The recent visit to twin town Schweinfurt could be described as just champion with members of the Burgerreise group joining in Germany’s World Cup celebrations.
The Burgerreise visit was organised by the Friends of Schweinfurt Twinning Association and involved residents of Motherwell, Wishaw, Cleland and Shotts.
It was a new experience for many of the group to be sitting in the pub wearing German colours, with painted faces, and cheering on the German team to victory, then joining in the street fun celebrations after the final whistle.
North Lanarkshire provost Jim Robertson was part of the Burgerreise, travelling as a private citizen, and the Schweinfurt people appreciated his German football top dress code as he cheered their team, which was featured in the Schweinfurt newspaper.
There were many other champion events throughout the week in an interesting and varied programme arranged by the Twinning Association in Schweinfurt
There was a visit to the beautiful town of Bamberg, an outing to a farming project taking in the museum at Gochsheim, and a trip to Burgpreppach Castle where there is a colony of bats which brought mixed reaction!
There was also a visit to the beautiful medieval conservation town of Konigsberg, the Witches Tower in Zell and an outing to the beautiful spa town of Bad Kissingen with a short tour of the oldest casino in operation, and a fun try at the roulette tables without money.
The group visited the new university in Schweinfurt and saw at first hand some impressive research projects and learned how the university are keen to recruit Scottish students for technology training, a venture which will be pursued by North Lanarkshire education.
A civic reception at the Rathaus (town hall), hosted by Oberburgermeister Sebastian Remelee, involved a presentation by 13 pupils and two teachers from Alexander von Humboldt school who are working on a project to revive student exchange visits among schools.
The group also enjoyed a walking tour of Schweinfurt through the quieter streets to see the beautiful buildings in the town. A wine-tasting evening allowed the group to sample some of the local produce of this wine-producing area.
Schweinfurt is also twinned with Chateaudun in France and the Burgerresie group were guests at a Garden Party organised by their twinning association to mark 225 years of the French Revolution, also a new experience for the Scottish people.
The final night was a meal with friends from the Twinning Association with music and singing, and gifts were exchanged. Thanks were expressed to the Friends of North Lanarkshire TYwinning Association, particularly Uwe Walther, Marion and Christian Both, Elisabeth Spath and Juergen Appel, for all their help.
The week-long visit was a great success and has strengthened the link between the two towns which has now been in existence for 52 years.