The year 2020 should have been our twentieth anniversary of twinning with Chateau du Loir but it was postponed because of the pandemic, and again in 2021. In 2022 it was postponed for the third time but the week before last a delegation of 21 members and two councillors went to Chateau du Loir to celebrate our 20 years of twinning even though it is now 23 years from the signing of the charters.
We were greeted on arrival at the reception by a fanfare provided by a local group playing traditional French hunting horns and introduced to the mayor of Montval and other members of the council. You might wonder why it was the mayor of Montval . This is because the communes of Chateau du Loir, Vouvray sur Loir and Montabon have joined together to for administration purposes and formed Montval sur Loir.
It was good to meet old friends again after four years and to make new acquaintances. I, personally think it is important to keep ties with our friends abroad even though we are now out of Europe. After the reception we went back with our hosts for the night.
On Friday our friends had hired a 56 seat coach to take everyone out for the day as they didn’t want anybody to drive, the reason became clear later. We went to the Abbey at Frontenvraud for a tour with an English speaking guide. It’s where the tombs of Richard the Lionheart and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and the other Plantagenats are. We were then back on the coach and off to Doue la Fontaine to a troglodyte restaurant. It used to be an underground quarry where they removed blocks of stone to build the chateaux, churches etc. We were wined and dined with an excellent five course meal in amazing surroundings and after that, back on the coach and off to a wine cave for a tour of the cellars and a sample of one or two wines.
Saturday was spent with hosts with an optional tour of the museum in Chateau du Loir which has large collection of tea and coffee pots.
Sunday, again was spent with hosts with different groups of people joining up together and visiting various places. In the afternoon another optional tour was organised at the old steam railway works in Montabon. This building was derelict 10 years ago but has been saved and now being turned into a railway museum. It has the only working turntable left in France.
On Monday we returned home after being waved a tearful goodbye after an action-packed weekend. It was so good to meet our old friends again. An excellent time was had by all and it will be a difficult act to follow next year when they come here.