On Thursday 25 May, the 14-strong German group arrived safely and pretty much on time at St Pancras, rather weary after a long train journey with two changes, one of which involved a wait of three hours! On Friday we all headed off to Kenwood House, using tube and bus. Everyone was free to spend as long as they wished in the house and then to meet up at the café. We all went on a walk across the heath to Hampstead Village where we enjoyed a drink. It was a splendid day with perfect weather. In the evening 36 of us went to Izgara Turkish Restaurant in Whetstone where we had a splendid meal. We had invited the new mayor of Barnet Brian Salinger and his wife Kate, and the restaurant presented them with a fine bouquet of flowers at the end of the evening.
Everyone had a very enjoyable time but unfortunately Jochen had been taken ill in the afternoon so he and Keith, his host, could not be with us.
As usual the two weekend days were free, with hosts and guests deciding on their own activities.
On the Monday, we took the tube to Westferry DLR station from where we walked through to the Docklands Museum. As well as its permanent exhibition, the museum also had an exhibition of the archaeological finds unearthed during the construction of Crossrail.
We dined in the Ledger Building close by (formerly where all the records relating to imports and exports through the docks were kept - and now a Wetherspoon pub)
Following that we all set off for a walk around this northern part of the Isle of Dogs, including Canary Wharf and stopping at the very historic pub The Gun for a well-deserved drink.
On Tuesday we had a glorious day at Kew Gardens, again reached by tube.
Luckily Keith and Jochen were able to join us for this day. Laure had very kindly baked two big cakes to share with the whole group and thus strengthened we set off home again.
That evening it was time for the Farewell Dinner down at the Fresh Fry fish and chips restaurant at the bottom of Barnet Hill, again with a good number of guests, hosts and other members attending.
Altogether it was a very enjoyable week, blessed with good weather and it was lovely to see so many people at events, including a number of new members- even some children!
Friendships were made and strengthened and now we look forward to meeting again in Siegen next year.