Lot of expectations, new people, knowing each other better, making friends, meeting Slovakia and having a lot of unforgettable memories – this was The Integration Weekend 2012. We spent three days surrounded by beautiful scenery of national park Pieniny. The trip was organized by ESN Košice, as every year in the beginning of the winter semester. As ESN coordinators participated Andrea, Jožino, Veronika, Lukáš and Ján. In total we were 43 people going from all of three universities of Košice.
During the whole weekend there was no chance to get bored, as the program was full of exciting things to do. We arrived on Friday to the small village Červený Kláštor. The first evening was held in the spirit of International dinner – everybody prepared his national meal or brought something typical for his country. So we all could enjoy Polish, Spanish, French, Italian and of course Slovak food.
On Saturday morning we made a tour on wooden rafts along the river Dunajec that is very typical for this region. The peculiarity of this river is that is serves as a natural border. On the one side you can see Slovak bank and on the other side there is the Polish one. The rafting took us about an hour and during the ride we listened to our guide telling us incredible stories and legends bounded to this panoramic region. Above the river there was majestically standing mountain Trzy Korony (Three Crowns) – important natural symbol that took part throughout the local history. It was already on the Polish side, but still quite close so we climbed it up. We were rewarded by really impressive view on the surrounding lands.
As it was a bit cold some of us stayed in the hotel relaxing and getting ready for the evening program. We played the game called Beer Cantus that is typical for student Dutch/Belgian culture. Everybody received his own songbook and mug for a beer. We were supposed to sing songs in various languages, from La Cucaracha through ’O Sole Mio to Champs-Elysees. If one broke rules of the game he got punished. The favorite one was drinking the beer through the funnel.
The next morning was a special one, because there was the first snow outside so we enjoyed the snowball fight! On Sunday we visited monk museum and then went by bus to a nearby castle in Poland called Niedzica and back in Slovakia we visited castle in Stará Ľubovňa. We finished our trip with the national Slovak meal bryndzové halušky in a nice local restaurant. In the bus back home we were just relaxing - exhausted but full of great memories
(author: Veronika Schwarczová, ESN Košice Sport Activities Manager)