Eastleigh Lions Visit Colleagues in Kornwestheim.

Two years later than planned, Eastleigh Lions were at last able to meet up with their German counterparts, for the long awaited twinning trip. On Thursday 23rd June six Lions took off from Heathrow to Kornwestheim via Stuttgart.

At the airport we were greeted by our hosts before spending an evening at their family homes.

The following day, Friday 24th June, along with many others of the Kornwestheim Lions Club, we visited the renovated Black Forest farmhouse of Lion Michael and his wife Regina for a tour and a delicious lunch, including genuine Black Forest gateaux! The project was a tribute to the vision and tenacity of Michael, taking on the renovation of this vast farmhouse whose origins date back to the 11th century. It was a privilege to be shown around by Michael and Regina, and to hear about the sympathetic and enthusiastic work needed to create a home from the formerly derelict heritage building. 

It the afternoon we travelled down to the town of Alpirsbach, where we were given a guided tour of the Monastery. A spectacular feature, is the 15 ton Organ which can move on an aircushion like a hovercraft from the side transept to the centre of the church, to benefit from the best acoustics. It addition we saw the monk’s cells and cloisters.

Located just across from the Monastery was the Brewery where in contrast, we were told about the brewing process, before sampling a few beers in the cellar. This was supplemented by a light snack and a shot of schnapps.

On the Saturday 25th June we started by travelling to the 500 year old Marbach State Stud, where we saw scores of fine horses and foals.

For lunch we drove steeply up towards Lichtenstein Castle to eat in the ‘Altes Forsthaus’ (Old Forester’s House) restaurant. The delicious food was complimented by the breath-taking views over the Echaz Valley 250m below.

A short walk took us to the fairy tale castle Burg Lichtenstein, clinging to a rock spur. Whilst originally built for defence around 1225, it became a hunting lodge for the King of Württemberg in 1802. Nearly 40 years later it was reconstructed, as a romantic version of a medieval knights’ fortress.

Following the days visits, we were guests at the Kornwestheim Lions’ ‘Change Over’ meal, when President Michael Guyenot handed over his chain of office and gavel to Lion Franzisca, who becomes president for the next year. In addition to their speeches, we were treated to speeches by the deputy mayor of Kornwestheim and our Eastleigh past President Mark Campbell who presented an Eastleigh Lion’s pennant to Kornwestheim. A great time was had by all, with excellent food and a considerable amount of wine consumed.

Some Kornwestheim Lions continued the party into the small hours at their host homes with their Eastleigh guests. Remarkably, there were no reported sore heads the following day!

To see the Kornwestheim report of this event go to: https://www.lionsclub-kornwestheim.de/ Google should automatically translate this into English for you.

Because of a last minute flight change we ended up staying an extra day and on Sunday 26th June, we were treated to an unexpected trip on the Neckar River from Ludwigsburg to Besigheim, through the terraced vineyards clinging to the banks, alongside the river.

Following a meal, an ice cream and a walk through the picturesque town of Besigheim, we returned to our hosts’ houses for a quiet evening, before the painfully early start the next day, for our return journey.

Throughout the three days we could not have wished for more attentive hosts, who went out of their way to make us feel welcome and who came up with such a full and interesting schedule. Plans were being made and ideas put forward for making the return visit to Eastleigh next year, by Kornwestheim Lions, a very special occasion. We have a very hard act to follow, but we are looking forward to meeting our fellow German Lions again in 2023 and showing them some of the highlights of our area.

See below more photos of our visit:

Birkhof Farmhouse, home of Michael and Regina (scroll down for other galleries)

Kloster Alpirsbach (Alpirsbach Monastery)

Brewery Museum

Marbach State Stud

Altes Forsthaus & Schloss Lichtenstein (Old Foresters House & Lichtenstein Castle)

Lions Club of Kornwestheim Change Over

Neckar Boat Trip and Lunch in Besigheim