4th HGTA holiday trip to Germany: 4th – 8th September 2013

Early Wednesday morning 31 excited – but not very bright-eyed and bushy-tailed – HGTA members met in Huntingdon and Godmanchester to catch the coach to Stansted airport. From there we flew to Cologne and continued by coach to Speyer, a world heritage site and our first overnight stop at “Hotel am Technik Museum close to the historic town centre. After check-in and a short rest we experienced a guided tour in English through parts of the old town, also learning about Speyer’s exciting history followed by dinner in a restaurant near the Dom, where we enjoyed delicious food.

Glorious weather with sunshine throughout the day made us feel even more in holiday mood. After this first day, several people mentioned that they hardly could believe we had only left Huntingdon and Godmanchester that same day in the early morning hours, as we had seen and done so much already.
The next morning gave the opportunity for exploring Speyer, power shopping or visiting the magnificent technical museum which had ground, air and sea transport objects on display – even a space shuttle.

In the afternoon, on our way to Wertheim we made a stop at the picturesque castle Mespelbrunn (still privately owned in the Spessart forest. After refuelling our energy at the nearby restaurant “Pferdestall”(= horse stable) with light refreshments followed by a guided castle tour, we finally reached Wertheim. In the evening we were treated to a tasty buffet with German specialities, wine and soft drinks at a Welcome evening arranged by the Wertheim Town Council and Twinning Association. Old friends and IPW members greated us with hugs, hellos and laughter. Mayor Stein welcomed us with a short speech and a choir entertained us with lovely songs.

Friday had a day trip to beautiful Bamberg in stall, a world heritage site. Two English speaking guides showed us around and told us amazing stories about the town with its 25 bridges crossing the river Regnitz and its exciting history, spanning over 1000 years. - Everyone agreed that this was one of the most beautiful towns they had ever seen. First mentioned in the 9th century, it escaped World War II bombing and has therefore Germany’s largest completely intact historic town centre. Lunch at restaurant “Scheiners am Dom” and time to explore more of this magnificent City ended this eventful day.

Saturday morning was free for shopping, having coffee on the market square, meeting old friends or strolling around Wertheim. At noon we left for Aschaffenburg, where we had guided walk through parts of the old town followed by a tour through the impressive Johannisburg castle which was built in only 8 years. – At the evenings’ wine tasting event at a wine cellar in Reicholzheim we were greeted with a glass of bubbly followed by meat and cheese platters and the delightful tasting of 5 different wines. Soon everyone was in high spirits and the cellar echoed from laughter, giggling, singing and happy voices. In between, we learned about grapes, vines and listened to amusing wine toasts. - For example: “ On earth wine and women provide a pleasure to sigh for! - Because through them you can feel in heaven - without having to die for”.

Before we departed Sunday evening from Stuttgart Airport we visited the 1000 year old, medieval town of Dinkelsbuehl, an absolutely charming and picturesque place. But the unexpected icing on the cake was that the town was celebrating its 825th town anniversary with a spectacular medieval town festival. The town was buzzing with activities, stalls, dancers, music, people in historic costumes, demonstrations of old crafts, samples of ancient food and lots of small and large outdoor Cafes and restaurants to taste delicious German specialities. In spite of the forecasted rain that day, we experienced another sunny day which made the 3 hours in Dinkelsbuehl even more enjoyable. What can one say, but: …when angels travel”. - German Wings left on time and brought us safely back to Stansted Airport where “Kiddles Coaches” was waiting to take a tired group back to Huntingdon.

After 5 amazing days, filled with wonderful experiences, crowned by glorious weather, this 4th trip to Germany was in every respect a delightful journey with a great bunch of cheerful people, who always were on time, always in good a mood, most appreciative, grateful and full of enthusiasm.

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Huntingdon & Godmanchester Twinning Association: email: info@hgta.eu