Hiking, toepen, swimming, lake dipping, croissants, running, track training, wine tasting, partying + escalation.
On Monday morning at 5:30 on the 9th of August, 23 Gauls carried their baggage to the TU/e campus, where an Asterix Vega Tour bus was waiting for them. In the bus we played ‘ranking the Gauls’, a demanding game involving trying to think of who will eat the most croissants and who was the most likely to get lost. The card game players started their many hours of the Dutch game of ‘toepen’.
After 5 hours, the bus arrived in Paris, where we had 3 hours to wander around and eat the first of many croissants. Some Gauls rested and ate their dejeuner in the city parc or terrace, while others tried to see and take pictures of as many Paris tourist attractions as they could.
After Paris we got on a train and then another bus and arrived in the sunny and hot La Mure: our adopted hometown for the week.
In the evening we supported the local pizzeria by ordering 25 pizzas. They appreciated us so much they gave us free drinks and bottles of wine. And due to the large amount of cheese on each pizza, we had a lot of leftovers for the next day.
On Tuesday we started the day with fresh baguettes on our très magnifique track for the week. The view from the track was unbelievably beautiful, which made the track session fly by (running laps wasn’t boring anymore!).
After lunch and the much-needed showers, some Gauls tried out the local gym, while others hiked to the nearby sunflower fields they had seen from the track. The photo shoots here lead to great Instagram pictures (no worries: no sunflowers were hurt that day).
Tuesday evening was quiz night! We sat at the track, where quizmaster Finn asked La Mure/French/Asterix related questions. Our France expert Koen was the winner and he went home with a pack of delicious croissants.
The next morning was très aventureux: the alarms were set at 3:30 and with a group of 21 we made our way up a nearby mountain through the dark to see the sunrise. The start of the hike was very tough, but nobody dared to complain (yet). Soon it became easier with wider and less steep paths. Instead of the almost vertical paths we found on Google maps, we followed the official footpaths up the mountain, resulting in the hike being a bit longer than planned. Nevertheless, we managed to reach the top before the sun was above the mountains. We ate a lot of snacks and took a lot of pictures and videos of the breathtaking scenery. On the way down the group got split up and half of the group (the half without Koen) got lost and eventually hiked 21 kilometers! Very impressive distance especially for the technical athletes.
In the afternoon we all took the bus to the nearby lake and chilled and swam for the rest of the day.
On Thursday the long runners did a long run, and the technical athletes went to the track. After lunch we had a one hour ‘IC points battle’, where Gauls could try and come closer to the top leading Gauls in the IC ranking. In the centre of La Mure, the Asterix club song sounded loud and clear and many ‘kisserix’ points have been earned.
Thursday night started off with a nice French wine tasting organized by Iris, Ramon and Sophie. Together with some French baguettes we all tried out champagne, white wine and red wine and tested our wine knowledge. After the wine tasting some escalation occurred (to put it mildly). Let’s say what happens in La Mure stays in La Mure 😉.
Friday morning: the hangover morning. The tough ones among us went for a jog with some sprints to try and win Strava segments. Some went to the track to get pole vault tips from a local pole vault trainer. But most had a lie in until joining the hangover dip in the icy river.
In the afternoon Casper showed us the way to Pont de Ponsonnas: an adventurous hike in the heat to a bridge nearby. Here, the board boys formed an orange boyband (unintentionally all wearing the same outfits).
Some Gauls needed to get covid-tested to get back into the Netherlands, so early on Saturday morning, they took the bus to a nearby village and got sticks put in their noses.
The others stayed in La Mure and did a track training. The mayor of the town came by and wanted to take a picture with the red and sweaty Dutchies.
The last afternoon some went to the gym, while others went to the icy river again. Hessel decided to let his newly bought flip-flops go for a swim, but unfortunately one of them did not come back.
We ended the last day with a meal on the track, and watched shooting stars while drinking lukewarm rumcola.
The travel back home went smoothly. At 6:30 am we got woken by La Mure locals setting up their Sunday market. Everybody bought their last baguettes and croissants and enjoyed the first class train back to Paris, and the bus back home. The card game boys played ‘toepen’ non-stop for another 8 hours. In Eindhoven we enjoyed each other’s company one last time with a nice wok meal.
Ranking the Gauls:
- The most fluent in French: Koen / Domingos (things would’ve gone a lot less easy if it weren’t for them)
- Got lost the most: half of the group during the sunrise hike back home (lead by Maureen and Bente)
- Trained the most: Lennert (ran more than 90 km), Lianne, Justine
- Slept the most: Lorens, Kjell, Vincent
- Got sunburnt the most: Ramon and Wessel
- Biggest hangover: Wessel
- Took the most pictures: Carmen (but W/Hessel came close)
- Flirted the most: Willem
- Ate the most croissants: Koen and Sophie (if pain du chocolate counts)
- Won the most games: Vincent (King of the Toepen)