21 September 2010

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Tuesday, 21st September 2010

We started the day with an early rehearsal before we took to the road to see the town of Speyer and the world’s largest Romanesque cathedral. First Dr Eichenlaub (from the Südpfalzlerchen) played tour guide, and took us on a short tour of the town, telling us a bit about its history and taking the brave among us up the tower at the original city gate.

It is a beautiful town and the kids were a bit disappointed that there was no time for shopping, but we enjoyed the tour of the cathedral – yes, even the emperors and kings’ tombs - and, of course, our ‘impromptu’ concert thereafter, where they kindly allowed us the use of the organ. The tourists really appreciated the concert and many remained seated throughout.

The weather has been absolutely phenomenal and today was perfect for our picnic lunch next to the Rhine River. We decided to cancel our planned visit to the castles of Annweiler and rather spent more time relaxing in the shade next to the river and watching the boats – huge flatbacks for transporting  heavy goods, as well as some luxury passenger liners. We wonder whether our next trip shouldn’t be planned all down the Rhine on one of those!

From there it was on to the town of St Martin. We had no problem settling down in the bus for an afternoon nap.  Those that were awake discovered again what an excellent busdriver Markus is, as he manoeuvred the bus through some impossibly narrow spots.  St Martin is a postcard town in the middle of the German Winelands. One really wants a day just to wander the streets and enjoy the beautiful houses and flower-filled window boxes. The church is up on a hill and beautiful with its leaded windows.

The concert was a roaring success, as was the supper with the St Martin Jugendkantorei afterwards.  The welcoming audiences we’ve had since our arrival in Germany is really bringing out the best in our children and our dwindling supply of CD’s is becoming a real concern!

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