2023: OSCAR in the Swabian Alb from 11th – 15th September
This year's OSCAR took place in the Sonnenmatte holiday village near Sonnenbühl-Erpfingen in the Swabian Alb. We were accommodated in apartments and in holiday houses.
Members from several German sections shared the organization: Michaela Alber from the Böblingen-Tübingen section, Rita Caumettes, Werner Ruckwied and Werner Schmid from the Stuttgart section, Christian Siebold from the Konstanz section together with Alfred and Irmi Corbet from the Darmstadt section.
97 jumeleurs took part: 64 Germans from 11 sections, 37 French from 10 sections and 6 British from the York section. The oldest participant was André Rousselot at 91who is also the father of OSCAR; the youngest participant was Lucie Poillot at 16. This year there were 2 walking groups, 2 cycling groups and 1 group of recreationists
Cycling group 1 was the smallest group; participants of this group rode road bikes and cycled a longer distance than bike group 2.
Monday 11th September
The organizers were early on site to prepare for the check-in in the afternoon – the weather was beautiful. The jumeleurs arrived and checked in individually, collected their keys from the reception and received their yellow buttons with their name and section as well as bags, belt pouches, chocolate and information material from the organisers. Almost all participants travelled by car; some train passengers were picked up in shifts at the Reutlingen railway station by Sigrid Härtter from the Böblingen-Tübingen section. A cyclist from Paris who travelled with his bike by FlixBus was given a lift by Werner Ruckwied.
Most of the participants had met at last year's OSCAR in the French Ardennes, but there were also other jumeleurs who had participated in OSCAR in previous years. With a few exceptions, everyone arrived in time before dinner to be welcomed by Michaela, our national chairwoman and main organizer. Translations were given by Rita in French and by Irmi in English. The jumeleurs had the opportunity to introduce themselves and greet one-another whilst drinking a glass of champagne outside on the lawn.
Tuesday 12th September
Reports from the walking and cycling groups => see articles: Walking or cycling at OSCAR.
At the get-together in the evening, a slide show of past OSCAR events which several people had brought with them was supposed to be shown; unfortunately the technology did not cooperate.
Mi 13. September
A grey sky looked down sullenly on the 97 jumeleurs who were waiting impatiently in the Sonnenmatte car park for the 2 buses that were to take them on their excursion that day. There was a slight delay, and immediately the buses set off, the windscreen wipers had to go into action. We were lucky: the rain stopped when we reached our first destination at Sigmaringen, and we walked up to Hohenzollern Castle.
Here everyone was given an audio guide, the castle gate opened and gave way to the cannon hall and 19 other royal rooms, not all of which will be listed here. For example, there was a separate dressing room and the audio guide explained that it could take up to 3 hours for a corset was properly laced.
Many portraits of sovereigns, princes and princesses decorated the rooms and there were tables and chairs with ornate legs everywhere. We walked through the bedroom (with the chamber pot under the bed), through several drawing rooms, one blue, one green, one black and one red with 2 extra long red sofas and took a look at the dining table with its curved legs and the precious porcelain place settings in the large dining room.
In the Hubertus Hall, the walls were adorned with countless antlers of deer and stags that the princely lords had shot to pass the time. The stuffed bear in front of the wall and a stuffed eagle looking down from the ceiling were impressive
Finally, we walked through the weapons hall full of knight's armour, rifles, pistols, bayonets and other weapons. Outside the castle there was still time to visit the stables museum with a variety of carriages, sleighs and sedan chairs before we boarded the buses again.
On the way through the wild and romantic Danube Valley,we passed narrow tunnels and many overhanging rocks on a winding road until we reached at the top of the hill restaurant Adler in Schwenningen. A special beer and a delicious lunch were waiting for us there. While we were enjoying our lunch, torrential rain fell outside. But again we were lucky. The rain stopped before we set off again down into the Danube valley to Beuron Monastery to visit the monastery church there
The paintings on the altar were striking. The figures did not have a landscape as a background, but were painted on a gold background.All ceiling and wall paintings were created by Benedictine artist fathers and bear witness to Beuron art.
The bronze sculpture of a pilgrim on the Way of St. James must have impressed Elisabeth so much that she forgot her jacket and house key there, which she only noticed shortly before arriving at our next destination, Wildenstein Castle, which is now used as a youth hostel.
By calling a helpful saleswoman at the monastery shop near the pilgrim statue, the jacket was held safely to be collected the next day.
We were back at the Sonnenmatte in time for dinner, satisfied after a lovely excursion day where everything worked out wonderfully with even the weather cooperating.
After dinner, the technology worked (partially) this time and the slide show from past OSCAR events could be projected on the big screen in the hall; the sound could still not be heard. An important meeting of members of the Council of Administration of Eurojumelages took place simultaneously in another room.
After all the participants returned to the holiday village in the late afternoon, a group-photo session was held in the open-air theatre. Peter Backes, the president of Eurojumelages, gave a short speech where he thanked Michaela and her team for the excellent organization and the jumeleurs from different countries for their participation. Afterwards there was a champagne reception,
During the festive evening, Alfred and Irmi announced the results of the walking and cycling groups. The walkers covered a total aggregate distance of 1269 km: Great Britain 38 km, France 522 km and Germany 709 km. The walkers from the Darmstadt section walked 225 km and on their behalf, Karola Rosowski received the walking trophy from Michaela. The cyclists covered an aggregate total of 3398 km: Great Britain 147 km, France 645 km and Germany 2606 km.The cyclists from Constance cycled 1141 km. They were awarded the Oscar trophy by Michaela, which was presented to Hannelore Hauger. The youngest participant, Lucie Poillot (16 years old), also received a small trophy.
Irmi presented André Rousselot with a series of OSCAR reports dating from 2013 to 2022, written by OSCAR participants from the Darmstadt section. There are now reports about OSCAR from 1990 - 2012 in French and from 2013 - 2022 in German. Both series of reports can be found on the Eurojumelages website under “Documentations
The rest of the evening was musically provided by Gottfried and Ronald. At first they played international songs to sing along. Later on there was dancing.
Here are 3 links to songs from Gottfried and Ronald:
Friday 15th September
Our time together went by far too quickly and unfortunately we had to say goodbye to each other. We are already looking forward to next year when OSCAR will take place at the Azuréva accommodation in Métabief in the French Jura, organized by the Dijon section. The already announced date had to be changed. The new date for OSCAR 2024 is from 10th – 14th June 2024.
Irmi & Alfred Corbet
Association of Darmstadt