29 September 2010

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Wednesday, 29th September 2010

Hello from France! Most of today was spent on the bus, but the scenery was worth it. But wait, I am getting ahead of myself. First, something about last night’s concert: We are so proud of our choristers and the way they sing better and better at every concert. The audience, although not the largest to date, loved us and continued clapping long after the last chorister had left the hall!

Many of our hosts from Villingen drove through to Donaueschingen for the concert, some even bringing friends and family who could not be at the Schwenningen performances, and it was heartwarming to see the happy reunions all over the hall.

So, we left Germany on a high note this morning, the weather improving from overcast and chilly to quite sunny and mild. We’ve made many friends whom we hope we will see soon, either when they visit us in South Africa, or perhaps on a return visit of ours!

Our first stop, just inside the Swiss border, was the Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest (not highest) waterfall. The Eastern Cape can certainly do with some of the 600 000 litres of water that falls down with an impressive roar every second!

Switzerland is SO green and, all along the way are these beautiful villages in amongst the farmlands. From the bus window this looked like an absolute idyllic lifestyle. Of course, we were climbing gradually along the way and I must say that the snow-capped peaks of the Alps look most inviting. We  also passed through many tunnels, that make travelling in this mountainous country quite easy. Mr Van Zyl told us that the Swiss are famous for their tunnels and that many of the tunnels in South Africa were designed by Swiss engineers.

Everybody is well disciplined and arrive at the bus on time everytime. This allowed us to stop in Geneve (look for the pictures of the lake).  The fountain is the highest in the world at 140m! The few shops we visited were EXTREMELY expensive and we'll rather spend our precious Euros elsewhere!

Markus proved his mettle again upon our arrival in Cluses - our huge bus can turn on a 5c piece and he knows EXACTLY how far is far enough! Leon was the saviour of the day and his translating skills assisted us to place the choristers quickly and easily. The hosts were extremely friendly and most seem to be able to communicate in English. The adults are being accommodated in a hotel (sponsored by our hosts) and will spend some well earned time together (without the red jacket brigade) this evening.

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