The Mayor Heads a Successful Visit to Germany Before Next Year’s Big One!
Last week, between 8-14 June, the mayor, Councillor Grenville Chappel and his wife June headed a 16 strong delegation from Falmouth on a wonderful visit to our ‘Twin’: Landkreis Rotenburg-Wümme in northern Germany. It was the first time in many years that the the mayor, as President of the Twinning Association, travelled with the party, and his presence was greatly appreciated by our hosts and the local German press.
Whilst in Germany, the group was treated to a very varied programme showcasing local wildlife, culture, archaeology and history. The day after our arrival we were taken to Tister Bauernmoor, a 1400 acre area of raised bog on Lüneburg Heath. The wetlands were formed by flooding after centuries of peat extraction and now form some of the richest breeding grounds and staging areas for many types of birds in Europe. There are over 40 types of birds there. Some are rare and, from the 30 foot tower-hide, we were fortunate enough to see a sea eagle nesting.
On the Saturday were were given a guided tour of mediaeval Celle. A beautiful town with the largest number of timber-framed houses in Germany. With the weather being kind to us, we were shown the castle where our Royal family started, and then fed, quite royally, in a quaint local bohemian restaurant.
After a free day, spent with our hosts, Monday was a day of archaeology. We were shown the site of the oldest Neolithic tomb found in Europe. This is at Anderlingen and was discovered in 1907 by farmers. The site contained a stone with carved figures that are strikingly similar to ones found in Norway. The original tomb and stone are now in the Federal State Museum in Hannover. This visit was followed with a visit to a Bronze Age village excavation that was found during a routine heritage survey taken before the building of an industrial unit.
Monday evening was an official reception in the Hotel Paulsen. The mayor presented Landkreis-Rotenburg with a Falmouth Town plaque marking the occasion. The local administrator, Herr Luttmann, presented the mayor with a large pictorial book about the Landkreis. Other gifts were exchanged and the memorable evening passed all too quickly.
The final day was a delightful one. The emphasis was on local bread. After a guided tour of an historical water-driven flour mill, we were shown an outdoor folk museum that included a bread oven. The day was completed with a buffet of breads, sausages and cheeses, washed down with schnapps. Following this, a famous local youth dance group performed a series of traditional dances. Beautiful and very ethnic. A really memorable day.
The following day saw our flight back from Bremen. We arrived back in Falmouth tired and happy, after another successful visit, carrying lots of special and happy memories of a lovely visit and wonderful friendships.
2018 will be the fiftieth anniversary of the Falmouth-Rotenburg twinning and their return visit, this time next summer, is planned to be a special and memorable one.