The visit to Delft took the form of an orienteering game, with each team led by two students with a GPS – I should know as I took part. The city that produces this inimitable world-famous blue pottery has a lot of superb tourist sites, among which its churches and town hall are the finest. Canals are everywhere and form an interesting grid pattern across the whole town, whose houses are often incredibly beautiful. It is a university town with a rich history, inhabited by the fist king of The Netherlands. Unfortunately the orienteering game lost its charm for most people and soon came to an end through lack of participants who were lured away by café terraces and souvenir stalls.
A number of other excursions has been planned by the organisers: the VIP beauty treatment visit to the Savarin Spa, to the world of tomato growing, and to the SS Rotterdam. And on Friday November 11th most of the participants went out for a guided tour of The Hague. As before the groups of twenty or so participants were guided by students equipped with ‘walk books’. After several stops, including one in front of the gates of the royal palace where Her Majesty Queen Beatrix works, the various groups dispersed in the city before returning to the Groote Platz on the stroke of midday just as the sun had started to shine on us. A picnic had been arranged on this large square, where the café terraces were quickly invaded, while students wheeled on whole trolley-loads of individual pack-lunches; tokens were given out, to be used to purchase drinks in nearby restaurants!
The cultural aspect of the event was not neglected, with a whole range of seminars, workshops and lectures. Among these special mention should be given to the seminar entitled ‘AEHT Goes European VET,’ ‘The Dutch Travel Industry,’ ‘Concentrating on Quality,’ ‘MBO 15,’ the cheese workshop and the tasting of Dutch spirits, including Dutch gin (or ‘genever’).
The JAM session given by the JRE chefs (JRE = Jeunes Restaurateurs Européens or Young Chefs of Europe) was a great success since the chefs involved were filmed, and their performances were retransmitted to the screens in the campus lounges!
The ‘Culibus’ (a combination of Culinary and Bus) was parked outside the campus, for the purpose of explaining to the conference delegates the objectives of this bus ‘quite different from other buses’. It is fitted out like a real restaurant – though in miniature – and drives around the country to give children the opportunity to try their hand at cooking. This idea attracted a lot of interest, especially since the bus was staffed by JRE chefs.