On Monday morning, April 29, around 11 a.m., the first Gauls began to gather at the station. After having managed to get everyone including luggage in the cars, the journey to France could begin. The first part of the ride went well and we had lunch together on the way. The second part, however, was a very touristic drive through all kinds of small villages to avoid the toll roads. This took quite some extra time, but of course that is no problem when you are on holiday and it even offered Ramon and Jelle the opportunity to have ice creams for only €0,34! At the end of the afternoon we finally reached our stay in Pronleroy.
After the beds were divided and Ramon had given a speech from the balcony, a small but hilly endurance run was done to get the car-sitting legs back loose. Then there was a well-stocked pasta pesto on the menu and after having played some games at a crackling fire (there was no heating), the first day was already over.
Tuesday morning we had to get up quite early to go to the athletics track. After breakfast and another touristic car ride that unexpectedly passed a castle, we arrived at the track. Here we were given an extensive tour across all materials and a small strength area by the manager of the four-lane wide track. After everyone the training was done and a stopover at the castle on the way to the house were made, groceries were done for a nice barbeque.
Sandwiches were baked for lunch and the afternoon was filled with games. The food for the barbecue was prepared, but due to the cold outside temperature, we moved the barbecue indoors and just baked our meat in the frying pan. In the evening, we sat down for the Tottenham-Ajax match. With a beer and all the players divided, we enjoyed a great game, in between the faltering internet.
Because Rebecca unfortunately could not train, she and Jordi had started a bike ride to Paris that morning. After tire trouble, a visit to this beautiful city and an unexpected early sunset, they came home a little later than expected but satisfied.
After a small delay everyone was in Parc Asterix at 12:00. We started immediately with roller coaster OsIris. Time for Ramon and Jelle to overcome their fear of roller coasters going upside down. They didn't understand that the women were actually excited about going on the roller coaster. After overcoming the fears, we went to lunch. Nice fresh French baguettes from the only baker in the area who was open on Labour Day.
After lunch we went looking for Asterix. In the children's park we could finally have our picture taken with him. As icing on the cake, BelleFleur came along and the girls of BelleFleur took a picture with her, as real fans. After the photo shoot we all went to the wild water course.
After this the group split in two. One group went to a show and the other group went to the next roller coaster which went upside down 7 times.
Around 18:00 one group left the park and the other group went to explore the rest of the park. A toboggan run and a another wild water course for a splashing end of the day.
This morning we went to the athletics track again after a nice breakfast with some eggs and toasts. After everyone burned some calories we went home to enjoy the delicious toasties of Michiel. We then left together to Château de Pierrefonds. It was like being in the 14th century for a moment.
Then we went to the Compiègne, a larger city with some bars and restaurants to spend the night. First, we went to a ‘special beer bar’ to enjoy happy hour. While playing some card games, we drank half a liter of special beers (for five euros!). When everyone was craving for food, we searched for a cozy pizza restaurant. After a long wait we enjoyed our well deserved dinner. We ended the evening in a bar, where some Gauls enjoyed themselves with the 'picolo' game.
For the people who had spend a week in France there was finally some more time to catch up some sleep. The accommodation was cleaned and the bags were packed into the cars to drive to Belgium. In Belgium, they met a big group of gauls driving from Eindhoven that day. Once arrived there were tables full of fries and snacks to fill the stomachs before the big event of the night, the cantus. The cantus, organized by Jasper, Carl and Maureen was full of songs popular amongst Asterix members and the necessary punishments were given to members.
On Saturday the unexpected happened: snow in May! Naturally, this was no reason at all to stop (most of the) Gauls from training. In the hilly area a few groups went for a morning jog, whereas some other groups chose for abs exercises. After we made a bunch of toasties for lunch, the real sensation started. Time for lasertag. In a abandoned forest, targets where attached to trees and, a bit later to make it more fun, even to people. The heavy snow storm was no game stopper for anyone and after a few games, the sun even came out. After quite a search for Robert, the only “target” still out there, we headed back to the cabin where we enjoyed some wraps. The evening was filled with a “game and beer carroussel” which even let to a game of indoor lasertag. Unfortunately, not everyone came out of that game unharmed but hey, we had fun!
Not everyone woke up fresh and fruity on Sunday. Could be because it was already the 7th day of the trip, could be the beers of the evening before. Who will tell? Again, no reason for the Gauls to just sit down. This morning we had planned for a mountain bike trip. A beginner and experienced group, and a bit later also an unexpected “lost and completely of the map” group, were created and we had a fun ride in the dirty woods of the Ardennen. After lunch and nice warm shower, we cleaned up the house, made a group picture and headed back home. We can definitely say that the lustrum trip of 2019 was a great success, unto the next!