On July 24th it was time to leave Trier and Robert Schuman Haus for Speyer. Luckily for us, the road up the hill had been repaired by this time, so Sascha was able to drive the bus right up to the door. So much easier for loading luggage! On the way back down the hill we discovered that the lovely lady we had disturbed a few nights previously with our noise - and to whom we had sung an apology the next morning - had waited in the rain for two hours at the roadside so that she could say goodbye to us! She had collected things from her home to give us as gifts, and in turn we gave her a tour shirt, some Phoenix CDs and a Canada pin. What a lovely start to our day!
At a rest stop halfway to Speyer, Sascha "made" (constructed?) a birthday cake for Jaime right in front of everyone while on the bus - it was quite the performance! And, the cake was interesting too - sponge cake, strawberry jam, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream! Happy Birthday, Jaime!
Upon arriving in Speyer and settling in at the Catholic retreat centre we had the rest of the day to explore the city. The huge Romanesque cathedral was well worth a visit. Speyer was a stop on the pilgrimage route.
The next morning we met at the adjoining St. Ludwig’s church for a rehearsal. We stood in front of an amazing Gothic triptych, gazing out at a Mediaeval tapestry hanging on the wall. The acoustics were lovely, and Don did some recording as we rehearsed. Afterwards there was some more free time for exploring the city.
Dreifaltigkeitskirche was the location for our evening concert. It was completely wooden, with two layers of balconies around the perimeter, and filled with painted scenes from the bible. The acoustics were a bit dry, but still had some warmth. Part of our audience that night was a choir, and they were extremely appreciative. We gathered in a restaurant afterwards where we ate, drank and sang together!
On July 26, we boarded the bus and headed to Nürnberg. On arrival, we were given a free day. Some of us headed to the German National Museum that was filled with an astonishing array of art, statuary, furniture, musical instruments, and anything else you could think of. It would have taken days to see everything. Others headed out to an Aviation Museum that they found to be well worth the trip. The city itself was beautiful, with old walled sections and a huge cathedral with a rose window. Some of us finished the evening with coffee and Baileys outside Albrecht Dürer’s house!
On July 27th, we loaded up the bus with our luggage and headed to Rothenburg. Unfortunately, Barb left her luggage OUTSIDE the bus (not the recommended procedure) and had to pay 120 euros to have it taxied for two and a half hours to town. Good thing that Corlynn had gifted her with the brand new Harry Potter book so that she could have something to do while she waited for the taxi to arrive. The choir took pity on Barb and passed the hat around to help pay the bill. Hoot was also glad Barb had screwed something up because it (temporarily) took the attention off his errors (he had an order of dry cleaning that was STILL trying to catch up with us!) Needless to say, Hoot was quite happy to be able to pass on the “Dumbkof” award!
Later that afternoon, we gathered at Franziskanerkirche to rehearse for the evening’s concert. Then we headed over to the Town Hall and performed a few songs on the steps for the passing tourists. Our audience in the evening was quite small to begin with, so Sascha went to work outside the church and was able to fill it quite nicely by the time the concert started! Once again, after standing ovations and chatting with the audience, we finished the evening at a lovely restaurant.
And, the tour continues...
On tour in July/August 2007, Phoenix was…
Brian (Hoot) Gibson
If you're enjoying the Phoenix History Project, please be sure to like our Facebook page or leave us your email address so we can keep in touch with you in the future. Stay tuned, 'cause it's going to be a big week - the next Phoenix History Project post will be the third instalment of our Europe (Germany & Czech Republic) Tour of 2007!