Welwyn Anglo-French Twinning – Past Events

French Connection 1 and 2
by David Finn

Welwyn Town Twinning 2011

This is a brief summary of our last 18 months since joining the Welwyn Anglo French Twinning Association (WAFTA) in 2010. Having just retired, we were looking at various options on how to use our time to the best effect. One option was this Twinning Association, so we went along to one of their social evenings, a quiz night. A good start with a very friendly and a down-to-earth group was our first impression. It wasn’t long before we were asked to join the committee which we agreed to.

French Connection 1:
We were asked to provide accommodation for a French lady from the Champagne-sur-Oise group. We were a little concerned as we had only a limited French vocabulary; however, everything went really well and we became good friends with her.

Carrying on through the year we have attended various functions/talks: Wine Tasting, Coffee History, French Impressionists and a Tourist Guide to North Africa.

French Connection 2:
Detailed plans were made for our visit to Champagne-sur-Oise. This included the travel by Eurostar and subsequent travel up to Champagne-sur-Oise, which is approximately 30 miles north of Paris. (Just a change of platform at Gare du Nord.) Our host was to be Paulette, the lady who had stayed with us in Welwyn. Apart from that we were a little in the dark as to the itinerary for the three days. We were not disappointed!

After a very polite Civic Reception with the Mayor and Champagne “Twinners” we went to our hosts for an evening meal. This was a chance to relax and catch up with our friends.

The next day, Saturday, was a really busy day. A coach was hired to take us to Paris and the day started with a visit to the Grévin museum. This is a wax works similar to Madame Tussauds in London. The main difference was that the exhibits were placed in settings such as Bars and Theatres, hence one could sit or stand next to George Clooney or Michael Jackson. Obviously a great photo opportunity! Next it was on to a packed lunch in the Tuileries Gardens alongside the River Seine.

Welwyn Town Twinning Party 2011

Finally in Paris, a cruise on the Seine from the Eiffel Tower down to Notre Dame and back – approximately 1.5 hours of wonderful sites and buildings. The return coach ride was also quite eventful, with a large thunderstorm taking place.

That night our hosts provided a rather special “Moroccan” themed evening. This included belly dancers and a wonderful three course meal with Moroccan lamb, couscous etc. In addition to all the food, a disco and lots of drinks were provided.

Sunday was a lot more relaxed, with a light breakfast and a stroll around Champagne-sur-Oise. After lunch with our host we were taken down to the station for the trip back to Paris and onward to London.

So an interesting first 18 months in the Welwyn Anglo French Twinning Association. If any of this appeals to you then contact us via www.welwyntwinning.org. Not only will you make friends in Champagne-sur-Oise but you may find friends locally with similar interests.

David Finn