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The Bristol to Bordeaux Cycle Challenge is a 4 day, 500 mile bike ride from Bristol in the South West of England to it’s twin city of Bordeaux in the South West of France. Taking place at the beginning of July, the ride is open to everyone, of all ages and abilities, and offers a challenge to experienced cyclist and novice alike.
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Our good friends at Community of Purpose recently posted tales of their recent Bristol2 Bordeaux adventure:
This week we took 30 primary school children from Bristol to our twinned city, Bordeaux for a trip they will remember for their lifetime. For a lot of the children, it was their first time away and first time on an airplane.
The week included a football tournament, a tour of City Hall, tree climbing, and more! The children were able to travel, learn about diversity, inclusivity, football, and friendship and most of all they had fun!
Meanwhile, plans are moving forward for members’ visits to Bordeaux in June 2024, which is timed to coincide with the annual Bordeaux Fete le Vin.
Two popular EasyJet flights have emerged. One on Tuesday 25th June, leaving Bristol at 14:35, arriving 17:10 local time. The other is the flight home on Sunday 30th June, leaving Bordeaux late evening at 22:15, arriving Bristol at 22:55.
These flights should let members enjoy the entire Fete le Vin, which runs from Thursday to Sunday. Members are generally booking their own flights and accommodation, with the BBP liaising with Association Bordeaux for some social events once we’re in Bordeaux.
If you’re interested in joining the Bristol Bordeaux Partnership and signing up for this visit to Bordeaux in June but you didn’t have the opportunity to attend an early briefing session, don’t worry. There’s plenty of time to join us – please get in touch if this is you.
We’re also starting to think about the return visit to Bristol by Association Bordeaux Bristol members in October 2024, and if you’d like to help, please say.
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Work is underway to repeat the 2 successful exchanges of Bristol and Bordeaux University students, known as the Mini Assistants scheme.
Planning is almost complete for 7 Bordeaux students who will take up short 2 week placements in different Bristol Primary Schools in March 2024, assisting the schools and their students with their French studies (pictured left are the Bordeaux students who took part in the equivalent scheme this January).
And we are working with Bristol City Council’s Twinning Office on the planning for an equivalent work placement in Bordeaux Schools for Bristol University Students in June. This is progressing well, and we’ll share more news as the dates and schools are confirmed.
As part of this visit to Bristol, the Association Bordeaux Bristol spoke to us at the Bristol Bordeaux Partnership and we liaised with Zoe Gibbons, Twining Officer at Bristol City Council, to enable the recent children’s visit to Bristol to include a visit to City Hall.
They had a tour of the council building and even got a chance to see the debating chamber where all the council decisions are made.
What was especially exciting was that Zoe arranged for a visit by the Mayor, Marvin Rees to meet the group.
He chatted with the children and answered their questions. Valerie had to translate the replies into French, which was probably quite a challenge when the subject was his thoughts on the recent vote to end the role of City Mayor and what that may mean for Bristol.
The last week of October saw the visit to Bristol of Valerie Bonnet, President of our sister organisation in Bordeaux, the Association Bordeaux Bristol. She accompanied 10 school children from Bordeaux, which for most of them was their first visit to Bristol.
Valerie took them all around Bristol, visiting sites like the Cathedral, Bristol Blue Glass, SS Great Britain, the MShed, sundry Banksy paintings and Lawrence Weston Community Farm. They even had a day in Bath.
Hopefully 10 new enthusiasts for Bristol and future return visitors, maybe even for education or work!
One element of the MofU between Bristol and Bordeaux is the desire to work together on environmental initiatives.
To help with this aim, BBP have made contact with Avon Needs Trees and One Tree Per Child from Bristol and the One Million Trees team within Bordeaux Metropole. They’ve all agreed to meet by Zoom/Teams to see whether and how they could work together to share their ideas, approaches and plans.
We’ll update BBP members in a future newsletter on any progress made as a result of this initial meeting.
The British Consulate in Bordeaux opened a new ‘Bristol room’ and approached Bristol City Council to see if they could source a suitable piece of art for the walls. Bristol City Council’s Twinning Office approached us at BBP and our Treasurer, Mark Packham spoke to renowned local artist Trevor Haddrell. As you can from the inauguration photo with Marvin Rees, we were able to supply one of Trevor’s iconic prints of Bristol, which now sits proudly on the walls of the Bristol room.
The mayors of Bristol and Bordeaux – Marvin Rees and Pierre Hurmic – formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MofU) between the two cities as part of the visit to Bordeaux. This should see much closer links and working together on areas like trade, technology and the environment. BBP were consulted by Zoe Gibbon, Bristol City Council’s Twinning Officer, on the contents of the proposed MofU, which was also influenced by the MofU already in place with our fellow twinned city Hannover.
For a French perspective on the signing of the MofU, read the post from Association Bordeaux-Bristol here
October saw the visit of King Charles to Bordeaux as part of his and Queen consort Camilla’s royal visit to France. And they were accompanied by The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees.
You will already have seen a lot of news coverage of the visit. We thought you may like to read some different perspectives, especially French ones. You can read an interesting blog on the visit from the Invisible Bordeaux website here And to see the visit from a the point of view of a Bordelais have a look at Mayor Pierre Hurmic’s own Facebook post all about the visit here