STAR Eurotrip 2015

At the end of may we each got a call that we were selected for the Eurotrip 2015. After this call we immediately met up for dinner to get to know each other, we formed a group chat and added each other on social media. Then on a Wednesday morning, 6 months ago, we formally started this amazing journey of organising the Eurotrip. We got a short presentation about what we were going to do and then we got started with organising the Eurotrip. First we had to select a city we were going to visit, and we quickly set our sights on Budapest. We got started soon afterwards with contacting airlines and accommodations, and we began shaping the program of what would become an awesome trip. A lot of meetings and disagreements later we finally had our final program and we could start our journey to Budapest. In the mean time we had a lot of dinners, drinks and other non-related STAR dates, such as the movies. During the organising process we had some ups and downs, and we can all say that we learnt a lot from this experience as organising committee.

After the applications, we did a little research on the applicants. We soon saw that we had a very chill group. This impression was confirmed after the first group dinner at the Kitchen at the Student Hotel. We also formed another group chat in case anyone had questions or remarks, but this quickly formed into a chat where we made small talk. During the trip we had an extensive program, which strengthened our bond. Notable was that during the free time a lot of people stuck together. And at night we drank our drinks together in the same spot. As we weren’t that large of a group we each got to know each other very well. After the trip we stayed in contact with each other via the group chat, and in January we will have a little reunion together over some food and drinks.

And then there it was, Monday 9th of November, we were leaving. We met up at Rotterdam Central Station in our beautiful Eurotrip sweaters. We left by bus to Rotterdam/The Hague Airport, we checked in, and before we knew we were on the plane to Budapest. Once at Budapest Airport we bought our travelcards and we left for the Hostel. Everybody was very eager to settle in their rooms, and after a quick refreshing break we went on our way to the restaurant. We walked along Andrássy út, one of the most expensive streets in Budapest. But before we had time to dream too much about shopping there, we arrived at ‘Puli’. A cute little restaurant with little lights, concrete walls and lifesize cutlery, which created a very rich atmosphere. The restaurant served us all kinds of Hungarian specialties, and after we all ate our food, we went on our way to one of the local Bars. Armed with a map we embarked on our search of Szimpla Kert, one of the most famous ‘Ruin Bars’. Curious of what awaits us we entered, and when we did we were surprised. It was a kind of cave, which was decorated with flying chairs and gnomes. People drank cocktails, which we obviously couldn’t pass up on. After a quiet first night out, we went back to our hostel to test out our beds to charge up for the next day.

The next morning the alarm was set for 7:30. Most of us had trouble getting out of their beds, but after getting some food at the supermarket and coffee at the Costa across the street, we went to Corvinus University. Along the way we enjoyed the beautiful views in Budapest. Because we had some spare time before the program started at Corvinus, we decided to take a look around the Market Hall across the street. After half an hour of looking at pigs and fish, it was time to start the program. One group went to a lecture, while the other got the tour. During the tour we got to see the difference between the older and newer buildings of the university. The newer building was mainly used for the social sciences, while the older building was used more for physics and chemistry. After the program at Corvinus ended, we met up with another tour guide who was going to guide us around Budapest. We walked along many monuments, and were told a little bit about Hungarian history. After the tour everyone had a little spare time to do whatever they wanted. As the evening drew nearer, we went to eat at a burger/pasta bar near the Hostel. After a wonderful dinner we went to Morrison’s 2 Bar, were we enjoyed the music and the drinks.

The next morning was for many an early one, but sleeping in was not a possibility since we were going on company visit to Szerencsejatek. Szerencsejatek is the only company that is allowed to offer gambling services in Hungary, since it has a state-monopoly. We were welcomed with water and Hungarian snacks. Then we got a presentation about the business in Hungary. Afterwards we visited the store across the street, and some of us bought scratch cards. Unfortunately we did not win anything. After the company visit, we went onwards to the escapegames in which we had to use our intelligence to solve riddles and puzzles to get out of the room. When all the participants had returned from the escapegames, and had their dinner, we went to Budapest’ most famous club: Instant. Instant has many different corridors and venues, in which we enjoyed our drinks and danced until the early hours.

Thursday morning we could sleep in a little, as we had to depart for the Parliament at 10.30. Still it was difficult for some to be ready in time. The Hungarian Parliament is the third largest government building in the world. During the tour at the Parliament we got to see the beautiful decorations inside, the crown jewels, which are very heavily guarded, murals and the House of Commons. After our lunch at the local McDonalds we went towards the House of Terror, which is a museum on the reign of terror during the Nazi and Fascist movements in Hungary from the second world war until the 1980s. The museum was located at the old police headquartered, and was well preserved. You could still see the old holding cells for example. Afterwards we went back to the hostel, and had our dinner. And then at around nine, we had our final activity: the pubcrawl. Starting out at a large pub, where we got an hour of free beer and wine, and three carbonated vodka shots, it looked promising. The second pub was a bar with a live band, and a more relaxed atmosphere. There we consumed our free shots and bought ourselves some drinks. On our way to the third bar, we consumed some kebabs and pizza slices. The Third bar was a ruin bar, like Szimpla Kert, which had a little spot where you could buy some food which was used to the fullest. Because some were a little too eager on the alcohol this meant the end of the trip for half of the group. The rest went on to Instant again, where the pubcrawl would end. After some drinks there, we all decided it was best to return to the hostel to prepare for a hungover 5:30AM wake up the next morning.

The following morning, after six months of hard work, and an unforgettable week, the Eurotrip 2015 was over. We want to thank all the participants for their contribution to this amazing week! We enjoyed every second of it! #checklist #buddy #modelvukan #beckaaa #eurotrip #budapest

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