#BlueRoute-Leiden Local Stop

The trip from Valencia to Leiden turned out much harder than expected. From Valencia, we went to Barcelona, where we spent a free day (and night). Finally, seeing a city completely on our own was quite refreshing despite walking more than 20 kilometres! 


Acquiring the tickets turned out to be a harder task than we imagined. There were no tickets for us from Barcelona to Paris, nor from there to Rotterdam. After a lot of searching and negotiations, we managed to transform this leg of the trip from 2 trains to 5 and we only arrived 3 hours late!

Once we finally arrived, Ines from AEGEE Leiden was waiting for us! If that name doesn’t ring any bells, Ines is one of last year’s purple route ambassadors! Besides having completed a draining journey and successfully arriving at our destination, actually talking with a person who’s been through the same, was very comforting and warm.

On our first day in Leiden, we were first welcomed by Hope, Anna and Ilsen- who gave us an interactive city tour AND let us play a quiz to learn fun facts about Leiden and the local AEGEE. We got to go to an outdoor wedding (uninvited) at one of the city’s small squares, explored the different mediaeval streets and got to read some of the 110 Muurgedichten aka wall poems written in many different languages which are painted on the exterior walls of buildings all around. Our tour ended at a lovely park facing the law faculty of the University of Leiden, where we sat down to work a bit on the day’s workshop and improve its quality. Before the workshop, we were joined by all of the participants of the workshop for an amazing home cooked dinner made by Johaneka and Elaine! We already got to meet them so the atmosphere was quite easy going and fun during the workshop- which was “gender-inequality in a post-pandemic world. 


It was the first time we got to facilitate this workshop after our training in Warsaw- where we actually were quite dissatisfied with it and changed pretty much everything in its content. Perhaps because we had already tried this workshop once, in a closed circle, running it with actual participants was quite fun and we had very interesting discussions with everyone. One of the most surprising things WE learned through the participants is that homeless people in the Netherlands have to pay a fee to stay in a shelter.

On our second day, we had a chill picnic, enjoying both the Easter “vacation” and the amazing sun (that stayed high for the entire duration of our trip). We got to participate in an Easter egg treasure hunt for the first time in our lives and eat amazing sandwiches made by Ines! In the afternoon it was finally time for our second workshop which took place in a queer club! (and we thought that Leon would win the most-unique-location-for-a-workshop award)


Our second workshop- gender-based violence in the digital world, had a larger turnout than expected and we all agree that it went smoothly! The participants were very eager to share their experiences so we believe we managed to create a safe space. After the workshop, we got a quick taste of dutch culture, where we tried eating a HUGE pile of potato chips together. Overall, it was a nice experience, 10/10 Dutch stroopwafels.

For our last day with AEGEE Leiden, we first had a quick stop in Delft. Coincidentally it was also the Sunday of Easter and the weather was amazing, so every single street and store was full of life! While we didn’t stay for long, Delft was amazing and we can’t wait to go back! We continue our day heading to The Hague, together with probably every other Dutch person in the region attempting to get some sun and relaxation at the beach.

The beach itself is quite nice, but unlike the thousands of other people who were there on that day, it was still pretty cold for us~ In the afternoon we headed to a typical Dutch pancake restaurant where we expected a small snack but instead, we’re treated to some HUGE, tasty pancakes. Quite literally the sweetest way to end this stop, the huge pancakes represent the huge warmth we felt from all the locals!


It was harder to say goodbye to everyone from Leiden, as we really felt at home, thank you and see you all soon!

Next stop, Utrecht!

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