Stutterheim Round Table 103 once again convened the...
Queenstown 16 Euro-Meeting 2016 to Nuremberg
Report on Euro-Meeting in Nuremberg 2016
Attended by: Bertus Kilian (IRO), Christo du Toit (Past Chairman) and Richard van den Berg (Chairman of House)
Queenstown No. 16 was invited to Euro-Meeting 2016 hosted by Nuremberg No. 16 Germany from 9 – 11 September.
Queenstown No. 16 had our normal selection process on which delegates got chosen. Bertus Kilian, Christo du Toit and Richard van der Berg were selected to attend the meeting.
We are very thankful to Round Table Queenstown for the contribution towards our Travel expenses.
We departed from Queenstown (Qtn) by car to Johannesburg (JHB) to catch our flight to Abu Dhabi, UAE on Wednesday 8 Sept 2016. Spend a few hours in transit and connected to Amsterdam Netherlands.
Lots of fun was had to show Richard around Amsterdam and stopping at different pubs for a few beers. Obviously the Green Grasshopper was our first pit stop for a few cold ones. Typical tourists, the saying: When in Rome do like the Romans do applied and we walked through the Red Light District to see what all the hype was about. Stopping here and there to have another Heineken or “biertjie” as the Dutch call it. Obviously had a late night and Christo manage to get us back safely to our Hostel near Leidseplein. A brisk walk at 3am !
Friday 9th September started off very early since we took an 8 hour train ride from Amsterdam Central Station to Nuremberg Hauptbahnhof, Germany where our German host, Sven Leverenz awaited us with some Franconian Beer. And lots of it ! Dropped our luggage at his apartment in Herzogenaurach and had a Traditional German Wurst dish with his family. One very interesting fact about Herzogenaurauch Germany, is the fact that Adidas HQ and Puma HQ is situated in this little suburb of Nuremberg. Two Brothers who founded Adidas had a feud and Puma was born ! The competition is fierce and they employ a huge chunk of the local residents.
Off to the Holiday Inn Old City Nuremberg for Euro-Meeting Registration and the Welcome Party at a nearby Pub. The Saffas needed no excuse to get to see old friends and make new ones and got the party going with the help of the Dutch and Austrians ! We had an absolute blast and then proceeded off to another pub for round two. True to form the Queenstown Tablers closed the pub with our German host, Sven and headed home at 4:30am-ish. Most of us believe we never went to another pub, but photo’s proved otherwise ! Richard “decided” that he does not need air in his blow-up mattress to sleep or lost it somewhere in the 3 hours. Needless to say he carried an injury, a gammy elbow and arm with him the rest of the trip. One memorable evening with awesome International Table friends.
Saturday 10 Sept started off with a Tour of Old Nazi sightseeing, Dokumentasionzentrum( a huge coliseum like structure) built by Hitler's Nazi Party as a spectacular Stadium, hosting 100 0000 people on completion. “Sadly never completed” ! Still a sight to behold. Then on foot through Second World War Nuremberg walking along the Great Road, a 2km long 60m wide road built by Hitler to show off his Infantry goose walking to the public and recruit some more troops! The road lead us to the Nazi Party Rally Grounds. A Spectacular sight, with the Zeppelin Grandstand in front looking over the grounds, which now is a soccer field. The Zeppelin Grandstand is where Hitler made most of his “infamous” speeches. A huge Swastika used to be on top of the Zeppelin Grandstand, but was blown up by US Army after Nuremberg was defeated and occupied in 1945.
More beer and transported to a typical German style Pub “Herberg” where we enjoyed an awesome lunch and some more Franconian Beer, before we set off to the Old City Tour by foot. It is an eye opener to witness buildings still standing and in daily use that was built in the year 1170 ! 482 years before Jan van Riebeeck set foot in the Cape !
Saturday evening was the Chairman’s dinner hosted by Nuremberg No: 16 on board the Mississippi Queen, a Triple Decker Steamboat on the river Rhine. Great fun was had and all the formalities were dealt with until 11pm before the party got going. Myself, Christo and Richard had our presentation of Euro-Meeting South Africa 2017 and was extremely well accepted. Questions were asked and we made an effort to answer any question with honesty and detail. One thing that became very apparent after our presentation is that the European Tablers does not see RT 16 Queenstown as a part of Africa, BUT as the most Southern Tip of Europe !! We felt so at home and welcomed by each and every person attending Euro-Meeting, it is so hard to put it into words. Once again the Saffas decided that no party can end without us being the last to leave, with our host Sven, the true German Gentleman, did not see chance to leave us and entertained us to the bitter end, after arriving at his place, sitting on his 5th story apartment balcony of 6 m2 drinking some more excellent quality Franconian Beer. I am convinced that if Lady Merkel , the German Prime Minister, would employ the four of us, we would be able to sort out the Syrian refugee issue in a few months !! At 5:30am we called it a “morning’ and headed off to our beds for a 3 hour nap before our Farewell Breakfast at the Holiday Inn Old City.
Sunday 11 Sept started at the Farewell breakfast and soon afterwards all the European Tablers went off back to their respective Countries with whichever transport they came with.
Euro-Meeting Nuremberg 2016 was attended by the following nations:
South Africa 16
Once done with the send off to all Tablers we headed off to the Haubtbahnhof, Nuremberg for our 4.5 hour train ride to Bregenz , Austria. To meet up with our host of 2015, Daniel Schenk at Gasthof Lam in Bregenz. Slight delays during our trip but was welcomed by about 8 Bregenz Tablers at the hotel restaurant. Two Tablers from Vienna amongst them, promoting their “ARTSA’ a few weeks later. Good fun was had, great food and Weiss Beer. Headed off early 12:30am so that the Austrians can get to work fresh the next day.
Monday 12 Sept we were met by Christian Prossliner, Chairman of RT Bregenz for some sightseeing around Bregenz. Did the cable car ride up Pfander and walked on top of the Mountain overlooking Lake Constanz, bordering Austria, Germany and Switzerland. What a view !!
Had some lunch at the hotel and some more sightseeing in the mountains, big gorges in the mountains with wooden decks as walkways. Stunning views of Austria’s nature. Of course some more beers and supper with a few Austrian Tablers at Gasthof Lam.
Tuesday 13 Sept was a very exciting and adventurous day planned by Christian, took us into the Austrian Alps near Montafon to the Flying Fox Adventure Park, cable car into the Mountains to a Hydro Electricity Plant that is so amazing that our SA brains DO NOT UNDERSTAND. Toured the facility and headed off for some adventure Ziplining and Obstacle course climbing in Treetops with harnesses and ziplines. All of us has such a great outdoor adventure and spent some good energy on climbing, falling and ziplining. Then the Flying Fox XXL Zipline, a 565m zipline over a manmade lake 50m high off the ground. Travelling at 80km an hour. Going down is easy, stopping not so much !
From there we tried the Alpine Coaster Golm travelling down the mountain in a “go kart’ fixed to a steel track over 2.6km long. What an adventure !
Had some lunch with Christian and then headed back to Bregenz to meet up with some Bregenz Tablers for some sailing on lake Constanz. Headed off on this massive lake with light blue water, 13km wide and 26 km long. With an average depth of around 60m. Had to swim a little of course, but the highlight was floating on pool noodles, drinking beer in 60m deep fresh water. It is a good life !!
Our host Table decided to move their Official Meeting from a Wednesday to Tuesday to accommodate us which was awesome and Peter Schenk travelled all the way from Salzburg, where he is a chef for Red Bull, to attend the meeting. They even had their meeting in English since our German is not quite up to scratch. Once again our presentation was done and well received.
Some more great fun and fellowship till the early hours of the morning solving some more refugee problems in Europe. Off to bed and ready for our trip to Solothurn the next morning.
Wednesday 14 Sept travelled 2.5 hours to Zurich, decided to spend a few hours walking around sightseeing. Beautiful city, BUT if you do not wear an Armani Suit you must be a tourist, felt a bit out there amongst the bankers. Switzerland puts a new meaning to the word expensive......... they do not stuff around and travelling on ZAR is depressing to say the least. European prices plus 30% seems to be the norm. Unreal.
Arrived in Solothurn in the afternoon and was met by Solothurn Tablers and taken to the riverside for some Oufi , local beer from a local brewery. Oufi means eleven is Swiss German. Solothurn is an old town obsessed with the number eleven ! Eleven steps up to the Cathedral entrance, eleven fountains around the town., eleven everything.
We were taken to our accommodation, first we thought we are walking into a hotel, only to find out it is a house belonging to the parents of our Host !. Stunning old giant house just on the outskirts of the old town, dating back to probably the 1300’s.
Later we met at a restaurant, had some supper and good chats, walked around the town and headed off for an early night.
Thursday 15 Sept was sightseeing all around the old town, our tour guide Lars. Amazing to see the condition of the walls of the old city that was built in the times of the Crusades and still standing like it was built 100 years ago. Unbelievable beauty in the architecture and layout. We met up with Bennie (Hasie), the likes of Adie, Warren, Rob and William will know. Good to see him again since he missed Euro-Meeting Nuremberg.
That evening we were taken out by Jan, Corrine and Lars to an Absynth Bar, quite an experience. But to save yourself you only have 1 drink there. Headed off to a very vibrant bar later where a person is actually saddened by the huge amount of young people in the town. Hundreds of young people all over, having a blast with not much care in the world.
Friday 16 Sept was our longest train ride of the trip. Solothurn to Den Helder. Total travelling time, around 11 hours. Arrived safely and were met by Arnold Eckhart and Hotze Richter at the station and taken to our accommodation at ‘Noordersand. Resort owned by Hotze’s family. Our wooden cabin, was awesome and comfortable. Met up with Hotze, Mannon, Arnold and Cindy for some supper at the restaurant and a couple of Heinekens. Great to catch up with them again in Den Helder. Moved over to Hotze’s house for more beers and fellowship. Kuiered till early hours of the morning once again.
Saturday 17 Sept we accompanied Hotze and them to a play park in the area for a kiddies birthday party in the morning. Saw a great deal of Den Helder familiar faces there again, was really nice to catch up.
I made contact with some Den Helder Tablers myself, Adie and Di met and stayed with in 2012, before we came over. Hotze and Arnold took it upon themselves to organize a party on the Saturday night at Hotze’s house. And they invited all the familiar Tablers to come and meet us. That was really special to see, Marco Wilms, Monika Reek, Robert van Nuland and Marko S again. Had a great braai and lots of fellowship.
Sunday 18 Sept was spent with our hosts and a few Tablers enjoying the scenery in Den Helder. We visited Fort Kijkduin, a Fort build by Napoleon during his quests and later used by the Nazi’s in WW2. There are still a tunnel system in the dunes built by the Nazi’s during the war. Had some lunch along the canal in another WW2 Magazine building which is now being converted to a Brewery/Restaurant. Lastly had some supper at a lovely restaurant close to the Dyke’s and ended the night with a quiet few beers at Hotze’s house. There our mission was to raid something, got a nice Den Helder Jacket that Christo managed to find and of course, a Netherlands flag.
Monday 19 Sept, we started our journey back to Amsterdam for our flight back to SA. Spent a few hours in Amsterdam enjoying the wonderful city and it people and boarded our plane early evening off to SA. Our travels ended with a long drive back from JHB to Queenstown. Looking back at the trip, it is an experience of a lifetime for any Tabler to get involved in a Euro-Meeting or Numbers Tour ! You not only get to see different countries, the friends you make are unbelievable. We are still in contact with Tablers from 2012, 2015 and, of course, 2016 Euro-Meetings. I encourage young Tablers to make the effort and get involved, we all share one common entity, Round Table and we all joined for the same reason: To make a difference !!
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