Being an AEGEE member usually involves
travelling a lot, which sometimes, according to the US State Department,
can be rather
For me the most interesting way of travelling is still
hitch-hiking, mainly trough Germany. I made hot-lists of the nicest cities
and countries I visited during the last 5 years.
Here is my current hot-list of European cities:
- Dubrovnik -
Small but beautiful Medieval bulwark in the south of Croatia. The whole city
was put on the
World Heritage list. Nevertheless it was attacked several times during
the ex-Yugoslavia crisis.
- Sankt Peterburg -
Even though I visited this city only once (September 1994) I was really
impressed by it. A nice couple of islands in the Neva Delta, connected by
many bridges. Too bad Russia is getting more difficult to access every
- Breda -
Capital city of the Barony of Breda, in which my birth-place Rijen is
situated. Current Baroness is Her Majesty
Queen of the Netherlands, princess of Orange-Nassau, princess of
played a substantial role in the history of Brabant and the Netherlands.
Breda was founded in the 13th century close to the stronghold first mentioned
1198. The city gained the city charter 1252. During the Thirty Years' War, the
city was occupied by the different parties, was recaptured by Adriaen van
Bergen in his
famous 'Turfschip' 1590, was occupied again and finally regained its
sovereignty in 1637.
The 1667 Peace of Breda ended the Second Dutch-English
Naval War. As a result of that treaty the Dutch lost Nieuw Amsterdam
(later New York City) to
the English, and got Surinam in return.
include the Royal Military Academy, founded 1826 by King William I at the Breda
Castle, which was built 1350 by Jan van Polanen and extended between 1504 and
1538 by Thomas Vincidor, the Beguinage, built 1535 and the late Gothic
or Our Lady Basilica, built in the 15th century in Brabant style.
- Novi Sad -
Multi-ethnic stronghold in the north of Yugoslavia. Capital of Vojvodina,
Serbia's northernmost province. Interesting mixture of ethnicities and
architectures. Many remains of its K.u.K past.
I have visisted this
town twice: once in May 1995 (during the UN embargo that was meant to
force Yugoslavia to give up its role in the Bosnian war) and once in March
1999, two weeks before the city was attacked by NATO fighters in order to
force Yugoslavia to end the Kosovo crisis.
- Ljubljana -
Capital of Slovenia, along the Ljubljanica. The 'great'
Marshal Tito died here on 4
May 1980, but that is not the nicest there is to be found in Ljubljana. The
name of the city suggests a connection with ljubav (love), may be
that's just what happened to me, I just fell in love with it...
- Kyïv -
The mother of all Russian cities. Nice old architecture, some new/old
churches, cave monastery, Sofia, Dnipro river, chestnuts, too much to
Read more about Ukraine [in Dutch] at: SPSNO.
- Praha -
Yet another medieval city. Known for the Karluv Most, Staro
mestske namesti, the 1989 Velvet Revolution, Jan Hus, in other words
Zlatá Praha, Caput Mundi
- Budapest -
Capital of Hungary. I have lived there from April to July 1995. Nice sights,
interesting developments. The city is split in two (Buda and Pest) by the
Danube (Kék Duna, kék? nem tudom...)
- Sarajevo -
Who doesn't know Sarajevo? Unfortunately most people have almost forgotten
about it again.
AEGEE started there in January 1996, and I went there in April
1996 after having extensive e-mail contacts with some people before -
also during the siege.
- Paris -
Qu'est-ce qu'on peut dire de Paris? Ville de la lumière, Centre de la
France, 14 Julliet, Tour Eiffel, Montmartre, Champs Elysées, et tout
ça à que de quatre heures et demie d'Eindhoven, magnifique!
Below you can find my current hot-list of beautiful European
My home-region. Brabanders (Brabantians) are known for their
hospitality and their Burgundian life-style. Historical Brabant borders were
roughly the Schelde (Scheldt) in the west, the Somber (Sombre)
in the south and the Maas (Meuse) in the north and east (excluding
parts of Limburg and the bishopric of Liège).
Altough the Dukedom as such seized to exist before, the current division (into
the Dutch province Noord-Brabant, and the Belgian provinces Antwerpen, Limburg
and Brabant) was made as a result of the Westphalia Treaty, by Napolean and
was finally consolidated during the Belgian seperation in 1830/31.
Land of beautiful landscapes, marvellous islands, nice coast. Beyond doubt
my favourite country, I almost lost counting how often I have been there.
You can read my travel reports here.
Land of Emil, Pippi Långstrømpe, Annika and Tommy. Be aware of the strict alcohol
regulations by the government. Don't visit the systembolaget on a
Friday afternoon, you might encounter rows of more than 3 hours.
'Finland, the largest lunatic asylum on Earth'
(Jeroen Hoogerwerf, honorary member of AEGEE-Europe, PM Turku 1992).
The place where the McDonald's
1,000 islands salad dressing was invented. Of course known for my favourite
(Moomin), the leading character in the illustrated children's books by Tove
Jansson. Other things to be found in Finland are the well-known Sauna,
Kalevala and Salmiakkikossu
AEGEE celebrated its 10th anniversary in Antalya in 1995. After the culture
festival some members of AEGEE Eindhoven, Ankara, Rotterdam, Istanbul, Skopje,
and Thessaloniki went on an
trip along the Turkish coast and laid the
foundations for better co-operation between AEGEE antenae in Turkey,
Macedonia and Greece, which eventually resulted in the Travelling Summer
University "Via Egnetia", from Skopje via Thessaloniki to Istanbul, in