Hanau Easter Weekend 2014

Background

Once again the annual Anglo-German Weekender has come and gone but not without a whole load of new memories being made, friendships formed, rekindled and stories shared! All those past and present who have been involved in this Twin-Town experience will know well what it’s all about, and for that reason they keep coming back to help make it what it is today.

For our newer members, this is a link that dates back to 1971 and has continued every year with each club taking it in turns to play host. This year was the turn of our friends TG Hanau White Wings to look after us for the weekend’s activities.

(The Long) Good Friday

Waking at 3am for an early breakfast/midnight feast, we (Alex, Andy, Ben, Ian & Todge) met up in Dartford to get a taxi to Heathrow. After check in there was just about time for another more substantial breakfast and chat about what was in store for the weekend, before boarding the plane for the short hop to Frankfurt International and breakfast number 3!

On arrival, and not wanting to wake our German friends too early, we jumped in another taxi and made our way to the Central in Hanau Marktplatz (market place) our venue for the next few hours.

The first to welcome us was Matthias, a new face to us and their rookie for the weekend. Not much later the other usual suspects began to emerge and it soon felt like we had never been away, albeit the weather was much better than our last visit and continued to be all weekend.

The next few hours flew by with stories of yesteryear, fun and laughter (at each other and ourselves!), just the right amount of food and refreshment, and our hosts arranging for our bags to be transported to their homes (and ours for the next couple of nights) with the greatest German efficiency!

Much later in the evening our respective competitive streaks kicked in with some darts and pool on the agenda. Though with tiredness beginning to take hold this was not our finest hour, so we went back with our hosts to get some much needed ZZZZZs and to prepare for the main event.

Saturday (Game Day)

After a lazy start to the day breakfast was soon on the way with most people piling round to Andre’s place to fuel up for the big game. The rest of us took the chance to soak up some unexpected rays and get amongst the hive of activity in the market place sampling the wealth of food outlets on offer from the local traders (a must do opportunity if you have not been before).

Around 2pm we hit the sports hall to meet up with everyone again and set about trying to get a hand on the trophy. Although, feeling sorry for us in our continuing plight with us only having 5 players to choose from, we were bolstered by 3 of their players for the game.

We began the game in the true spirit of the weekend by fielding an all Dartford starting 5. Early opportunities were shared with Andy making a notable impact for us as he always seems to at Easter. The game remained at an arm’s length all the way through with the Germans sharing round the points and us looking for our trademark plays – big drives from Ben, quick release shots from Ian, an off balance turn-around shot from Todge and a late 3 pointer from Alex.

However, before we knew it the game was done and a close but all too familiar result of 68-60 was recorded in favour of the White Wings. It was time for the handshake, t-shirt exchanges and photo opportunities before reflecting once more on what could have been.

With the hunger setting in, Jens was soon doing the rounds taking orders for the post-match kebab like all true athletes do! Though this plan was soon scuppered due to the shop being shut. Plan B was put into action and off to the Mongolian buffet it was for as much sushi, wasabi, sweet and sour, prawn crackers, kangaroo and zebra as you can eat.

The evening’s entertainment was an old school hip hop night at a local football clubhouse and a chance for everyone to really let their hair down and bust some moves. Though not before a quick bit of Fifa action on the way with the inevitable England Vs Germany fixture being played. Needless to say another disappointing result with a 4-0 loss for which we can share the blame with Andy and Heskey (not the most up to date version of the game!). Will you guys never let up!!

Easter Sunday

Following a very late night/early morning we were awoken bright and early to share a fantastic buffet style breakfast with our hosts, friends and their ever growing families. While in most other years we have usually stayed over on Sunday night as well, this year was our chance to take stock of the weekend and begin our goodbyes.

Though with an early evening flight, there was still time for a visit to a local park for some chill out time and a game of frisbee while taking in the delights of a brass band (how the times have changed!).

All too soon it was time to say goodbye for another year with us heading back to a bank holiday washout at home and the Germans partying on at a BBQ round at Mirko’s.

Thank Yous

Big thanks go out to our most generous hosts for the weekend: Andre, Damian, Jan & Martin. To Matthias for dropping us back to the airport on Sunday. To all involved in arranging the events and hospitality, and of course to everyone taking part to help make the weekend go off with a bang.

The Future

While talks are ongoing as to how to get more of our club involved, we are seriously looking at moving the weekend away from Easter and are considering making it the May Day bank holiday next year to shake things up a bit and make the most of the better weather. All suggestions welcome though. What is for sure is the more you can get involved, the better the experience you will have. We’re looking forward to next year already.





April 18th, 2014 by Alex Stopford