Trip 2006
La Bouille
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Over the May day bank holiday week-end, a group of 15 people went over to La Bouille where we received the usual warm hospitality. This page relates the story of the trip. There are more photos on the Trip Photos page. Whilst on our travels we picked up a couple of recipes.


The Journey

As we had a smaller group than in the past, we decided to hire a minibus rather than a large coach. This meant we had to be careful how much luggage we took, but after adjusting things we managed to get comfortable and set off from Whitchurch at 5:20 a.m. on the Saturday morning.

After completing the formalities at Portsmouth, we were soon on board the ferry to Caen. A short journey on the French side and we arrived in La Bouille at 5 p.m. to be whisked off to our host families. This gave us time to refresh ourselves and get changed ready for the reception at the Marie at 7 p.m.


Reception at the Mairie

After short speeches of welcome and thanks from the Mayor and the Presidents of the Twinning, it was time for the champagne to flow and for everyone to meet up with old friends and to renew acquaintances.

The Mairie has recently been refurbished and it was looking very smart. Alongside, the school has new buildings and we were given a tour of them on Monday.

After the reception, our host families looked after us for dinner. Some had grouped together up to 14 strong for dinner at home, whereas others had arranged to dine out at local restaurants. We all enjoyed the fine French cuisine and wine and had no difficulty conversing in a mixture of French, English and sign language.



On Sunday we were taken on a trip through the Calvados region of Normandy. First stop was at a charming village called Beuvron-en-Auge. This is  a village typical of the region and has protected status. The buildings are well preserved and in many cases have been restored using authentic old materials.

After a coffee in a creperie, we wandered around admiring the beautiful buildings dating back as far as the 17th century. The market place was busy with a fish stall and there were many antique shops to browse.


Château de Vendeuvre

Our main destination was the château de Vendeuvre. But first, lunch! The plan was to picnic in the grounds of the château, but as the weather was cold and showery we sheltered in a magnificent barn, with tables and chairs set out for us.

The château is a fine example of an 18th century country residence for the Normandy aristocracy. The Count and Countess and their family live in the chateau and it was a pleasure to chat with the Count who was charming.

After an interesting guided tour of the château, we looked around the many and varied attractions in the gardens and out-buildings.

In the basement, we looked around the restored kitchens including a huge stone stove and cooking utensils and recipes of the period.

Also in the basement was an extraordinary collection of beds for pampered 18th century pooches. Some were just for sleeping in, some for traveling, some for the beach and so on.

In the garden we encountered a number of 'eau surprises', and you'd be lucky to avoid a wetting while passing under an arch, crossing a bridge over a stream or just walking under a tree.

Before making our way home, we found a collection of miniature furniture in the gate house. This is the Count's collection and it includes many fine pieces beautifully made down to the finest details.

You can visit the château's web site here.

Sunday evening saw us being wined and dined again, in different groups to the previous evening, and an opportunity to reflect on our interesting and varied day out.


The School

On Monday morning there was time to take a look around the new school buildings. The 'primary' and 'junior' children are now housed together in new buildings adjoining the Marie. This is an impressive facility and must be of great benefit to the education of children in and around La Bouille.

After lunch with our hosts it was time say our farewells and head back to Whitchurch after a busy and very enjoyable week-end with our French friends.


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