From Serbia I set off for Warsaw and there was a very specific reason for me to go there. In 2003-2004 I studied – and got a Master’s degree – in the Natolin campus of College of Europe. So now it was exactly 10 years from our graduation and our promotion decided to meet up to celebrate this anniversary. It was decided to meet in the very place where we studied. Natolin used to be an aristocratic residence, later a summer house used by the party bosses, and finally nowadays it became a university campus surrounded by a superb park. The very topography of the place contributes to the feeling of isolation, which is the reason why the generations of students refer to it as “the golden cage”. In addition, Natolin is somewhat removed from the centre of Warsaw, although a metro line does reach there.
Our promotion – about 120 people – was comprised of people from all over Europe and beyond and so ten years on our people are literally everywhere around the world. In any country you go to there is a chance to bump into if not your coursemate, then at least someone from an adjacent promotion. CoE is an amazing network. One day in Mysore, India I was waiting for an elevator in a random hotel. As the elevator doors opened, my French coursemate Natacha stood right in front of me – we lived in neighbouring rooms in the Natolin student residence. I accidentally met College acquaintances in some many cities I’ve lost count. Of course the highest concentration of anciens is in Brussels – the very place we are meant to go after the College graduation.
Most of my time in Warsaw was consequently spent talking to people. It was only a couple of times that I would take my camera in my hands, and here are some results.
Finally a view over the Natolin park: