Twenty seven members of the Bridlington French Twinning Association have just returned from a bi-annual visit to the town of Millau.
We all stayed in the homes of people of the town, who provided us not only with a bed, but also with wonderful French cuisine and boundless hospitality.
Many of the Bridlington group had already experienced a twinning trip and were going back to find old friends. Some were there for the first time, but received the same enthusiastic welcome.
Millau is a small town in the south of France with around 30,000 inhabitants, so a little smaller than Bridlington.
It nestles in a valley surrounded by high mountain plateaus called Causses, covered by trees and other vegetation, making the area very green because of the high rainfall. There are outcrops of rock and steep cliff faces, which combine to create dramatic and spectacular scenery.
The town is dominated by the suspension bridge with its seven huge columns. It was created with the help of English engineer Norman Foster. It spans the divide over a wide valley and is an important arterial route through the town.
We were taken to see many different things – the white horses and black bulls of the Camargue; flamingos in their natural habitat in a bird reserve, along with egrets and purple and grey herons; a seaside trip to St Marie; a visit to a breeding stable in Rodez; a museum of insects commemorating the naturalist, Jean Henrie Fabre; the Caves where Roquefort cheese is made and the glove making factory for which the town is famous.
We climbed to the top of the belfry, which offered spectacular views of the area and visited the local museum to learn about the history of the town. Our hosts in Millau Twinning Association simply could not do enough for us.
They entertained us with a play and Beatles’ songs and taught us traditional French dances on the night of the farewell dinner. Finally, a day to see the sights of bustling Montpellier before we caught our flight home.
Twinning seeks to promote understanding and cultural exchange between peoples of different countries. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 676493 if you wish to find out more about joining the Bridlington French Twinning Association.