Muumi's travelling...

Being an AEGEE member usually involves travelling a lot, which sometimes, according to the US State Department, can be rather dangerous. 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:

  1. Dubrovnik - Hrvatska
    Small but beautiful Medieval bulwark in the south of Croatia. The whole city was put on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Nevertheless it was attacked several times during the ex-Yugoslavia crisis.

  2. Sankt Peterburg - Rossija
    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 day...

  3. Breda - Nederland
    Capital city of the Barony of Breda, in which my birth-place Rijen is situated. Current Baroness is Her Majesty Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, Queen of the Netherlands, princess of Orange-Nassau, princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld etc.

    Breda 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.

    Important sights 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 Great or Our Lady Basilica, built in the 15th century in Brabant style.

  4. Novi Sad - SR Jugoslavija
    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.

  5. Ljubljana - Slovenija
    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...

  6. Kyïv - Ukraïna
    The mother of all Russian cities. Nice old architecture, some new/old churches, cave monastery, Sofia, Dnipro river, chestnuts, too much to mention!

    Read more about Ukraine [in Dutch] at: SPSNO.

  7. Praha - Ceská Republika
    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

  8. Budapest - Magyarország
    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...)

  9. Sarajevo - Bosna i Hercegovina
    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.

  10. Paris - France
    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 countries/regions:

  1. Brabant
    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.

  2. Hrvatska
    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.

  3. Sverige
    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.

  4. Suomi
    '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 Scandinavian, Muumi (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

  5. Türkiye
    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 unforgettable 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 summer 1996.