Off the map with the Intermania

By Intermania - 21 June 2023


Europe 

First Maarten and Jorn will tell you something about Bordeaux and the region surrounding it. 


Maarten: 

Bordeaux, the French coastal city renowned for its great wines. Located on the southwest shores of France, this city is situated at the confluence of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. It is precisely this geographical landscape that cultivates the world-famous wines. Aside from this, Bordeaux also has a rich history. Being a major roman city means that it has been relevant for more than two millennia. Sprawling vineyards and old castles therefore dot the landscape around the city, between which lively marshes and wetlands are the home of rare species of birds, small mammals, and a host of other critters. Of course, with the ocean being close one is never far away from the fresh silty air that wafts over the city, whether you enjoy surfing or napping in the sun. The Bordelais and Bordelaises also do not shy away from culinary masterpieces. One of the finest pastries, the Canelé, finds its home here. This is a sweet pastry, prepared with vanilla and rum, and then baked. A lovely crispy and caramelized outside, which gives way for the sweet and soft pastry on the inside is unavoidable in the city and its surroundings. With the sun high in the sky during the summer months, the soft ocean breeze walks through Bordeaux, and the smell of freshly baked pastries fills the air. Enjoy one! perhaps with a glass of wine on one of the many small city squares, or with a picnic in a meadow outside the city centre. 

  

Jorn: 

The destination this time is Tabanac, located in the south of France by the Garonne river, only a 30 minute drive from Bordeaux. I expect Tabanac to be a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of student life. With its charming stone houses, narrow streets, and a peaceful atmosphere, the commune portrays a sense of tranquility and rural charm. The population barely exceeds the 1000 mark, adding to the peace and quiet of the region.Tabanac is particularly celebrated for its winemaking heritage, and visitors can immerse themselves in the world of Bordeaux wines by exploring the local vineyards, wine cellars, and tasting rooms. Since Tabanac is far from densely populated, it is also a great place to simply be outside in the nature. With the Garonne river as well as a lake close by and even some cycling trails to go on. I am very excited to go to a place where I can both get my rest as well as envelop myself in the local wine culture of France, and what better place than rural Bordeaux. 


If France is not your cup of tea, Marjolein has another European suggestion for you. 


Marjolein: 

Although it might not be the most student friendly destination, I feel compelled to tell you about my first love (don't tell my boyfriend): Switzerland. Obviously, I have not been everywhere, but the Jungfrau region in the Bernese Alps is the most beautiful place on earth. The region is located in the middle of Switzerland and has something to offer for people of all ages (my first time in the region was when I was 1,5 years old and my grandmothers first time in the region was when she was 90 and we all enjoyed it equally). There is a large variety of activities to partake in. Looking for a nice relaxing walk? Take a look around Interlaken and walk along the river Aare. Looking for more of a hike? You can do this on pretty much any mountain you see. Interested in looking as far as possible? Take the train up to the highest train station in Europe (3.463 m) at the Jungfraujoch on a clear day and enjoy the views of the Aletsch Glacier on one side and the valleys of the Jungfrau region on the other side (you can also go sleighing in summer here). Are you a real adventure seeker? You can go paragliding, do one of the cliff walks along the edge of a mountain, go on a big zipline, or go as fast as you can on a toboggan run. Is it important for you to travel sustainably? The Jungfrau Region has got you covered with a dense network of trains, cable cars, and buses, which allow you to go anywhere you want. There are even some villages such as Wengen and Mürren where there are no cars allowed. Are you excited about visiting a film set? The Schilthorn was the backdrop for the James Bond movie On Her Majesties Secret Service (1969). Bonus: this is a revolving restaurant on top of a mountain, so your view will change continuously. Maybe you are looking for a more cultural activity? Every week there are open air performances about the story of Wilhelm Tell (you know, the guy that shot the apple of his sons head). To sum it up, everyone will be able to enjoy themselves in this beautiful region, so if you have the money, you should definitely go there some time.  


Ultimate Guide to the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland: My Favorite Place on  Earth – Grab a Mile


Outside of Europe 

If you wish to travel a little further than Switzerland or France, Quincy and Jasmijn both have something to tell you about beautiful destinations in Asia. 


Jasmijn: 

This year is the first time in my life that I will be flying outside of Europe to Kuala Lumpur. I got stabbed with more vaccines than anyone can imagine, I paid 77 euro's for a passport and another insane amount for the airplane tickets (SI people don't come after me), but it will all be worth it. My best friend is from Malaysia, and she will be guiding me through the streets of South-east Asia and will take me to try the best food I have ever had. One of Malaysia's national dishes is Nasi Lemak, which is a rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves. Personally I am most excited to go to the Batu Caves, which are Hindu temples inside of a mountain. The 272 steps to the cave are vibrantly colored and are also frequently visited by monkeys as well. Even though the monkeys are really cute, they do have a reputation of taking peoples belongings. So don't let your eyes deceive you... Selamat bercuti musim panas! (Happy summer vacation!)