Parcival Clubweekend – Ardennes
Written by Rastislav Hronsky
Once it is the end of the summer semester, it starts being too hot to study and suddenly drinking cold beer while eating ice cream sounds like a sensible idea, it can only mean one thing. The time for the parcival clubweekend has come! On a warm Friday afternoon, 16 parcivallers gathered at Benoits place to start the journey. We got into 4 cars and set off to the belgian Ardennes – this clubweekend’s destination.
After around a 3 hour ride, we made it to a picturesque village of Vellereux, where we had our accomodation. After some time of learning how to walk on a non-flat surface again (hills), we entered a very cosy and beautiful cottage, where we were accomodated. Quickly we discovered the place featured a table tennis, calcetto and a petang site, which were all immediately fully utilized by the competitive parcivallers!
We proceeded with cooking and having the dinner – couscous with vegetables. This was also the moment we realized the first mistake we made – not bringing the very essential cooking ingredients, salt and pepper. Nonetheless, we went back to basics, and tried to appreciate the taste of food without seasoning; more or less successfully (one possible explanation for this is compensating with beer). The night was still young though, and the first clubweekend activity took place a couple of moments after the dinner – Parcival themed pub quiz. This highly educational activity not only taught us a lot of fun-facts about Parcival, but also was very entertaining. However, after this intellectual enjoyment we quickly went to compensate, and took down a couple of beer crates while playing games, because balance is so important in life!
The next morning was easier for some people than others. However, this didn’t stop anyone from starting the day productively. We took our beautiful Parcival running shirts, and went for a morning training in the hills. The weather was very nice, and the sun rays kept tirelessly penetrating our skin cells. We ran a very hilly course, mostly featuring a bunch of the following three things – cows, stops, and spectacular sceneries of the Ardennes. Everyone completed the session successfully and did a very good job!
After we came back with our endorphins refilled, we showered and cooked some Bolognese pasta for lunch. This took an unexpected turn, since initially there was a strong initiative to enrich the flavour of the sauce with some peaches. However, this movement was surpressed by conservative efforts of Omar, an Italian member of our delegation, who made sure the pasta cooking rules won’t be violated. In the end, Omar did a very good job with the sauce, and peaches were added optionally. Afterwards, we got in the cars, and headed to the lovely village of Maboge, where we enjoyed some swimming in a river.
In the late evening, another activity took place – the drop! After the sun went down, we smelled some courage in the Ardennese air, and 2 groups of 7 people were blindfolded and driven to a remote place in the woods, around 3 kilometers from our base. All we had were flashlights, a compass on the phone, the hint to head south-west, and a lot of determination. The goal was to get back to our place without the help of the maps or GPS. After more than one hour, both teams successfully accomplished this task, and proceeded with social activities, such as beerpong, or stresspong.
On Sunday, the last day, we did the last activity – kayaking! We drove to La Roche-en-Ardenne, where we hopped on a bus, which took us to Maboge again. That was the starting point for kayaking. We got into the boats in pairs, and kayakked our way back to La Roche for almost 2 hours. The journey was very enjoyable and entertaining – what a unique experience it was! Slaloming through the Ardennes on a river is such a nice way to discover the local nature. When we finished, we went back to our house to have lunch. Pancake time! The willingly-staying-at-home crew cooked more than 50 pancakes in the meantime. The hungry parcivallers took care of them easily though – they were truly delicious.
However, after the pancakes, the sad part of the trip came to reality – the packing and leaving. We had to say Good Bye to the Ardennes and head back to Tilburg. The clubweekend was an immense amount of fun this year. Our committee truly did a great job with organizing the trip, thank you! Also a special thanks goes to the drivers – Benoit, Luc, Martijn and Tamara, who got us safely everywhere. It was such a great time!
And for now, off for the summer break!