30 Years Twinned with Radlett (Parish of Aldenham) in England


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Return visit in England from 24th to 27th June 2011

After the celebrations in Lautertal last year in September, a group flew over from Germany to celebrate the twinning in England.

The official reception was held in the Radlett Centre in the town centre where, at the same time, there was an art exhibition which we also took a look at.

Foto: GloverFoto: Glover

 

Agenda

 
 

24th June

:

Arrival in the evening

25th June

:

Reception - Radlett Centre
Visit - Bhaktivedanta Manor
Visit - Aldenham village
Evening - Folk Dancing

26th June

:

Visit - London (Olympic Park, Camden Town)

27th June

:

Visit - St Albans (Cathederal, clock tower)
Return to Germany

 

The Arrival

The majority of the group flew together from Germany and arrived in Radlett by taxi from Heathrow airport to a rather wet evening.

Foto: GloverFoto: Glover

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1st Day- Reception and exploring the area around Radlett

Visit to Bhaktivedanta Manor:
On this wonderfully sunny day we were allowed the services of a Hare Krishna monk who showed us around the exotic gardens and the recently built cow sheds as well as inside the old manor house. He explained the origins and present-day aspects of the movement. At the same time there was an Indian wedding taking place.

Foto: GloverFoto: Glover

Foto: GloverFoto: Glover

Visit to Aldenham:
Here the twinning lime tree planted on the green was to be inspected but it was the 700 year old church of St John the Baptist that was the focal point of our visit to this tiny village which has given its name to the parish. In the church the vicar gave us a run-down on its long history which, in the past, has played an important role in the development of this community. Then we were allowed to climb the steps of the bell tower and enjoy the fantastic panoramic view over the seemingly unspoilt countryside and the small village below.

Foto: Glover

Foto: Glover

Foto: Glover

Foto: GloverFoto: Glover

Foto: GloverFoto: Glover

Evening Dance (photos: Walter Koepff):
Towards the evening we were given the pleasure of being shown the art of English folk dancing in the social hall next to Christ Church in Radlett, which we enjoyed exhaustingly. During a break we were served the traditional British meal of fish and chips

Foto: KoepffFoto: Koepff

Foto: KoepffFoto: Koepff

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2nd Day - Visit to London

A fabulously sunny day which was already warm quite early on.

Foto: Glover

In front of Christ Church the coach waited to take us to London. The Italian driver, Angelo, was very amiable and a good driver too.

After a long journey and crossing the Thames at least twice through a tunnel in unusually light traffic we arrived in the London suburb of Stratford (a part of West Ham). This is an area of London in the east that, until recently, was, apart from the football club, quite unknown and very neglected. It was a rather derelict and seedy place that, due to the up and coming Olympic Games, is being almost completely rebuilt. We were driven through the town centre in order to collect the guide who was going to show us around the new Olympic Park. We left the bus in a side road to go by foot along a specially constructed footpath leading us safely past the huge building site (an area covering more than 2.5 sq. kms).

Foto: Glover

Because the Summer Olympics are going to be held here in 2012 the Park is still a huge building site. Nevertheless, all the stadiums have been built and the Olympic Village will soon be completed. The paths and green areas (trees, grass, flowers etc.) are still missing. The whole area itself and the view are tremendous. During our visit there the air temperature had risen sharply and now we were really glad of any spot in the shade.

Foto: GloverFoto: Glover

We continued on to Camden Town to the north west of London. On the way our bus driver, following the instructions of Hillary Booth, led us slowly through the centre of London past all of the sites this huge city is able to offer. Then we arrived in Camden Town. This part of London is really quite special. For one, on Sundays, it is jam-packed with crowds of people. This suburb is bubbling with energy and completely overcrowded. All of the shops were open and the place, with its markets, bars, bistros, restaurant (and night clubs that are very popular), was bursting at the seams.

Foto: GloverFoto: Glover

On the other hand, this spot is blessed with a wonderfully picturesque canal with an uncommon type of double locks right in the centre of the attractions where everyone is enjoying themselves.

Foto: GloverFoto: Glover

This canal is part of  Regent's Canal which, in turn, is one of many such canals that were built in London during the 19th century. They lead through the most wonderful natural urban and industrial countryside that the great city of London has to offer. Along the edge of this canal there are many house boasts (so called "Narrowboats") moored. As a result, Camden Town radiates a very relaxed atmosphere. But the day was hot, very hot in the midst of these crowds. Nevertheless, only a few metres away along the canal, to the west, you can leave all of the hustle and bustle behind. Only those few metres and Regent's Canal is shaded, tranquil and wonderfully romantic.

Foto: Glover

Unfortunately we had to get back to the bus in order to make our way back to Radlett. It was a lovely and sunny day with deep blue skies where the thermometer climbed to above 30C! The journey back proved to be a welcome break after a long, hot and impressive day. Some travellers even managed to take nap on the coach! About an hour later we arrived back in Radlett where we were welcomed by our hosts outside Christ Church.

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Last Day - Visit to St Albans and return to Germany

This day was also to prove to be very hot. In fact it was the hottest day in England so far this year (over 32C).

It was arranged that our hosts would take us to St Albans where we all met at the cathederal.

Foto: Glover

This impressively large House of God was almost deserted of visitors when we arrived. This gave us ample opportunity to wander around the place undisturbed and make use of the official guides, who were patiently standing around waiting for people like us only too willing to give us more than enough information on the history of the site .

Foto: Glover

Foto: Glover

Foto: Glover

Afterwards we walked to the nearby city centre and took the opportunity to visit and climb the ancient Clock Tower. It was arranged with the city council that we would get a guide who was able to tell us everything about this unique 600 year old civic building in the centre of the city and allow us to climb the steps to take a fanatastic view from the top of the tower. Then we had some free time to wander around the city below and do some shopping.

Foto: Glover

Foto: Glover

Foto: Glover

Later on in the afternoon most of us made our way back to Heathrow Airport to catch the plane back to Frankfurt. With this we ended a very enjoyable and impressive visit to our twin town in England.

Report, photos and layout: Johnny Glover