Sunday, July 19, 2009
The buses were loaded at 8:30 and then we were free to go shopping and walking around town until 12:45 when we left Innsbruck. Some hearty souls went up the mountain, others just relaxed and shopped. Shoes have been a common purchase. Bus one won the contest with 22 pairs purchased compared to 11 on Bus 2. Andy’s German word for the day is: “herz schmerz “ or heartache which describes how we will feel to leave behind such a beautiful country and experience. It started to rain just before we left. Just out of the city we stopped at the Swarovski Crystal Museum and factory where some went on a tour of the crystal museum while others just shopped at the large retail area. Back on the bus in the rain to Munich. .
In the evening we gathered at the hotel for our final meal together. Songs were sung–a very special thank you song by Joy. We officially said good bye to our friends Pascal and Andreas. Andreas was thanked for his teachings in German when Bus two spoke: Du bist ein flugzeug--proclaiming our skill with the German language. We had a great time and it was sad to end such a special time together. With a prayer for safety we ended our evening. Everyone is going their own way but 41 were up at the crack of dawn to board flights to Edmonton. The flight home was long and tiring but we arrived on time, with all our luggage, to waiting families.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Concert Day in Innsbruck
Again an early loading of our bus at 8:30 and we were able to actually leave 10 minutes early. Andy’s word for the day was " Schatz" or darling which is a very useful german word to know.
Bus one’s drivers very popular because he sells beer very cheaply out of the fridge in the front of the bus–bus 2 only has sparkling water.
We drove towards Innsbruck through the Alps which are spectacular(overused word but true). Each valley is a postcard in it’s own right. Late in the morning we arrived in Innsbruck and had some free time to explore the old city before our guided tour which took us to 4 pm. It, again, is an old city, with a rich history. Emperor Maximillians memorial church is here with it’s statues and majesty making sure, as he wished, that he not be forgotten. At 5 pm we were up the mountain above the city at a village church practising for the evening concert. It is a beautiful and old (roots of the present church go back 1000 years)
The concert went well and the congregation welcomed us after with a reception in the courtyard(at sunset with the Alps in the background). Local bread and wine plus some singing of local folksongs by the congregation. It was a great way to end our series of performances and a lasting memory of our time in Austria. Our hotel is in the center of town so tomorrow we will be able to do some walking/shopping before we board our buses for a short stop at the Swarovski crystal factory for Munich and then home.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Next for today was to travel to the chapel of Silent Night, where once the church stood where this wonderful Christmas Carol was first sung. IT is pretty special to be able to visit such special places. In the afternoon after a time for shopping(shoes are a big item) we went to Mirabelle Palace (mid 1600's) for a reception by the Mayor. We were able to sing several pieces in the famous and amazingly beautiful marble room. Supper was in a restaurant just below the fortress(our first sourkraut) and then the evening was free --- some went to the Marionette show. Tomorrow morning we leave for Innsbruck and our last concert.
After the service, a quick change and then a few hours to wander through the old part of Salzburg. In the afternoon excellent guides took us up to the fortress which overlooks Salzburg and then on a walking tour to the oldest graveyard owned by the Benedictines, the music festival hall, and ended up at the Mozart house. This is an old city by Canadian standards with one building sporting an “Established in 803". After the tour our choir went many different ways for evening events. Some went to concerts, some relaxed, a goodly group took in the Mozart Dinner Concert. In a lavish hall at the 803 A.D. restaurant, we ate a meal that would have been served to the aristocracy at the time of Mozart. In between each course we were entertained with Mozart music performed by a 5 piece string orchestra and two opera singers. A most delightful evening that started at 8 and ended at 11 pm. A quick walk back the hotel and the end to another wonderful day. Streets are very safe to walk on here and the cleanliness of the streets is something we as Canadians really notice. Sundays are great in Salzburg. PS: The organ on the right was played regularly by Mozart.
Andy’s German Word of the Day: “ausgezeichnet” - excellent.