23 September 2010

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Thursday, 23rd September 2010

One thing about our tours is that our hosts manage to keep us busy for most of the day AND night! This means that, sometimes, we have to choose to rather sleep the 5 hours available to us, than to write the web journal or load photos!

Yesterday (22nd) we made the long-awaited journey to beautiful Heidelberg and we were not disappointed. We had another perfect day weatherwise and quickly managed to rid ourselves of some unspent energy during the short, but steep, climb to the castle. Our tour guides entertained us with a bit of the castle's history and the open air toilets received a lot of (disgusted) attention! Most of the castle is in ruins, but some of it was restored, including a beautiful little chapel, where we used our singing to thank the guides for their time.

We had lunch in the castle gardens, before taking the monorail down for some eagerly awaited (and VERY successful) shopping (it seems that this is all our choristers live for).

From there it was on to Hagenbach and the community center, where we had our concert. We were met with refreshments and cake and wondered at the brilliant facilities available to us. This concert consisted mostly of our non-sacred music programme and was, again, extremely well received by the audience, who were complimentary about the clear sound ('they sing like real angels'), their good pronunciation of German and French words and the high technical standard throughout the performance. Once again, our CD's flew off the table...

We bade our Herxheim hosts a sad goodbye this morning, but enjoyed one last treat as Dr Klaus took us to the Bad Bergzabern castle ruins. Another hill and we had a lovely view of the valley, with a ruined castle on almost every hill!

From there it was on to the Dynamikum Science Centre. Those who participated in the 2008 tour will remember Eureka in Helsinki. Well, this was just as much fun!

An early arrival in Schmelz allowed us to have a walk through the town. We stopped at an old, water-driven, grain mill, where we were told a little about the history and could enjoy some refreshments. The water wheel still works and is generating electricity for 20 homes. Everyone is now with their hosts and will hopefully have an early night and a good rest, before our day visit to Luxemburg and concert tomorrow.

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