Bad Brückenau July 16-18th 2010

What an amazing weekend!

Twenty four members of the Kirkham Twinning Association made their way to the beautiful Bavarian village of Bad Brückenau to help the town celebrate the 700th anniversary of its charter. Some of the group had flown in from Manchester and were picked up at the airport by friends and taxies, others, like myself and my wife, made a longer holiday out of the trip and took the ferry from Dover to Dunkerque, and drove through France and Belgium and on to Bad Brückenau. When they arrived some of the group were staying in local hotels and others, like my wife and I, in the houses of German friends. All were made very welcome.

Friday

The weekend’s festivities started  on the Friday evening with a superb open-air ‘Spanish Night’ set in the grounds of the Georgi Park attended by many hundreds, if not thousands, of people with the Bavarian Chamber Orchestra playing a selection of Spanish classical favourites. Many people took picnics with their hosts and others took advantage of the many different types of food and drinks on sale.

 

It was great to see the mayors of

Ancenis (our other twin town)Bad Brückenau,

and  Kirkham enjoying a drink together

and some of the many foods on sale.

Just some of the crowd enjoying the open-air concert

Sylvia, the KTA chairman, some of the

 committee and friends enjoying the interval picnic

As the sun went down Georgi Park became

an amazing spectacle of lights and lanterns

    Late in the evening, as people made their way home the park was lit by hundreds of lanterns in the trees, a magical experience.

Saturday

Saturday dawned a little greyer than we’d hoped but we set off with our hosts and our friends from Ancenis (43 of them) in two coaches to visit a monastery where the monks brew a famous German beer. The monastery is very near the old East German border so many of us took the opportunity to go and see the old ‘no man’s land’ and the infamous watch towers. A very interesting experience.

By the time we got back to the coaches, (OK, so we got a little wet on the way back!), it had stopped raining and our hosts had produced the most amazing buffet with a great selection of cakes, meats, sausages and drinks of all sorts.

A visit to a preserved watch tower with

a view over the no-man's-land' into

the old East Germany

Plenty of food magically appeared at the end

of the walk to the watch tower

An hour later there was still plenty left!

Some thirsty walkers sampling

the local monk's brew

Sunday

There was an open-air ecumenical service on the Sunday morning followed by the big parade through the town. I lost count of the number of bands and people and groups in historical costumes. The procession took and hour to pass with everyone gathering in Georgi park at the end to continue the festivities with dancers, bands, craft demonstrations and more food and drink of course.

One of the many bands parading through

the packed town

Kirkham's mayor and his wife enjoy a carriage ride

with the Mayor of Ancenis

One of the many costumed groups in the parade

The local gymnastic group showing how its done

And finally....our friends from Bad Brückenau decided to re-enact the disastrous fire which almost destroyed the town many years ago, (OK, so the re-enactment was on a slightly smaller scale!) by setting fire to a shed in the park and using the original fire appliance to put it out. I felt that after all their hospitality, the least I could do was to help them put it out!

Where's Health and Safety when you need them? Keep pumping you fool! All that hospitality taking its t

                                                                        

                                                                                       Here's to the next time!

All in all, a fantastic long weekend with lots of other activities with friends from the three towns.

Does it sound like your sort of activity? You don’t need to speak the language, it obviously helps if you do but, for example,

I don’t speak any German, but my wife and I still had a great time staying with English-speaking German friends.

Don't forget, its all self-funded but staying with friends, both old and new, can be a very rewarding experience.

If you are interested or would like more information please contact me on 01772 683827 or e-mail norman@electraglide.freeserve.co.uk

Norman Harris  

Secretary Kirkham Twinning Association