The YAP’s all met up in Johannesburg and flew to Qatar. They had a brief wait until we caught their connecting flight to Switzerland. Beat Burger fetched them at the airport and drove to his house just outside of Zurich in the country side. There they met his wife Ester who prepared a typical Swiss breakfast. They packed an over-night bag and travelled to Bern. They arrived and met their host Christoph (Past 41 International President). They enjoyed an early dinner and evening. The following day was spent touring the city of Bern with Christoph. The evning saw us exploring the nightlife with Christoph’s daughters ending up in a typical Swiss pub.
On day 3 Beat fetched the YAP’s for a drive through many a mountain pass, stopping at a mountain where they hiked up and saw a beautiful waterfall. Thereafter they experienced a cable car ride up the mountain side, later returning to Beat’s house where they reminisced about the day’s adventure and had dinner. Beat took the YAP’s on a Swiss transport experience, starting by catching a bus into town, from there they caught a train to the harbour, and then they got onto a boat, and crossed Lake Zurich while enjoying a beer or two. The next stop was a a pizza restaurant for dinner and then a train and bus back home. Day 5 saw them waking up early and off to Santis Der Berg where they went to the top of the Alps in a very large cable car. On top of the mountain the views were simply amazing. They then drove to a small town Appenzel, where they had lunch and enjoyed some retail therapy. The next stop was the famous “Reinfall” where they experienced the large mass of water rushing beneath them. It was a long day but they really enjoyed themselves. Thanks to Beat, Esther, Christoph and their familys for such a great visit. On the morning of day 6 Beat drove the YAP’s to a small town in France along the border. There they met a few French 41’ers and had lunch at a hotel. Exploring the small town was great and they saw many old buildings and statues. The journey continued to Freiberg in Germany where the YAP’s met up with their new hosts. The next day they started off the day with a tour around town and saw many churches and old buildings. Lunch was enjoyed with the
41’ers and with the afternoon at leisure they decided to do somemore reatil therapy and exploring. The evning saw them again experiencing the Freiberg nightlife with some of the 41’ers daughters. They all went to a night club, met some locals and all had an awesome time. On day 8 they were in for a treat when they were taken to the Black Forest where they learned about the forest and its history. Rothaus Brewery was the lunch venue with a few beers and a little bit of a walk round. Agin some time to shopping was experienced. The evening saw the YAP’s being hosted at a Past 41 Club President’s house with other 41’ers for a fabulous German BBQ. The next morning they caught a train to Stuttgard and where they met their new hosts. When arriving at the homes of their hosts, they got ready to watch a soccer game and enjoyed a BBQ and met more 41ers. Germany won the game and needless to say the entire town was alive and celebrating. The next day saw the YAP’s climbing to the top of the the very first television tower, where they learnt a lot about the history and current situation of the tower. Next was a tour of the Mercedes Benz museum and this was a truly amazing experience. Day 11 was set aside for shopping at all the factory outlet shops of name brands such as nike, guess, polo, etc. Lunch and a few beers was enjoyed in a local brewery. Eraly afternoon saw the YAP’s go for a ride down the river on a gondola. The evening saw the YAP’s attending a Round Table meeting, finishing off with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting. Day 12 saw them on the move again where the YAP’s caught a train to Zwiebrucken where their new hosts were awaiting their arrival. On arrival and after meeting and greeting the new hosts a tour of Zwiebrucken was enjoyed and then the YAP’s went to a local beer garden for dinner.
The following day the YAP’s were taken to visit France for the day where they hiked up the mountain where we got to see and walk around the remains of an old castle. Lunch was enjoyed at a quaint restaurant in the mountains beofre heading to “De Bitche” Golf estate where the YAP’s had a golf lesson and then played some golf. Then it was home to freshen up and off to another beer garden for supper with everybody.
Day 14 saw the YAP’s visiting a small holding in France where they were able to enjoy a day of hiking and horse riding. Dinner was in the form of a BBQ on another small holding back in Germany where with many 41’ers in attendance.
Before leaving for Brussels the next morning they walked around town and had lunch for the last time with their German hosts. When arriving in Belgium the YAP’s were rather tired and decided to have an early dinner and retire so that they would be fresh again in the morning. After breakfast the following morning, they toured the town of “Spa” and were told a great deal of history about the town. They were then taken to the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, and watched VW Beetles race and other races take place. That evening the YAP’s experienced an Italian restaurant in Belgium for dinner and then went out to experience the Belgium night life. Maastricht in the Netherlands was next on the agenda and the YAP’s enjoyed the day shopping, walking around and of course having a few refreshments.a lovely dinner was enjoyed by all in the forest area back in Spa. On day 18 they awoke early and caught a train to Gent, on arrival their hosts took the YAP’s for a 20km cycle to see the beautiful country side. The evening saw a BBq being enjoyed by all at one of the hosts. A trip to Belgium is not complete without a visit to “Antwerp” where they had a tour of a brewery and did some beer tasting. Then is was off to see the MAS Museum and dinner at a local burger restaurant. After sudinner saw the YAP’s visiting a local festival where they did some salsa dancing and had a few drinks.
Back to Gent where one of the 41ers gave them a tour and history lesson of the town. After lunch a chocolate factory was on the menu, where a chef did a demonstration of how to make certain chocolates and chocolate fillings which was followed by a chocolate tasting and some chocolate shopping. Dinner was enjoyed at a locally famous “all you can eat ribs” evening for dinner. On the 2nd last day of the tour, the YAP’s took a bus to Luxembourg where their host gave the YAP’s a tour of most of the city. Then is was off to Brussels for a day tour where they saw the Atomium; Royal Residence, Royal Square; Houses of Parliament and Art Nouveau houses; as well as many other things. After a quick shower and dinner, they went to bar where they did some beer tasting with their host. On day 22, the YAP’s awoke early and caught a train to the airport, they then flew to Qatar and then to Johannesburg. Once again a huge thanks to all the Eurpopean hosts and their families for looking after our YAP’s so well and giving them a once in a life time experience.