stunning city tour in Erfurt where we competed in numbers of beers, we walked on the river’s water -Jesus style- and we played funkyball -someone there really enjoyed beers- and we climbed a hill enjoying the view from a castle.

The perfect ending for our last day? Of course, another round of wurst!

 

The next morning the time of the adventurers was over, and everyone took his way. The group will continue the SU from Erfurt to Dresden, Alberto went to Köln where he rejoined for one night An Hitchhiking guide for Yourope, before taking his flight to Madrid, Tori returned to her beloved bed in Berlin and I tried a full 24hours of Berlin experience before coming back to Italy.

 

For an adventurer nothing is good as travels, except maybe his home toilet.

 

hosted by AEGEE-Bamberg, AEGEE-Erfurt & AEGEE-Dresden

written by Martina (AEGEE-Bologna)

 


Route #1 at Burgundian Bicycles vol. V: Tulips, Techno & Tolerance

#germanic #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

Our next stop was the lovely city of Tilburg. Before the arrival we were already discussing our expectations, because we had some clues about the programe before and we were already looking forward to the next couple of days.

 

After we arrived and introduced ourselfs properly to everyone at the accomodation, we took our bikes and headed for a secret destination. After a couple of days in Netherlands my bicycle skills had already improved, however I believe our hosts were still a bit worried about the group’s way of cycling. Anyway we were there to learn, and you can only get better if you practice. So after a short trip we headed to the dunes. Among the forest, laid a smaller desert which became the spot of our first programe: Wine Yoga. Calming music, relaxing movements, a glass of wine: as it turned out yoga can be an exciting workout and great fun too.

After we got back, we started to prepare for the carneval. As the locals told us through an educational and fun WS, carneval is a big deal around there. We got some information about the past and present of this custom. It was also an interesting way to explore the similarity between different cultures, as it turned out carneval held in almost every nation but differently. Soon after that everyone got their craziest clothes and stuff to put it on. We also started to make facepaint and weird costumes. After that, we headed to the city to have a trip around the town, divided to smaller groups. Eventually we met at the starting point. The whole day was a great, entertaining experience. As adventurers sometimes we seemed to be a bit out of our place in the first couple of hours but at this stop, we got in the company almost immediately.

The next day was even more active: sport activites took place in the afternoon. Ball games, water games and all different kind of stuff that were not only funny but were also great tool for group building. Everyone seemed to enjoy the whole thing, and we headed back to the accomodation tired and sweaty. But sport is just as imporant as culture so after a smaller break and some preparation we headed to the local, modern art musem: Museum Depont. The newly built museum had some really eye grabbing artworks, so everyone could find something that had an effect on them.

 

Back at home, it was time for the gala party. Everyone got their fanciest dress and clothes. We had a classy dinner together, followed by the casino night, which was also great fun.

 

 

After a couple of days with these people, I only wished we could have stay for a bit longer. That is the sad part of being an adventurer. Tilburg was one of the best experiences for me at the whole route. The organisers were well prepared, active and really into to create something that is not just fun but also helpful.

 

hosted by AEGEE-Amsterdam & AEGEE-Tilburg

written by Bence (AEGEE-Budapest)

 


Route #3 at Guardians of the paradise vol.10

#calimocho #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother #Valladolid

 

Our third and final stop was Gijon, a city in the region of Asturias. We were hosted in a gym by AEGEE-Oviedo for some days.

 

The first day we arrived pretty early, it was arrival day so we met the organizers, discussed the program and played ice breaking games with the participants, all before having dinner at a traditional Asturian place.

 

The second day we started with a workshop just after breakfast about the European Institutions (provided by Yvote) and the 30 years of the SU Project, with a Kahoot quiz and some celebration for the winner. Then we visited a cider factory and learned how the typical alcoholic beverage from that region is made. We had a long city tour around Gijon and we visited the beautiful campus of the university: a little village of its own. During the night, AEGEE-Oviedo provided the participants and us with an authentic workshop on how pouring cider from the bottle to the glass. Everyone had the chance to try with water and the best of the group even did it with real cider.

 

The last day of our stop and trip in general, we woke up early to see a airborne demonstration of planes from all over the world doing some barrel rolls and air maneuvers. While it was spectacular, we had to walk to a cliff where we had lunch and chilled for some siesta. We also delivered a workshop on Policy and Advocacy and how AEGEE is advocating for youth interests.

 

The last activity was a holi festival, inspired by Indian ones. The idea of this celebration is to throw poudre-colors to each other.

 

hosted by AEGEE-Oviedo

written by Lila (AEGEE-Paris) & Diego (AEGEE-Brescia)

 


Route #5 at A Hitchhiker’s guide to Yourope

#route5 #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE

#FromOneSUToAnother

 

We woke up at 5.30am, sleepy but full of energy, looking for an adventure and for caffeine. We asked ourselves: why take the bus if we could just enjoy a little more of the city in the morning sun?

Indeed we couldn’t miss it, and once we arrived at Sheffield Central Station Alberto made a new friend, a self-proclaimed famous Irish pianist, who played a few melodies for us.

We had some doubts about that. - Not about the nationality, according to the wine aroma he had to be Irish - but we found him and afterwards you can check him out on youtube (Link)!

 

Even though the conversation with the pianist risked the loss of the train, we somehow managed to arrive to Manchester. We took a flight to Amsterdam and then a train to Osnabrück.

This is the first time that AEGEE-Osnabrück, Frankfurt am Main and Köln have joined resources and evil minds to built an ambitious TSU (travel summer university), which will pass through Osnabrück, Köln, Bonn, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. The organisers choose to focus on the personal vision of Europe, giving birth to a TSU full of content that mix Civic Education, European Citizenship and YVote.

On arrival we met Franzi and we joined the group to begin their European Night, where we had the pleasure to taste the true and original “Osnabrück-ian” bolognese.

For those who don’t know what European Night is, it’s a tradition in AEGEE, where all the countries bring their traditional food and drinks. We had the chance to grab a glass of sangria (we had both, red and white - so professional), a stroopwel, a shot of vodka with a cucumber, a piece of mortadella with a handful of homegrown salty almonds, some fake tzaziki, and much more.

Everything was perfect, even the puke in the stairs kept from the organisers.

 

With the morning light, came a new day of workshops and 35 degree heat. Tori delivered the first one about democracy and participation, and then the group provided proof of unexpected tongue twister skills (-even with a month filled of not one or two, but three marshmallows!)

How to end the perfect day? A barbecue night and chilling in the park. Can you smell the sausages? Of course, otherwise it wouldn’t be in Deutschland!

The group needs energy because tomorrow they’re going to hitchhike until Köln. A real challenge for many of them, who aren’t used to travelling in this way, but after all they learnt all the necessaries tips. After all… Summers are made for adventure! Who knows, maybe after a successful first hitchhiking attempt they will try it again in the future.

 

Unfortunately not us, we’ve just 3 trains ahead of us until our next stop: Bamberg!

 

A special thank you to Leonardo, Franzi and the amazing individual that allowed us to call her home “our home” for 2 wonderful nights.

 

hosted by AEGEE-Osnabrück, AEGEE-Köln & AEGEE-Frankfurt am Main

written by Martina (AEGEE-Bologna)


Route #2 at sLOVEnia at first sight II. aka The green adventure

 

#Pivapčići #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

Slovenia may be one of the smallest countries in Central Europe, but there is no other one that contains within its borders Alpine mountains, thick forests, historic cities and a (short but still) Adriatic coastline. Thanks to its picturesque location  and numerous breathtaking places, such as Lake Bled, Triglav National Park or Postojna Cave, more and more tourists choose Slovenia as a holiday destination. No wonder, each year the Summer University organized by AGEE-Maribor and AEGEE-Ljubljana enjoys one of the highest number of applicants. This year over 35 young Europeans had the pleasure to spend the summer of their lifetimes in lovely Slovenia.Even though, the number of tourists visiting Slovenia is constantly growing, there are still numerous cases of confusion between Slovenia and Slovakia. Sometimes it might be funny for both nationalities, but an example of Slovenian anthem played before Slovakia - Italy game during  Ice Hockey World Championships in Germany last year proves that there is a problem with distinguishing those two countries. So dear reader, if having read the headline of this article you thought about the republic that was formed in 1993, after the Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Divorce, believe me, you’re not alone. But just to make it clear, this time the focus is on the Republic of Slovenia, one of seven (including Kosovo) post-Yugoslav states, known mostly for its beautiful nature.Slovenian nature is one and only - anybody who has been to the country will for sure agree with me. So do locals and that’s why AEGEE-Ljubljana and AEGEE-Maribor have decided to organize a Green SU. Participants from all over Europe attended numerous workshops provided by two trainers from the Society and the Environment Interest Group of European Students’ Forum. But the activities on the subject of sustainability were just one part of the agenda - young Europeans had also a chance to discover the diversity of Slovenian nature by visiting places such as Velika Planina, Tolmin or Bled. Route#2 has joined the (quite huge) group of Slovenian SU participants and organizers for two days in Maribor, the second biggest city of Slovenia. We also had the pleasure to hike in Pohorje, which was definitely the highlight of our stay in Maribor (and also a bit of a challenge taking into account the really hot weather conditions that day). But each Summer University is also about the local culture. Depending on the organizers, participants can get acquainted with national dances, songs, local cuisine or language. Me and Alberto managed not only to enjoy beautiful Maribor and provide a quiz about the SU Project’s history but also to join the group during a Slovenian language workshop. And honestly, we couldn't be more lucky! From that moment on, neither me nor any other participant will confuse Slovenia with Slovakia. Why? Well, can you think of any language that is spoken by less than 2.5 mln but has almost 50 dialects? Do you know what the oldest Slavic language is? Have you heard about a few lovers’ languages that use dual grammatical forms in addition to the singular and the plural while referring to couples? The answer to all those question is simple - SLOVENIAN language (also known as Slovene). 

What is more, (at least in my humble opinion) no other nationality can curse in such a lovely way. That’s because traditional Slovenian swear words are mild by nature and saying them loud you don’t sound offensive or vulgar at all. Just imagine using expressions like: Let the hen kick you! (Naj te koklja brcne!), Go salt yourself! (Pojdi se solit!), Even your dog doesn't like you! (Pes te nima rad!) or Jesus Christ´s underwear! (Kristusove gate!) when you lose your temper. Possible only in Slovenia! Taking into account the dual form used in Slovene as well as those delightfully sounding curse words, I finally understand why it’s SLOVEnia (and not to be mistaken with Slovakia!)

 

hosted by AEGEE-Maribor & AEGEE-Ljubljana

written by Marta (AEGEE-Warszawa)


Route #3 at León 1988 "Sol, Playa y Olé"

 

#calimocho #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

 The second stop of route 3 was León. León is a small, student city in the Nothern part of Spain. It is located next to Portugal. León was part of the project Summer Break with 3 other antennae this year, meaning that the event lasted only one week. We arrived right in the middle of it. The accomodation of León was a gym, in the middle of the city, not so far from the University.

While wandering in the city you can admire its beautiful cathedral, symbol of the town and AEGEE-León.

The first day we had the chance to attend different workshops. The first one was about Equal Rights within the Summer University project, how it was at the beginning, how it is now and how it should be in 30 years. The second workshop was a “Cheese and Wine Tasting”, participants tried different Spanish cheese from the region and learnt how to taste wine like a professional. And the night, we did our first and only European Night of the trip! The idea behind European Night is to share a part of our local culture, food and drinks. The group was made of different nationalities and everyone brought something. We had a great time!  

During our stay in León we delivered two different workshops: one about the Summer University Project and its anniversary, and the other about the European Institutions. We decided to provide a workshop about the functioning of the EU and its history. It was really interesting to see how much the participants knew about our Union and how much they learnt thanks to our workshop.

During the second night, we did something different from what we can expect to do in an AEGEE event. We went to an observatory to watch the stars and the moon. Thanks to a telescope we saw Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the moon.

 

hosted by AEGEE-León

written by Lila (AEGEE-Paris) & Diego (AEGEE-Brescia)


Route #5 at 505 Unknown Pleasures of Britain

 

#route5 #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

Some of you may be asking: has a SU ever taken place in England, in the history of AEGEE?

You may be surprised to know that there was actually a SU organised in Glasgow more than 10 years ago.

And maybe you thought that there would have never been again a SU in the UK?

AEGEE-Sheffield and AEGEE-Manchester showed us that nothing is so far from the truth, and they strongly want to come back on track. A surprising result considering that AEGEE-Sheffield was promoted as Antenna only during the Spring Agora Krakow 2018.

Actually some of the more experienced members inside the two locals had this dream of making a SU for a long time: there was even an existing document with sleeping ideas, workshop about British culture and possible activities to witness how much they wanted this project to become real.

AEGEE-Manchester and Sheffield have already worked together the last year, the team was really motivated, then just a pinch of courage and craziness and the SU 505 Unknown Pleasures of Britain finally started.

The event was really unique so how could we miss the chance to visit them and to report our experience?

 

So while I was still struggling with an adventurous journey from Vilnius to Sheffield (and could it be otherwise?) trying to join the rest of the team, Tori and Alberto catched a flight from their first stop in Delft to Manchester, and they delivered a workshop about democracy and participation in Sheffield.

The morning after, finally together, we woke up at 7.30 to spend a sunny and healthy Sunday hiking. And how can a truly British SU start without the smell of the toasted bread, a hot cup of tea and the soundtrack of Harry Potter? - By the way later on I learnt that all the participants received a magic stick in their welcome pack, and I couldn’t hide my jealousy about that.

We took a double decker bus and the group had an interesting meeting with the local people that seemed quite surprised and amused to see a chaotic crowd invading their lazy Sunday morning. Then we ended in the countryside with purple hills painted by heather and lavender.

But as you all know a true AEGEE group can’t stand the idea of spending a relaxing day hiking, so we ‘decided’ to leave the regular path and to follow our free spirit through the British jungle, jumping over a fence with a barbed wire, rolling down the stony road, doing races with the sheeps and finally swimming and resting at the lake.

Never mind, we enjoyed every moment of the day, we had the chance to sleep, eat and chat with many different people and even to look at their gossip box, also filled with some true piece of engineering. It’s sad to leave so soon but Osnabrück is waiting for us!

Our motivation to wake up at 5.30 tomorrow in order to catch the flight?

Only 1017 kilometres between us and the next shower.

 

A special thank you to Oksana and Bryn that made us feel at home and took care of us before and during our stay.

 

hosted by AEGEE-Sheffield & AEGEE-Manchester

written by Martina (AEGEE-Bologna)


Route #2 at The Legend of the Czech Grail

 

#Pivapčići #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

17 hours and 5 different trains - that’s how the second part of Route#2 adventure has begun. A long afternoon and night travel from Gdańsk to Prague may be a bit exhausting, but the Polish-Italian team knew that they have less than 24h to enjoy the Czech capital, so the schedule was really tight. Starting with joining the participants’ group during the morning city tour, having lunch in a typical Czech canteen and then visiting Staropramen beer museum with a degustation of a local pivo.

 

Beer, knedlíky and smažený sýr - those are definitely my first connotations with Czech Republic. I know, sounds so stereotypical but can you blame me if I tell you that first time I have ever drunk beer was nowhere else but in one of the lovely Bohemian cities? Nevertheless, if you have been to Czech Republic but haven’t tried those three delicacies - shame on you! But more to the point, the fact that Czechs love beer is probably not a surprise to anybody, but were you aware that their yearly consumption per person is the highest in the world? And they are world’s biggest beer drinkers for over 20 consecutive years! Statistically an average Czech drinks more or less a pint of beer every 35 h. By the way, I’m pretty sure during The Legend of the Czech Grail Summer University organized by AEGEE-Praha & AEGEE-Plzeň participants did their best to act like the locals, at least when it comes to the amount of this amber beverage drunk.

But all jokes aside, AEGEE-Praha and AEGEE-Plzeň are totally aware that pivo is an important part of Czech culture. Therefore, they have decided to include a visit in the Pivovar Staropramen in their programme. Thanks to that, young Europeans from all around Europe, from Las Palmas to Russia, had an opportunity to not only taste the original Czekish beverage, but actually experience an interactive tour through time that presents the history of one of the oldest European brewery.

 

Although the walk through the historic brewery building was nothing like a typical museum tour - the actual guide was replaced by the “voice guide” and holographic of the brewery founder, it was a modern version of presenting rich history of Czech beer production. Participants got acquainted with the history of Staropramen brand, saw a mocked-up office of the first brewery owner and the laboratory where the original recipe was invented, but also found out how the whole process of production, bottling and worldwide distribution looks like. Not mentioning the smell of fresh hop wafting throughout the whole tour that made all of us even more thirsty. So finally, as the last ‘station’ of the visit we could enjoy the taste of one chosen type of beverage produced in one of the world’s most famous Czech brewery. And believe me, thanks to the beer degustation both beer gourmets and those, who just like me, usually prefer numerous different drinks felt a burst of energy needed for the remaining activities planned for that day.

 

Yes, that was not the end of attractions that day! Even though it was already late afternoon when we came back to hostel, there was not much time to rest. The agenda was very strict - evening workshop on Summer University Project and quiz concerning its history. However, to make the tough day more bearable organisers and us, Adventurers, joined forces and prepared a surprise SU birthday party. That long day in Prague couldn’t end in better way - birthday cake and champagne were the perfect icing of the cake!

 

hosted by AEGEE-Praha & AEGEE-Plzeň

written by Marta (AEGEE-Warszawa)

 

PS Don’t forget to celebrate International Beer Day on August 3rd!


Route #1 at Living the green age: Battle of the lowlands

 

#germanic #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

I arrived to Leuven in the afternoon. I took some pictures of the city, and grabbed my first waffles of the day on the way to the accommodation.

 

Bence, the other adventurer, arrived earlier to take some video material while I was doing the WS in Aachen, so I was going to meet up with him and the rest of the SU. Upon arriving, I introduced myself to everyone, and then it was time for some sports activities by the group.

 

After that, we had a brief WS about hitchhiking, which we were going to do the next day, and dinner. I tried to do my best to talk to everyone I could before the 30 Years of SU  workshop. For the workshops, the setup was that Bence would take pictures and videos, and I would do the actual WS. The first activity was speed-dating, followed by an agree-disagree game. People seemed engaged, which I was really happy about. After that, participants from each nationality had to draw a map of how they perceive the borders of Europe. It was really interesting to see how participants from similar regions see things the same way, especially when it came to the differences between Western and Eastern Europe.

 

The next morning started out with making signs for hitchhiking.

 

Bence and I started out at a gas station, just holding up our sign and trying to make eye contact with the passing drivers. We did not succeed for a long time, so we moved to the road leading to Eindhoven and tried to find a spot where a car could park easily. We had to wait there for a while, but most drivers had a reaction to us, which was nice. In the end a nice Belgian gentleman picked us up and took us to our destination.

 

We arrived to Eindhoven late in the afternoon. The participants that already arrived were in the middle of a Stroopwafel making workshop, and as someone who LOVES stroopwafels, this was heaven for me. Unfortunately we did not have time to make any for ourselves as we had to bike and leave for the accommodation, but one of the organizers made some for us later.

In the evening the organisers from Eindhoven gave a really nice WS about biking in the Netherlands, which later turned out to be very useful for us. Most people were too tired to party so we tried to get as much sleep as we could. We were off to Tilburg the next morning!

 

hosted by AEGEE-Leuven, AEGEE-Eindhoven, AEGEE-Utrecht

written by Zita (AEGEE-Budapest)


Route #2 at be CuRious, bE originAl, invenT, imaginE -CREATE

#Pivapčići #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Poland? Is it pierogi, some alcoholic beverage, Robert Lewandowski, Lech Wałęsa or maybe Jean Paul II? There are plenty of possibilities but either way you won’t probably say Poles are one of the most creative European nationalities. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. And it’s exactly one of the stereotype AEGEE-Warszawa along with AEGEE-Gdańsk tried to break by organizing a Travelling Summer University with a focus on developing the participants’ creativity skills.

 

The same question as stated before has been asked to the young Europeans who decided to go this summer to Poland. And guess what? Turned out that having spent 14 days in the country they can already name numerous Polish personalities, whose creativity makes them worldwide known.

 

Let’s begin for instance with Friderick Chopin. Sounds Polish? Maybe not to all of you, but actually this composer and virtuoso pianist comes from Poland. That is one of the numerous things that 26 young people from all over Europe have found out during the SUmmer of their lifetime in Poland. And what is the best way to learn about music master and his art then actually hear it? You may not find it in most of travel guides concerning Warsaw but an openair Chopin Concert that takes place in Royal Łazienki Park in the Polish capital is something really worth seeing (and listening to, of course). Believe us! A little birdie told us that even those participants of the Summer University who admitted classical music is not their cup of tea, have found the Chopin art played live really inspiring.

 

Need more example of Polish creativity? Let’s think out of the box - creativity can be found not only in art. It’s a value added in almost every area of life. It relates to any work you do, no matter if you’re a cook, teacher, marketing specialist or …. an astronomer like Nicolaus Copernicus. That’s the next Polish person Poles can be proud of. If not him, would we still believe that it’s the Earth that is the centre of universe? Definitely not, but thanks to him we became aware of the matter of fact much sooner. Still wonder whether Copernicus was creative? In 16th century his way of thinking makes him a crazy man, whereas nowadays such a personality for sure will be described as an innovator. But how can you describe innovation if not as a derivative of creativity?  That’s the reason AEGEE-Warszawa and AEGEE-Gdańsk decided to show their European guests Toruń - the city where Nicolaus Copernicus was born and raised.

The final stop of the SU was Gdańsk - the city known mostly for being the Polish principal seaport and the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, that has an influence on spreading anti-communist ideals and movements throughout the countries of the Eastern Bloc.

 

Those facts cannot be omitted while talking about Gdańsk. However, AEGEE-Gdańsk wanted to present its city in a slightly different and more creative way. Therefore, the last days of Summer University were full of workshops conducted by Public Relations Committee as well as Adventurers of 30 years of Summer University, who had a pleasure to join the event for 3 days. Staying in Gdańsk was a perfect conclusion of a 2-weeks-long SU in Poland. After all the knowledge gained during previous stops as well as Polish language and culture workshops provided in Gdańsk, participants finally got a chance to prove how their creativity skills and knowledge of Poland have been improved. Final outcome? You will be surprised, how much do they develop their public speaking and video making skills (not mentioning how delicious were pierogi they have prepared). Does the Visual Identity sounds like something foreign or incredibly complicated? Not anymore! Can they name several Poles who were or are important cultural figures for Polish heritage?

 

Sure, even in one breath! And all that happened while having the SUmmer of the lifetime!

 

hosted by AEGEE-Gdańsk and AEGEE-Warszawa

written by Marta (AEGEE-Warszawa)


Route #1 at Extremer Deutsch: Der, Die, Das - was soll der Scheiß?!

 #germanic #30yearsofSU #EuropeForCulture #AEGEE #FromOneSUmmerToAnother

 

I woke up on the first day full of excitement. I caught my plane to Düsseldorf, and did some sightseeing while I waited for Bence, the other adventurer. At around 4, we met up with Angi from AEGEE-Aachen, who was the main organizer of the SU. We went to greet the participants, who were doing some team activities in a park nearby. Bence and I did an interview with 3 organizers right away, which gave us great insight into what the SU was like. Shortly after, we headed to our partying and sleeping location in Düsseldorf: a church!

Apparently, because churches are underused, it is common that church officials rent the church buildings to local organizations for free. When we got there, we played some games and had dinner. The SU had a rule, as it was a German language course as well, that participants can only talk in German to the organizers and to each other. Bence’s and my German was quite rusty, so luckily they made and exception for us. As they had been there for 9 days already, we had to try extra hard to fit in and get to know everyone. The organizers held a 30 years of SU Birthday Celebration with cake and then everybody partied until the early morning.

 

The next morning, we said goodbye to the organizers from AEGEE-Düsseldorf and headed to Cologne. There, after some sightseeing and group pictures, we had free time in Cologne. Most of the participants and the organizers headed to Pride, and we decided to join them. The parade was really fun and colourful, and it was a great opportunity to take pictures.

We lingered around the event area for a while, and then headed to the riverbank to chill. We headed to Aachen that evening and stayed with an organizer that night (shoutout to Maya!).

 

The next morning, Bence left early for Leuven to record their events, while I remained in Aachen a bit longer to do a YEP workshop for the participants. The topic was ‘No democracy without participation’ and I was a bit nervous to do it, but the participants were really nice and active, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

 

hosted by AEGEE-Aachen

written by Zita (AEGEE-Budapest)


Nîmes : Comment être née et élevée dans une ville française, construite par les italiens mais aux influences espagnoles ?

+++ English version beneath +++

 

Je suis arrivée à Paris en Septembre 2013, après avoir vécu 18 ans dans le sud de la France. Paris était mon rêve. Depuis mes 4 ans, j’ai toujours imaginé le jour où je déménagerai à Paris. Et finalement il est arrivé. Tout était nouveau pour moi, je vivais seule, dans une métropole, je rencontrais de nouvelles personnes et profitais de la vie étudiante. Mais quelque chose me manquait, ma ville natale me manquait, son soleil, ses habitants, son atmosphère unique.

 

Nîmes, petite ville de 150 000 habitants, est située dans le sud de la France, entre la Mer Méditerranée et la région des Cévennes. Connue comme la petite Rome française à cause  des 7 collines encerclant la ville. L’histoire raconte que l’Empereur August tomba amoureux de Nemausus (ancien nom donnée à la ville) à cause des 7 collines, lui rappelant Rome. Il y installa une colonie romaine, autour de la source d’eau Nemausus. Il y construit de nouveaux monuments, dont certains sont encore visibles aujourd’hui : la Tour Magne, le Jardin de la Fontaine (thermes romains), la Maison Carré (Forum), les Arènes (l’amphithéâtre). Les visiteurs peuvent aussi encore admirer les deux portes (Porte de France et Porte August), historiquement utilisées pour entrer dans la ville, et le Castellum, un vestige gallo-romain très rare qui permettait d’acheminer l’eau de l’aqueduc directement dans la ville. Le symbole Nîmes est le crocodile enchaîné à un palmier, symbolisant la victoire des Romains en Egypte.

 

En se baladant, les visiteurs peuvent admirer aux détours des rues différents crocodiles, symbole de la ville et de son passé romain. Nîmes est une ville remplie d’histoires et aime le rappeler : la ville concours cette année pour être labellisée patrimoine mondiale de l’Unesco.

Pile au milieu de la France, à 5 heures de Turin et 5 heures de Barcelone, Nîmes a largement été influencée par la culture espagnole au fil des ans. En 1951, la ville organisa sa première Féria, un festival très populaire autour de la tauromachie. J’avais 3 ans lorsque j’ai assisté à ma première corrida. Les premières corridas ont été organisées dès le XIXème siècle en France, et même avant que cela ne devienne officiellement reconnu en 1951, la ville avait déjà accueilli plusieurs corridas grâce au soutien de la population locale et de certains élus locaux, transgressant l’interdiction. Aujourd’hui, les corridas sont interdites mais exceptionnellement autorisées dans certaines régions du sud de la France.

 

Tous les ans pour chaque Féria, les écoles ferment et les habitants s’arrêtent de travailler. Pendant 5 jours, la ville ne fonctionne plus et vit autour de la féria, tout le monde se rassemble dans le centre-ville afin de célébrer ces festivités : partageant des verres, écoutant les fanfares jouer dans la rues, regardant la Pégoulade ou l’abrivado.

 

Journée basique d’un Nîmois à la Féria :

11 heure : Corrida du matin

14 heure : Paella ou viande de taureau de corrida dans l’un des restaurants de rue

18 heure : Corrida du soir

21 heure : Bodega

6 heure : Rentrer chez-soi

Et cela pendant 5 jours !

 

Dernière anecdote sur la ville : la toile des jeans a été inventée à Nîmes, c’est pour cela que l’on les appelle les Jeans Denim (Jeans de Nîmes). Et ceci n’est pas une blague !

Nîmes est une ville méditerranéo-européenne : situé en France, italienne par son histoire mais espagnole par sa culture. Cela rend la ville unique. J’ai grandi en étant nourrie par les olives, la viande de taureau, la paella, les férias, les corridas et les monuments romains.

 

Par Lila Quaile (AEGEE-Paris)

Nîmes : How is it to be born and raised in a French city built by Italians and influenced by Spanish culture?

I arrived in Paris in September 2013 after eighteen years in the South of France. Paris was my dream. Since I was 4 years old I was dreaming about the day I would move to Paris. And finally this day came. Everything was new for me, I was living alone, in a big city, meeting hundreds of new people and enjoying the student life. But something was missing, I was missing my hometown, my beloved Nîmes, its sun, its people, but most of it, its unique atmosphere.

 

Nîmes, a little town of 150 000 inhabitants, is situated in the south of France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Cevènnes region. It’s known as the little French Rome here because of the 7 hills surrounding the city. Legends says that the Emperor Augustus fell in love with Nemausus (ancient name of the city) because of its 7 hills, reminding him of Rome. He set up a Roman colony there, around the water source water source Nemausus. He built hundreds of monuments and some of them are still visible today : La Tour Magne, Le Jardin de la Fontaine (ancient baths), La Maison Carré (forum), Les Arènes (amphitheater). Visitors can also still admire the two doors (Porte de France and Porte August) historically used to enter in the city, and the Castellum, a very rare Gallo-roman vestige used to bring the water from the aqueduct directly to the city. Its symbol is the crocodile and the palm tree, because after the Egyptian campaign, some Romans soldiers established themselves in the city and symbolised their victory in Egypt with a crocodile chained to a palm tree. All around the city, visitors can admire different crocodiles symbolising the city and its Roman past. Nîmes is full of history and likes to remind it to its population : the city is now running for the label of Unesco World Heritage.

 

Right in the middle of France, 5 hours away from Torino and 5 hours from Barcelona, Nîmes has been largely influenced by Spain through the years. In 1951, the city decided to organise its first “Feria”, which is a very popular festival around bullfighting. I was 3 years old the first time I saw my first Corrida. The first corridas have been organised during the XIXth century, and before becoming official in 1951, Nîmes organised several corridas supported by the local population and some local representatives transgressing the prohibition. Nowadays, corrida are allowed in France only in some specific regions from the south.

 

Every year for each Feria, the schools are closed, nobody is going to work. For 5 days the city just stop working and everyone is partying in all the center, all together, from 5 to 85 years old. Sharing drinks, listening to the bands playing musics, looking at ‘La Pégoulade’ and ‘l’abrivado’.

 

Basic day of one ‘Nîmois’ during the Feria :

11am: Going to the Morning Corrida

2pm: Eating Paella or Corrida’s Bull meat in one of the stand on the main street.

6pm: Going to the Evening Corrida

9pm: Partying into ‘Bodega’

6am: Going to bed

And start over for 5 days long!

 

Last funny fact : The canvas of jeans have been created in Nîmes, that’s why it is called Jeans Denim (Jeans De Nîmes), and this is not a joke!

Nîmes is a Mediterranean-European city : situated in France, Italian by its history but Spanish by its culture. This is what makes my city unique. I grew up fed by olives, bull meat, paella, feria, Roman monuments and corrida.

 

By Lila Quaile (AEGEE-Paris)


Wind, Wolken, Meer – Land der Teetrinker: Ostfriesland

Foto: Dirk Vorderstraße/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

+++ English version beneath +++

 

„Ich komme aus Deutschland“. Wenn man diesen Satz zu jemandem sagt, wird man oft mit denselben Stereotypen konfrontiert. Bier. Dirndl. Lederhose. Das mag zwar im Süden alles zur Tradition gehören, aber ich komme aus einer ganz anderen Region: Ostfriesland.

 

Ostfriesland befindet sich im Nord-Westen von Deutschland: am Meer, und ist für ein anderes Getränk bekannt: den Tee.  Allein schon in der Nähe der kleinen Stadt in der ich aufgewachsen bin (Fun Fact: sie heißt Norden, wie die Himmelsrichtung) gibt es drei Teefabriken. Daher gibt es auch eine spezielle Tee-Zeremonie um den Tee richtig zu genießen. Der Kluntje (ein spezielles Zuckerstück) wird in die Tasse gelegt, der Tee wird darüber gegossen und dann wird mit einer kleinen Kelle die Sahne hinzugefügt, die sich von selbst verteilt. Umrühren gehört sich gar nicht. Der Löffel dient lediglich dazu, zu signalisieren, ob man noch Tee möchte oder nicht (wer sich noch mehr für die Tee Regeln interessiert kann hier noch eine detailliertere Beschreibung finden: http://www.ostfriesland.de/mein-ostfriesland/bummeln-und-kulinarik/regionale-spezialitaeten/teetradition/die-teezeremonie.html).

 

Noch eine Spezialität in Ostfriesland ist das Plattdeutsche. Ich spreche es nicht, aber viele ältere Menschen kommunizieren meist nur auf dieser Sprache. Plattdeutsch ist zwar sehr nah am Deutschen, aber doch zu anders, als dass sie nur ein Dialekt wäre. Die älteren Menschen der Region geben diese traditionelle Sprache auch an ihre Kinder und Enkelkinder weiter.

 

„Germany and sea are somehow never connected in my mind“. Diesen Satz habe ich von einem Freund von mir gehört. Eigentlich sehr schade, denn das Meer an der Nordseeküste ist in verschiedener Hinsicht besonders. Es befindet sich nicht Sand auf dem Grund vor der Küste, sondern das Watt. Dieses kann man zweimal am Tag bewundern, da es dort Ebbe und Flut gibt. Das heißt, dass das Wasser  in regelmäßigen Abständen auf- und abläuft, sodass man zur richtigen Zeit sogar von meiner Heimatstadt zur nächsten benachbarten Insel wandern kann (sollte allerdings nur mit einem professionellen Führer gemacht werden, ansonsten kann es sehr gefährlich sein). Und das Beste: Es gibt dort Seehunde, die man ganz leicht bei einer Schiffsfahrt entdecken kann. Manchmal verlieren kleine Seehunde ihre Mutter in einem Sturm und rufen laut nach ihr, daher werden sie „Heuler“ genannt. Dann werden sie oft auch von Menschen gefunden und in der Seehundaufzuchtstation groß gezogen, bis sie stark genug sind um selbst im Meer zu überleben und dorthin zurück gebracht werden. Das Wattenmeer ist übrigens Weltnaturerbe!

 

Von Natascha Jürgens (AEGEE-Passau)

Wind, clouds and sea – Land of tea drinkers: East Frisia

+++ English version +++

  

„I am from Germany“. When saying this to someone, you often get confronted with the same stereotypes. Beer. Dirndl. Lederhose. (check the post by Tonya Stupakova) That may belong to the culture in the South but I come from a completely different region: East Frisia.

 

East Frisia is in the North-West of Germany at the sea and known for a special beverage: tea. Close to the small town where I grew up (fun fact: it is called Norden which translated literally to North like the geographical direction) there are already three tea factories. Therefore there is also a specific tea ceremony to properly enjoy your tea. First a “Kluntje” (a piece of sugar that can only be found in East Frisia to sweeten the tea) is put in the cup, the tea is poured over it and with a small ladle some cream is added that is spreading by itself. You are not supposed to stir, the spoons only purpose is to signalise whether you want more tea or not ( if you are interested in the more detailed description of the tea rules you can find more detailed information here: http://www.ostfriesland-tourism.com/my-ostfriesland/culinary/tealand-ostfriesland.html).

 

Another characteristic of East Frisia is the local traditional language “Plattdeutsch”. I do not speak it myself but a lot of older people only communicate in this language that is very close to German but still too different to be just a dialect. It sometimes sounds like mixture of Dutch, German and English. In some regions there are projects to make sure that the language is passed on to children and grandchildren so it will be maintained as a part of the culture.

 

„Germany and sea are somehow never connected in my mind“. I heard this sentence from a friend once when I told him about my home area. Actually this is very sad since the sea at the North coast is unique. On its ground you will not find sand; but Watt (a kind of mud). This can be admired twice a day, because we have the tides! Tides mean that the water is moving back and forth regularly, so that if you pick the right time of the day you can even hike from my hometown to the closest neighbour island (you should only do this with a professional guide though, since otherwise it can be very dangerous).

 

And the best part of it: There are seals which can easily be spotted when going on a boat tour. Sometimes little seals loose their mother in a storm and are crying for her (which is why they are also called “criers” in German). Then they are often found by humans and nurtured in a seal nurturing station until they are strong enough to survive on their own in the sea and are brought back there. The Wadden Sea is world natural heritage by the way!

 

By Natascha Jürgens (AEGEE-Passau)

 

Check out more photos beneath!


Bayrische Tracht: Wenn Kleidung Signale aussendet

+++ English version below +++

 

Die Bayern sind stolz auf ihre Traditionen und pflegen diese auch in der heutigen modernen Zeit. Ein unentbehrliches Symbol kultureller Identität ist im Freistaat die Tracht.

 

Traditionelle Bayrische Kleidung unterscheidet sich von Region zu Region. Sie ist immer ein kleines bisschen anders und die Erfahrung zeigt, dass sich die modernen Durchschnittsbayern selbst nicht sicher sind, welche als die Richtige gelten soll. Vereinfacht gesagt: Was unverändert bleibt sind die Lederhosen, Haferlschuhe und Trachtenhemd für Männer; Bluse, Dirndlkleid und Schürze für Frauen.

 

Heutzutage wird traditionelle bayerische Bekleidung meist zu besonderen Anlässen getragen, wie zum Beispiel Volksfesten. Offensichtlich darf die Tracht auf dem Oktoberfest auf keinen Fall fehlen. Aber auch an einem ganz normalen Tag wenn noch kein großes Volksfest bevorsteht bzw. längst vorbei ist, ist es völlig in Ordnung, ein paar Bayern in Lederhosen irgendwo Mitten in der Stadt zu begegnen. Es ist dermaßen üblich, dass die Tatsache nur noch Touristen ins Auge springt.

Trachtelemente sind hier überall: Traditionelle Bayrische Gaststätten wären ohne das Bedienungspersonal in Tracht kaum vorstellbar, die Restauranträume werden mit Trachtelementen dekoriert und viele Studierende besorgen sich ein Dirndl oder eine Lederhose, auch wenn sie nur für einige Jahre nach Bayern, also nur zum Studium kommen. Warum? Weil es sich hundertprozentig lohnt!

 

Neben der kulturellen Prägung spielt die Tracht auch bei einer anderen Sache eine bedeutende Rolle. Und zwar soll das Dirndl den Beziehungsstatus einer Frau verraten. Es ist nämlich unheimlich wichtig, an welcher Seite sich die Dirndlschürze bindet, denn das kann durchaus Folgen haben:  Je nachdem, wo sie gebunden wird, versteht der Man, womit er später rechnen kann, wenn er die Frau anspricht. Ist die Schleife rechts, so ist die Dame bereits vergeben, verlobt oder verheiratet wohingegen die Schleife an der linken Seite signalisiert, dass die Frau noch zu haben ist. Die Kommunikation, die auf diese Art während der Feste stattfindet ist einfach genial, denn die Männer brauchen sich nicht den Kopf zu zerbrechen und die Frauen können ggf. ihr Bier in Ruhe genießen. Dazu sollen sie natürlich wissen, wie sie die Schleife richtig binden müssen. Tipps dazu gibt es in diesem Artikel: http://www.bayerische-spezialitaeten.net/wiesn/dirndl-schleife-bedeutung.html

 

Die beliebte Tradition zeigt sich allerdings manchmal kontrovers. So äußern sich einige dafür, dass die Männer mit ihrer Tracht ebenfalls offenbaren sollten, wie es mit dem Beziehungsstatus bei ihnen aussieht. Und wer weiß, vielleicht wird es eines Tages tatsächlich zustande kommen.

Mehr Informationen unter: https://www.focus.de/regional/muenchen/oktoberfest/oktoberfest-2016-mitte-links-oder-rechts-her-mit-der-dirndl-schleife-fuer-die-maennerwelt_id_6017926.html

 

von Tonya Stupakova (AEGEE-Passau)

 

Bavarian Costumes: When clothes send signals

+++ English version +++

 

Bavarians are very proud of their traditions and practice them even up to today. A very well known, unique and essential symbol of cultural identity in the Free State of Bavaria are Bavarian costumes, the so called Tracht.

 

Interestingly traditional Bavarian clothing differs in various regions (or even villages) of the Free State. The differences lie within the details and most of the modern average Bavarian is often confused about the variety to choose from. Put bluntly: for men the only that did not change are the leather trousers (Lederhosen), traditional shoes (Haferlschuhe) and the traditional shirt (Trachtenhemd); whereas women wear a fitting blouse (Bluse), a traditional dress (Dirndlkleid) and an apron (Schürze) over the skirt.

 

Nowadays people put on their Bavarian clothing mostly for special occasions throughout the year, such as a Volksfest (folk festival). Obviously wearing Tracht is a must-do when visiting the Oktoberfest in Munich. However do not be surprised when meeting Bavarians dressed up in their traditional clothing in daily life. It is quite common to wear the outfit even without any special occasion.

 

Moreover are the traditions always present in the day to day life: for example traditional Bavarian inns or pubs (Gasthäuser) cannot be imagined without the waitresses and waiters wearing a Tracht, the dining rooms are usually decorated with traditional accessories, symbols and details.

 

Another interesting fact is that even many students coming to Bavaria only for their studies, hence staying there a limited time, buy themselves a Tracht during their studies. Why is that? Because it is a 100% worth it!

 

Along with its cultural factor the Tracht also plays another important role. It is a sort of indicator for the relationship status of a woman. Hence it is very important on which side the apron is laced. Lacing the apron on the right hand side means that the woman is in a relationship, engaged or married. Lacing it however on the left hand side signals that the woman is single. This creates a unique way of communication. When approaching a woman wearing an apron one knows what to expect. Plus women can enjoy their beer calmly and avoid maybe annoying conversations. For this of course women need to know how to lace their apron correctly. Tips on how to lace your apron and where to lace it can be found here: http://www.bayerische-spezialitaeten.net/wiesn/dirndl-schleife-bedeutung.html

 

However this tradition is recently debated controversy. Some people pledge for men to also indicate their relationship status with their clothing. It is an ongoing debate, who knows maybe it will be established sooner or later. An article on the matter can be found here: https://www.focus.de/regional/muenchen/oktoberfest/oktoberfest-2016-mitte-links-oder-rechts-her-mit-der-dirndl-schleife-fuer-die-maennerwelt_id_6017926.html

 

by Tonya Stupakova (AEGEE-Passau)

________________________________________________________________

Translated by Jasmin Kaiser & Timo Schaper (European Citizenship Working Group)



The information and views set out in these posts are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of AEGEE-Europe or ESACH. They may portray a particular experience of the individuals writing the posts and are meant to show the variety of views.