September 2017 – TTA at the Valence Twinners Market
On a chilly September morning Kerith and I set out on a journey to Valance. Our mode of transport depended on Joy and Adrian Phillips. They had kindly invited us to accompany them on the journey. At this point we would both like to commend Adrian for his sterling efforts to get us to the south of France at the quickest of times, without breaking any land speed records! He was a star. Never complained and made sure that we had enough ‘comfort’ stops, as requested on many occasions. As we drove down towards the south of France, the weather became increasingly warmer – certainly not the temperature that we had left behind!
On our arrival we were introduced to our hosts, Claire and Yves. We couldn’t have asked for a better example of French hospitality than was given to us, by them, throughout our stay. After a lovely meal we retired to our respective rooms for a welcome rest.
The next morning, following a hearty breakfast, we wandered through the town to meet with other twinners at the Valence market. It was such fun! The various nationalities engaged with each other in an extraordinary display of friendship. We feel that this, in essence, is what Twinning is all about, breaking down borders of communication and making new friendships.
The day was a huge success. We were tasked to assist Adrian in producing a typical English breakfast – Bacon and egg sandwiches! Adrian no doubt was a street seller in another life as his talents for sealing a breakfast deal were so impressive! Again the focus was on fun and sellers, producers and customers enjoyed every aspect of it.
Another bonus was the opportunity to have our photograph taken with the Mayor of Valence. He was incredibly supportive of the event and stopped to chat with all stallholders during his visit. Once the breakfasts were finished, we could then sit back and celebrate with a cool German beer – bought from our twinning friends from Biberach.
We then wandered off through the medieval city for a little sightseeing. Valence is a beautiful place, so full of history, set within the backdrop of the Rhône Alps. In the evening we were invited to a twinning event, hosted by our Valence counterparts. We enjoyed meeting new people while conversing over a 5 course meal – which was delicious.
The next day we visited the local park, enjoyed yet another lovely meal, presented to us by our hosts, followed by a trip to see the ruins of the historic Chateau de Crussol.
Early the next day, we thanked our hosts for such a wonderful time and set off for England. Of course we had to take in the delights of a French shopping trip in Calais on the way. Again, Adrian didn’t let us down and we arrived back safely in Tendring, that evening, via the Channel Tunnel. It was a wonderful weekend which we would recommend to anyone contemplating the joys of the Twinning Association.