Twinning exchanges are a great way to forge international friendships and understanding between various cultures, especially during these difficult times.
Littlehampton Twinning Association is very fortunate to have links with two other European countries, through Chennevieres-sur-Marne in France and Durmersheim in Germany.
The system works very well, with two weekend visits every year, each country taking turns in hosting.
To celebrate 30 years of twinning with Germany, Marilyn Hurdwell, of Old Mead Road, Littlehampton, has written a review of the most recent trip abroad. This followed association members welcoming their French friends in April.
“What is somewhat unusual in such visits is that we stay en famille, in each other’s homes, where we truly learn how the other half lives. This is far more successful and rewarding than merely staying in foreign hotels and we would strongly recommend that other Littlehampton folk should at least give it a try.
“After a very early start, we boarded the ferry to Calais and transferred back to our coach for the overland trip to Durmersheim, where our hosts welcomed us with a refreshing beer and a song. Accompanied by a guitar, they serenaded us with Happy Days Are Here Again! in both languages.
“After supper, we had a restful night and next day were soon all aboard their luxury coach to Stuttgart.
“There was a good mix of culture, with a guided tour of the impressive Staatsgalerie, designed by Scotsman James Stirling, gastronomie, with a delicious lunch beneath the lofty SWR Television Tower, then adventure, with the ascent to the top, by lift, naturally, and fantastic panoramic views of the entire city in the sunshine.
“Next day was a day of leisure with our hosts. Ours kindly took us to the stunning Black Forest area, where we strolled around the legendary Mummelsee lake high up in the hills and then on to Schloss Eberstein, a fantastic castle, restaurant and hotel where we enjoyed lunch al fresco on a tree-lined terrace overlooking their impressive sloping vineyards and village below.
“Later, we all celebrated together with a tasty traditional evening meal in a local sports centre, where votes of thanks and gifts were exchanged by members of both communities, ending with a singalong.
“Early on our last morning, we all posed for group photos beside the renovated English red telephone box, which had been our gift from a previous trip. Then we sadly made our farewells and once again enjoyed the lovely scenery en route to Calais.”
For more information about town twinning, contact Linda Bensusan, secretary, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.littlehamptontwinning.co.uk