Patchway Visits Gauting 5th - 8th October 2017

So, in our nominal 15th anniversary year we were invited to Gauting to spend a long weekend in the lovely countryside of Bavaria.

Somewhat disjointed travel arrangements this time with various small groups arriving at Munich Airport on Wednesday evening and Thursday.

Four of us opted for the very civilised but a little more expensive BMI flight direct from Bristol to Munich and then adventurously trying our hand on the S-Bahn to our Twin Town.

Not so bad as one of our Partnerschaft members, concerned for our welfare came out to the airport to show us the best way and best ticket!!
We settled in with our hosts and in the evening we attended the Civic Dinner at the "Castle", actually it was in the converted Royal Stables but nevertheless a fantastic evening.

The other member of our Tripartite Twinning came from Clermont L'Herault, in the form of the Mayor, his deputy and the President of the Jumalage. It was a very constructive evening with all our old friends we had made over the years attending, it was very warm and friendly.

As always with the Twinning exchange a late night is followed by an early morning and sure enough we set out for Lake Chiemsee and Frauenislet (Island of Women) at 08.00 the next morning.
The trip around the "Mittel" ring road of Munich in the rush hour makes Bristol traffic problems look minor in comparison, but we were soon at the lake and just in time to catch the ferry to the island. Fascinating place, lots of history from Charlemagne onward, about 300 residents, no chance of ever buying a house on the island, and one of the biggest Convents in Europe; however there are only 11 nuns now in residence. Dinner was overtly Bavarian and very enjoyable and a guided tour afterwards helped with the digestion. The weather forecast had not been good but during our time there we only had 3-5 minutes of rain.
Our return journey again saw us caught in the rush hour but the good thing was we weren't driving!

Friday evening we had a gathering in the home of Stephan and Ruth-Marie, and we were treated to more traditional Bavarian food and of course some Oktoberfest beer (12% vol). Just to prove that red wine of good quality can be produced in Bavaria we were treated to some wine which came from a limited supply, it was superb, our French colleagues agreed and they come from a good wine producing area!

Saturday was a free day with hosts and ours took us to the opening of the local renovated S-Bahn station. Certainly puts our communities to shame, the whole town turned out to see the opening and support various local organisations by purchasing food etc from lots of small stalls.
They have volunteer Fire Fighters in these small Bavarian towns and it was good to see many young people in fire fighting outfits preparing to take over from the previous generation.

In the evening we all attended the 70th anniversary of the Stockdorf Brass Band, my host who organised for us to be there has been a member of this musical group for over 65 years. It was again an evening where our host could show that their cultural heritage is still alive and well some thing our all embracing cosmopolitan communities seem to have lost.

Then it was all over, time does accelerate when you are having such a wonderful time. A few of us gathered at the home of the local language teacher, Adriana, who provided us with a superb "Brunch", we sat down at 09.30 with lots of conversation and stories etc, then suddenly it was 12.00 and a mad rush for the S-Bahn station.

There was a somewhat subdued but very efficient journey home, where we now pick up the pieces of our normal routine life.

Twinning is such a great experience, everyone should try it, just once?, no, just once is enough to get you involved for life!!

Image icon Frauenislet590.14 KB
Image icon My Hosts732.15 KB
Image icon Ready to explore the island654.08 KB
Image icon Re-opening of Stockdorf Station891.66 KB
Image icon Stockdorf Brasskapelle895.99 KB