Stories and Experiences

On this page, we share different adventures and experiences from our journeys. It can be funny things, things that impressed you, or just something you want to be mentioned.

Please send us the comments that you want to be published about your trips in France, and we will uncensoredly show it here, marked only with your surname.

Here is our story.. 

The Little New Zealander competing in Vaucluse June 2023..

Henning we can’t thank you enough for your organisation to make everything so easy and perfect for us. Initially my 13 year old son Kory came to me with the idea of competing in French prize money open mens tournaments and after hours of searching the Internet I was so lost with the Classement, how to enter, how to get a license.. which tournaments to enter.. Henning took care of everything.. I sent him a video of my son playing and he understood his level.

Kory played in 6 competitions, both boys U14s and Men’s opens, it was a privilege to play the men of all ages, sizes and levels of fitness such a variety and volume of ball play. To play in France was so unique.. Kory learnt to score quickly and confidently in French. Sometimes the clubs like Mazan even gave you a bottle of wine for entering.. here the snow capped Mount Ventoux was the scenic backdrop to the tennis courts.. . then Cheval Blanc had white chalk cliffs in the background… Perne La Fontaine was one of Kory’s favourite clubs and villages..the men there were so fit and sporty! 

Due to the heat, the matches were often in the evening which was pleasingly cooler. Kory played his heart out, learnt so much and we will always treasure this experience. Kory came home with his first trophy coming 2nd in the final of the U14 RocheFort Le Gard competition. He sadly sprained his calf towards the end of the tour and had to retire from the match, but this was also a new learning to stretch and warm up much much more.

We highly recommend using Dr  Henning Hartmann for his professionalism and wealth of experience.

„Ken / Zen“

I showed up in a tournament in this tiny village in Provence. The people there were really nice. Soon, they asked me „so you are playing against Ken?“ (I changed his name here, to grant his anonymity) „Well don`t be surprised. He is quite a character. He is nice, but… well, you will see“.

So I was quite curious, what would happen. Soon enough, Ken showed up. He was a real heavy guy, you could say fat, wore a superbig Icehockey-Shirt (XXXL), and written on the back was his name: „Ken“. He shook my hand but barely spoke a word, then we warmed up by hitting balls. But what can I say? He literally did not play one ball into the court. Every single ball he hit, I had to catch with my hand then play it back, it was more like he tried to hit the fence. So I thought to myself: well this is going to be a quick match, I wonder how he got his classement.

So the match started, I was to serve. My serve went well into the court, but then – BATCH!! His return with ultra high speed, right down the line, right in the courner. What a lucky shot, I thought. 0:15, second point – BATCH!! same thing, no chance for me to reach the ball. 0:30. Third point: BANG!!, smokeless direct point with the return, pure speed, direct winner. 0:40: same thing, no chance for me to reach the ball.

I had literally not touched the ball after serving. My serve was broken.

The match continued and went to the third set, of course he did not keep up with this quota. (Because if he did, we would undoubtedly see this guy in Roland Garros, not in this small tournament). Suddenly, at the beginning of the 3rd set, Ken started murmering, how terrible everything goes and that he cannot continue playing. He shook my hand and left the court. Mind you, he was totally fairplay, did not steel one point from me, quite the opposite. But all of a sudden, he had a wild and fury look in his eyes, cursing everyone and everything – and just stopped playing. By then I had understood, why everybody regarded him as beeing a bit crazy.

It was about five years later, that I met Ken again. To be more precise, I could hardly recognize the person. But supposively it was him. He had shrunk to half of his weight, being totally skinny. Also, he had lost any sort of agression. He was the most mellow guy now, very talkative, talking softly and gentle. I had problems to believe that this was the same person. But he still wore an Icehockey-shirt (this time: Size S). Then he turned around and –  I could see what was written on the back: „Zen“. Wouw, I thought, what a transformation.


Smashing opponents face

This one was back in the 80s. We reached this very small village somewhere in Normandie or Bretagne, I do not quite remember.

The tournament was the big thing in the Village, like it often is. Everyone in the village came watching the matches at night, they had even set up a small tribune. My opponent came from the region and was a very nice guy.

What I noticed right from the start: One of the spectators called out some comments in the direction of my opponent. It started with the warming up and happened again and again during the match.

Then, sometime during a longer rally, it happened. The said spectator stood up, passed behind the court, and made further comments in the direction of my opponent. Suddenly my opponent dropped the racket in the middle of the rally, jumped over the boundary fence and ran after the troublemaker. Who fled as fast as he could. But on the parking lot the pursuer had caught up with him, and all we heard was „Baff, ouutch! Baff, ouutch!“. He hit him in the face, three or four times.

Then my opponent left the other guy lying in the parking lot, strolled back to the court. He picked up his racket and said „Pardon! Votre Point! (sorry, your point!). The match could go on.

Of course I asked my opponent after the match what was going on. He just said it was a long story and he didn’t want to talk about it.


Scorpion bite in the hitting hand!

In the summer of 2019 I spent a few days in the house of friends in Herault. On one of the evenings we talked about scorpions that exist in the area. They are green, small and supposedly not very dangerous. They had also seen such specimens in their house many times before.

My bedroom was in the basement. One morning I got up, drove to the tournament venue and entered the court with my opponent. As I was warming up, I noticed that a big knob was forming on my right hand. And it got bigger and bigger. At the end, I could hardly hold the racket in my hand anymore.

After the match I asked the people in the clubhouse what that could be and showed my hand. „Yes, that’s a scorpion bite. Don’t worry. It’s like a wasp bite, and in three or four days everything will be gone.“ And that’s exactly how it came.