Our last day has been all about being tourist. We started with a canal tour around the city. Check out the short time lapse that DrueAnne did!
We did our final performance at Sint Joris Paroche in Eindhoven. We participated in evening mass.
After the service they hosted a reception for us in the church garden.
We ordered pizza for everybody to have back at the cabins to finish off our day!
We had the opportunity to perform at the seniors home beside where Rian, our Netherlands host, works.
We made a trip (for some of us a pilgrimage) truth Gouda Cheese Market!
On the way back we saw some traditional wind mills!
We left the chocolate museum and checked into our accommodations in the Netherlands, a treehouse campground!
While we were there, we celebrated our youngest member’s birthday. Bonnie’s cousin (our contact for the Netherland arrangements) baked a cake for Layka!
After we performed at the cathedral we got a quick lunch and headed on to the chocolate factory! Lots of excited anticipation!
They had a functioning chocolate production line set up in the museum.
We gathered in the morning to tour the old city and urge cathedral before singing at the noon service.
We had a chance to look around the cathedral before the performance.
We were able to sing five of our pieces for the noon service. The clip below is “Peace in This House”.
We made our way into Bonn for some lunch and a bit of shopping time. We were intensely stared at while eating …
… there was more Birken-stocking …
… we added to the number of choir members …
… and some of us just had to eat some more!
All in all, we had a great day shopping. Back on the coach, on our way to Cologne, our new singers had a rehearsal.
Tomorrow we sing for the noon service at Cologne Cathedral. As I get ready for bed, here is the sight out my hotel window. Can’t wait!
Today we visited our fourth castle on our tour of “Chocolate, Cheese, and Castles!” We started with the castle that Wolfram showed us, which was ruins from the 1200s. The castles in both Prague and Heidelberg where in various states of both incredible opulence and ruins. Schloss Drachenburg in Königswinter is in pristine condition from the late 1800s. Although it has never been lived in, it is completely furnished. We started by winding our way through very small streets to find the entrance up to the castle. Once there, we took a trolly up the side of the mountain to the very top where we had an incredible view of the Rhine River.
After looking around from the top, we made our way back down to the castle itself.
Before going in we had a look around the Gardens.
We walked around the outside of the castle, then went inside to look around.
We couldn’t resist doing one song in the great Hall!
As we start this morning we not only begin the second half of the tour, but we are also celebrating a birthday! Our youngest member.
What happens when there’s a bit of free time!
Today we were visiting the city of Heidelberg. Wolfram told us that Heidelberg is considered the most romantic city in Germany. Our tour started with a visit to the castle, by taking a funicular up to the top of the hill.
Parts of the castle are still used, but other parts lie in ruins.
We took a moment to sing up on top of the largest wine barrel in the world! Yes, I did say on top! You actually have to take a flight of stairs to get there!
After visiting the castle we made our way back down to the centre of the old part of the town and grabbed a quick lunch beside the cathedral.
After lunch we had a half hour cruise down the Neckar River to a Benedictine monastery!
One of the Benedictine monks met us at the gate and took us on a tour of the monastery . This was quite a tour, because this was not a tourist area, we were the only ones visiting the monastery.
The final part of our day was driving to Frankfurt where we had dinner. We are staying here overnight and then on our way again in the morning.
One of the main performances we were to do while on tour was at St. Erasmus Church for our host families. The youth choir has a connection with this church that goes back 20 years. Wolfram Bolsinger is the director of the choir at the church, and is also the local high school choir teacher. He has an 80 voice school choir that has previously done an exchange with the youth choir. Wolfram organized all of the billeting for our kids, and put together both the church service and the concert where we performed. He organized the concert as a benefit concert entitled “Europe Meets Canada”, with the proceeds going to a local seniors charity. As a result of all of his hard work, the concert was very well attended!
After the performance the church hosted us for a dinner in their hall downstairs. There was incredible food, friendship, and singing through and evening.
During the dinner the choir got together with their host families for a group picture.
This morning we said goodbye to Sophia , Ines and Franz, who were the Pathfinders who organized all of the activities for the choir while we were here.
And as well we all said goodbye and a huge thank you to Wolfram! (In the turquoise shirt on the left of Rob)
DrueAnne and Austin (taking the picture) would like everyone to meet George! They made friends, spent some time together, then they sent George back to the Wild.
One of the things we love to do when we are on tour is to find a spot, and to give an impromptu performance. Here we are singing amongst the ruins of Reußestein Castle
After we performed in church we grabbed a quick lunch and went out to visit the ruins of a local castle perched high on a cliff in the rolling hills (mountains) nearby. Reußestein Castle has laid in ruins since the 1600s, but was an active castle in the region prior, dating back to the 1200s.
This morning we performed at our host families’ church, St. Erasmus Church. Not only were we singing, but there were baptisms! Of course the entire service was in German, but there was still much of it that we recognized. Below is one of the pieces we performed. Gloria from the jazz mass.
The members of the choir met their billets, and then came back for a group barbeque. At the barbeque they not only had a lot of food, but then did group games and had a campfire.
We were wondering around the main square in Nuremberg, and wanted to go in and have a look at this church, but we couldn’t because there was a wedding taking place! If you look down at the bottom left of the picture you can see the bride just about to enter. On another note, have a look at the clock at the top. The date on it is 1509!