Discovery trip

2017 Discovery Trip :

It will take place on October 7th and 8th 2017 and will take us to the lovely towns of Le Tréport and Eu, in Normandy. More in formation on" target="_blank

2016 Discovery Trip :

The option of having a two days trip, tested in 2014, having been unanimously appreciated, we had it reconducted for the 2016 trip. Our British friends had organised the trip which had for destination the beautifull castle of Arundel, in West Sussex.

We left Dourdan on Saturday 15th of October at 7:oo a.m. After a troublefree journey we arrived on spot shortly after 3:00 p.m. Since we had time available we have been able to visit the town of Chichester, located about 12 miles away from Arundel. This was foreseen in the programme, but the traffic conditions could have made that we had no time for it. Fortunately this has not been the case.

Le Tréport

Our coach dropped us off near the city centre and we walked to the cathedral. There it was a little bit difficult to get close, because a military commemorative event was held, with veterans, flags, bagpipes band, etc.. Fortunately it was the end of it and, after a short while, we could enter the cathedral. Former roman town, Chichester has been the seat of a bishopric after the Normans conquest and was granted with a cathedral, the contruction of which lasted from 1076 to 1108. In the following centuries, ancilliary buildings were added to it.

Inside the cathedral some noticeable pieces of artwork can be seen, among others the arched jube (restored and reinstated in 1961), the tapestry behind the altar (made in France in 1966),  Chagall stained glass windows, etc. Some temporary exhibits are displayed, in particular a sculpture by the Brazilian artist Ana Maria Pacheco "shadows of the wanderer" illustrating the misery of the migrant people. This artwork was shown in other places of the country before arriving in Chichester.

The cathedral of Arundel

Besides the cathedral a charity event was organised for young people, the purpose of it was to built shelters with used cardboard boxes. Unfortunately for the youngs, an heavy rain and strong wind have dammaged many constructions.

After the visit of the cathedral, our group spread into town for a little bit of sightseeing or shopping. Because of the rain, some have better sheltered in pubs, mainly at the famous Duke and Rye, set inside a closed down chapel. Then it was time to return to our coach, so as to get to our hotel, located in the country at Avisford Park, in a nice mansion from the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries. It has been home of high ranked militaries before becoming a catholic school and finally an hotel in 1976.

There we have met some of our British Friends for the dinner and we congratulated them for the choice of this hotel.

Next morning, after a generous traditional english breakfast, we proceeded to the village of Arundel, were the remainder of our British Friends who made the journey were waiting for us to visit the castle. Few things have been left from the original medieval fortress built in 1067 by the Normans near Arun River after it was beseaged and burned during the English Civil War.  The castle has been rebuilt and largely modified during  XVIIIth and XIXth centuries by its owners, the Dukes of Norfolk premiers Peers and Marshalls of England and Earls of Arundel.

The very interesting visit enabled us to admire the incredible amount of wealth shown to the pubic (furniture, paintings, tapestries, etc.) and, for those fond of history, to learn a bit more on the hectic saga of the Dukes of Norfolk. The huge Baron's hall, the private roman catholic chapel, the dining room and the superb great library are the rooms which were the more impressive to us.

The visit went over by a climb to the dungeon through steep and narrow stairs. At the top the landscape is gorgeous : the park, the village with its roman catholic cathedral (Diocese of Brighton and Arundel), the hilly country of Essex, the Arun River and the sea shore in the background.

After we walked to the restaurant in the centre of the village where an excellent lunch was waiting for us, taken in common with our British Friends. Time is spending so quickly and after lunch it was already time for us to board back into our coach, after having said goodbye to our Friends and exchanged some presents.

Cheerio Dear Friends ! Have a good end of year and see you again in Dunmow in May 2017

Rain on Chichester

Entering the castle of Arundel

Lunch at Arundel

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