Small Study Trip: Ypres & Bruges!

On the weekend of the 10th to the 12th of November, CS Ubuntu went on its annual Small Study Trip! It was a trip of firsts – not only was it the first time in our association’s history that we visited our southern neighbours, we had not one but two destinations! It was also the first time that we undertook a trip by car. You read that correctly, we rented two vans to take our 16 participants safely to our numerous wartime sites (thanks again to the participants who helped with the driving!). But all of this is nothing compared to our trip’s itinerary, which we’ve summarised (or attempted to) below.

Upon our arrival in Bruges on Friday, we visited the famous College of Europe, where Europe’s future diplomats and policy makers are being educated. There we received a thorough presentation on the Masters programmes offered and a small insight in what life at the Bruges-campus is like. Afterwards, we met with a delegation of the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (New-Flemish Alliance), a nationalist political party that fights for their understanding of a Confederal Belgium in which the Flemish region has more autonomy. We then visited the famous Halve Maan Brewery, where we were given a nice tour (and learned much about the beer-making process). We even got to try their delicious unfiltered Zot Blonde. The day ended with a nice (but extremely difficult) pubquiz, organised by the Study Trip Committee, in our hostel.

On Saturday the 11th of November, better known as Armistice Day, we hit the roads again to visit the City of Peace: Ypres. We started the day with a visit to the famous Tyne Cot Cemetery, one of the biggest WWI-memorials that the Commonwealth Realm possesses. The importance of this did not go unnoticed, as we could not park next to the cemetery due to a visit by the British Royal House! After this special visit, we went to the Yorkshire Trench, Hill 60 and the Hooghe Crater -all right outside of Ypres- in order to see remnants from the battlefields of WWI. In the afternoon we visited the In Flanders Fields Museum, before closing the day with a viewing of the Last Post-ceremony. Although commemorated daily, on this special day the ceremony included several parades by the British Military and the Yorkshire Police Force. After this was over, we headed back to our hostel in Bruges to unwind.

On Sunday, we enjoyed a nice brunch in one of the cosy restaurants in the city centre. For the afternoon we were treated to a walking tour through the beautiful Bruges by our lovely, and super knowledgable, guide Sarah. Finally, after a crazy weekend, we had some free time to relax before the drive back to Utrecht. It was a great weekend for all involved, but for the Study Trip Committee it’s full steam ahead planning the next trip. Watch this space!

Check out the pictures in our photo gallery!