September 2010 Visit To Villeneuve - Report and Pictures By Malcolm McKinlay 

Visit to Cahors


At Reception


Musicians playing at the reception


Musicians and dancers on the steps to the theatre, Villeneuve

Visit to Villeneuve sur Lot 16th - 20th September 2010

Thursday 16th September:

Eight members of the twinning assembled at Troon Youth Centre 0625am for the mini bus to take us to Glasgow Airport. It was a beautiful sunrise with a golden yellow sky. We arrived in good time and met up with another two members who had travelled by car. We checked in our luggage and after passing through security we had a coffee before we boarded our BA flight to London Gatwick. There was a couple of hours wait at Gatwick before boarding our flight to Bordeaux.

All of the flights were on time and waiting for us at the airport was Ken Napier, president of Villeneuve sur Lot Twinning Association. There he had a mini bus to take us on a two hour drive to Villeneuve. When we arrived at Villeneuve we met up with 10 more members and also our host families with whom we would be staying during the course of our visit. We all left to go with our hosts.

Friday 17th September:

We all met around 0945 at the theatre in Villeneuve and then boarded a hire bus, which would take us east of Villeneuve for an hour's drive to the town of Cahors. Cahors is a town on the river Lot which has an old historic bridge, Pont Valentré, of similar type to Villeneuve. After visiting the bridge, we had a three-course lunch with wine in a riverside restaurant. The coach then took us to another part of town where we visited several historic buildings including the Cathédrale Saint-Etienne. On our return to Villeneuve we passed many grape producers, as Cahors is a large wine production area. Arranged for 1800hrs was a welcome in the theatre where we were entertained with local dancers and had some nibbles with punch or orange juice.

Saturday 18th September:

Everyone was free to enjoy him or herself during the day. Many went to local street markets, which sold local food produce, clothes, leather goods, etc. Arranged for Saturday evening was a formal dinner, held in a restaurant on the outskirts of Villeneuve. Here we had an enjoyable meal comprising, pâté, and main course of pork with prunes, walnut tart for desert, cheese, and wine. We were again given a demonstration of some local music and dancing. Gifts were exchanged between the two twinning organisations.

Sunday 19th September:

Again we all met around 0945 at the theatre in Villeneuve and then boarded a hire bus, which would take us southwest of Villeneuve for an hour's drive to the town of Vianne. Vianne is an historic walled town built in 1284. Here we visited a number of places including the church built by the Order of the Templiers. A further journey of some 5 km brought us to the town of Nerac for lunch in a restaurant overlooking the river. Here we had another enjoyable three-course meal with wine. We all then were able to explore the town’s historical buildings, and then in the late afternoon we met for a boat trip along the river. On our return to Villeneuve we joined many members of the Villeneuve twinning association for a farewell gathering in the municipal building.

Monday 20th September:

The group travellers all met around 1030, again at the theatre, and were taken in a mini bus to the home of the secretary of the twinning for what was listed as a finger buffet. Somehow the translation was lost as we were presented with a huge spread of food, (home grown and home prepared). Afterwards we travelled the two hours back to Bordeaux Airport for the return home to Scotland.

Walled Town Vianne

Nerac

Ken and Sue Napier

(Ken is President of the Villeneuve Town Twinning)

Lunch Time

To eat or drink?

Pont Valentré

Market Day

Nerac - The River

Official Reception Dinner

Prunes and Punch at Reception

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