The celebration of fifty years of friendship between Falkirk and its German twin in Odenwald has been marked in style, with the help of dozens of local musicians.
The fact that the trip was taking place amid a chaotic political scene in Britain, with a no deal Brexit widely reckoned a near certainty, made no difference to the proceedings.
The EU flag was used to unveil a “partnership tree” at the Berufliches Schulzentrum Odenwaldkreis, as one of the highlights of the visit.
The chairman of the Scottish contingent strongly reaffirmed the bonds which unite the two communities.
Members of the Odenwald Association took part in a historic trip to Germany for the occasion, along with the Jenkins School of Highland Dancing, Falkirk Junior Gaelic Choir, local bands The Tonkerers, Glenbervie Folk Duo, and Lads wi’ Gear, and assorted parents and friends.
The visit also included a formal celebration at the Erbacher Brauhaus (which ended in true Scottish fashion with an impromptu concert), and a Sunday brunch in the courtyard of Schloss Erbach.
A spokeswoman for the Odenwald Association said: “The Schottische Nacht concert was a great success with the choir and dancers performing to great acclaim, and the three bands showing the mostly German audience the wide variety of Scottish music. “Some of the audience got right into the Scottish spirit, wearing kilts and other Scottish-themed outfits, and the concert got off to a fine start with the Heidelberg Pipes and Drums.
“Odenwald Association chair Gray Allan finished off the evening with a heartfelt speech (in German) about the importance of twinning - especially in these uncertain times, and the need for ‘building bridges, not borders’, before the whole crowd joined in a spirited rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
There will be a slideshow of the trip shown at the next meeting of the Odenwald Association, on Tuesday, October 8, in the Committee Suite, Municipal Buildings, Falkirk at 7pm.
This will be an open evening and anyone interested in twinning and/or Germany and her culture will be made very welcome.