On 15 October a group of eight twinners, including the mayor Elaine Worgan, flew to Stuttgart for a five-night stay in Bad Rappenau where they took part in the Oktoberfest celebrations. After spending the evening and following morning with their hosts the visitors were taken to visit the Kloster Schöntal, a former Cistercian Abbey dating from the 12th century that is nestled on the banks of the winding River Jagst. The evening was spent sampling the beers of the Häffner brewery where everyone enjoyed an evening meal.
On Friday the group, together with a party from Contrexéville who arrived that afternoon, were kitted out with traditional German costumes in readiness for an evening of eating, drinking, and music at the Oktoberfest.
A busy Saturday began with a coach trip to the world’s biggest pumpkin festival held in the gardens of the magnificent baroque palace at Ludwigsburg, an historic university town north of Stuttgart. Each year the festival has a theme represented in pumpkin art. This year’s theme was “Pumpkin Royale”. An enjoyable day concluded with dinner and tasting fine wines at Gedelsbach in the heart of the Württemberg wine producing area.
On the final full day of the visit the group enjoyed lunch with their hosts, spending the afternoon sightseeing and shopping before attending a concert at the Protestant church in the evening. Early the following morning the visitors travelled to Stuttgart for the flight home.