It was an early morning for August 2nd as we boarded the bus headed for Bayreuth, 275 km away. Our hotel was actually a 50 minute drive outside of Bayreuth, due to all the Wagner fans clogging up the town, so we packed our concert outfits on the bus with us and would not check in until late that night after our concert. Our first stop on arrival was at Wagner’s theatre, the Festspielhaus. The theatre itself was closed for the afternoon but the grounds were beautiful to wander through. Then we bused into town for an afternoon of sightseeing. What a pretty place. We saw our poster advertising our concert prominently displayed!
Late in the afternoon we warmed up at the church and met the pastor. He led us through winding streets to a church courtyard where we were given an unexpected but much appreciated light supper. And then it was back to Spitalkirche for our final performance of the tour. The church itself was almost square in shape, and there was not a lot of reverb. The audience was on the small side, but they surprised us by being the most enthusiastic and responsive of all! You can hear them clapping and stamping their feet on “The Road Less Travelled” CD. The pastor even presented Ramona with a bouquet! It was a wonderful finish to the tour. We got back on the bus, opened the wine, and enjoyed the drive through the woods to our hotel, 50 minutes away. We arrived at 11:30 but they kept the kitchen open and fed us dinner.
In the morning we loaded up and headed to Frankfurt. Our hotel was very modern and beautiful but in an iffy part of town. Our final farewell dinner was in a restaurant nearby that we shared with the bikers! Speeches were made and tears were shed. Ramona was presented with a beautiful necklace and earrings. Words to O Canada were changed and the new version was sung to Sascha. We also showered him in Canadian items, and he told us that we were his best group ever! The party continued late into the night.
Our last day was a sad one. We headed to the airport and said our goodbyes to those staying on. It was a long wait until we finally boarded. We had to transfer in Calgary and when we arrived in Vancouver we discovered our bags had not made the flight. Not a surprise! No worries, though - we eventually got them - and it was time to head back to the realities of home life. Huge kudos to Ramona, who set up the entire tour herself and did such an outstanding job of thinking of every single detail. The tour was an enormous success and such a good time. Here’s to the next one, whenever it will be!
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. The Europe 2007 tour is now complete, so we will be going back to our regular season posts. Season 25 - 2007/2008 will be posted on Sunday!