We were marching towards the main station, chanting and dancing our way to the train destined to travel to a place where unforgettable memories would be made. The 38 of us boarded the train, each carrying various supplies for the coming times in Slovenia, ranging from raclette and the finest Swiss liquors such as Ricola Vodka to gigantic speakers, weighing so much that they could only be lifted in tandem. The stories that were being told about the IMW in Kransjka Gora had been the stuff of legends, and more newcomers than ever before decided to embark on the journey. Excitement was in the air, as people entered their compartments and got themselves set up for the coming trip across Europe. The train started to move.
Eleven hours later the train ground to a halt in Ljubljana. Those who had been sleeping awoke to an atmospheric view of Ljubljana with the town’s castle surveilling the surrounding area from a hilltop in the city centre. Those who hadn’t slept at all that night, on the other hand, were probably already analyzing the place for suitable power nap spots. Everyone got their way in the end when we decided to pay the castle a visit, where splendidly manicured gardens offered the possibility to lie down and doze off.
The continuation of our trip took place in a bus famously – and correctly so – known as the party bus, while we were driving through a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains covered by vast forests only interrupted here and there by an occasional village. Kransjka Gora had something of a Swiss alpine town, radiating a certain homely warmth and welcoming us into its wooden arms. We felt at home right the moment we stepped foot into our chalet and soon met up with the 160 other EESTECers that had arrived from all over the world.
That same night we made our way to the GTA party, where one had to be aware of watchful cops. Being caught during a malicious deed would mean being branded a criminal and given a star. If you had managed to collect five stars, you would be thrown into prison, a paradoxical place where the most unfortunate criminals turned out to have the most memorable of parties. When cops started realizing that the world had been twisted upside down, they forgave the robbers and decided to join the anarchy of the party.
Admittedly, wild theme parties are an EESTEC trademark, but there exists also an entirely different kind of satisfaction in drifting on a raft on a crystal-clear, turquoise glacial lake on the dawn of festivities. Slumbering into light sleep, you would feel yourself drifting into ethereal space, sensing the cool autumn air on your skin while the sun would keep you warm and comfortable.
All too soon, though, bags had to be packed and goodbyes had to be said. The train ride back to Zurich was mostly spent sleeping, a proverbial catch of breath, after an eventful and nostalgic International Motivational Weekend.