After over a year-and-a-half of travel restrictions and numerous other obstacles as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the German members of Europa Terra Nostra finally met one another in person in Saxon Switzerland, Germany on the weekend of the 24th – 25th July 2021.
While most of those who attended arrived on the Saturday morning, some members had made an earlier arrival in order to grasp the opportunity to hike through the beautiful landscape of Saxon Switzerland, as well as to explore the sights of the historic city of Pirna, which lies on the banks of the Elbe River.
After all of the participants had arrived at the event’s primary meeting point, Haus Montag, the introductory meeting was officially opened with a welcome address by ETN Chairman Dan Eriksson (Sweden) and ETN Secretary-General Jens Pühse (Germany). This was followed by a discussion of the organisational schedule for the next two days. The lunch afterwards provided a welcome opportunity for the attendees to get to know each other personally and to exchange ideas (if they had not already met each other prior). In the early afternoon, Thomas Rackow, the on-site co-ordinator, led the attendees through the event location and gave an exciting insight into the impressive project around the Haus Montag and the associated Klub 451. The idea and the creative concept are based on the famous novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and are not only reflected in the name. During the subsequent round of talks, fundamental topics were discussed, such as the organizational milestones achieved so far, current challenges and future goals.
One of the most important points that emerged was the urgent need to expand the active support base in order to maintain the professional level in the long term and to further develop the organisation. Knowledgeable and skilled people in web design, programming, filming, video editing, social media and the writing of articles for the ETN website are particularly in demand. To reiterate the words of our chairman, anybody who can and wishes to take on any of the roles in the aforementioned areas are most welcome to contact us. Finally, upcoming events in various European countries were also announced. A formal delegation representing Europa Terra Nostra will also be invited to such events.
The meeting ended with a discussion on a sensitive topic – how Europa Terra Nostra could possibly make a constructive contribution towards the crucial cause of "building bridges", which, as always, is one of the main aims of the organisation.
The highlight of the busy, but productive, day was the official inauguration of Haus Montag as the official meeting point of Europa Terra Nostra in Germany and the unveiling of the new advertising board featuring the ETN logo by Chairman Dan Eriksson himself. Naturally, this was celebrated with a glass of sparkling wine before the team at Haus Montag provided everybody with hearty barbeque food and a variety of salads. With the musical accompaniment of a local singer-songwriter, the evening ended in a cosy and ever-friendly atmosphere at the Klub 451.
The following Sunday morning, after having breakfast together, the group set off at 10:00am to visit the monumental and historic Königstein Fortress. Thanks to the perfect weather, participants could not only enjoy the unique view over the Elbe Valley and the rugged mountain formations of Saxon Switzerland during a round tour of the impressive castle itself, but participants could also experience a piece of German cultural history first-hand.
After a stop for refreshments in one of the castle’s taverns, the participants finally set off on their journeys home at around 1:30pm. Naturally, the parting of the group was received with a heavy heart by all, for the two days were an enrichment in every respect from the first minute to the last. Thomas Rackow and the team of supporters at Haus Montag made a significant contribution to this, which cannot be appreciated highly enough.
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We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest thanks once again to all!
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