Concert performances were different every time. The venues were different and the selection of songs to sing varied according to the venue and the anticipated audience. Some concerts were heavily promoted and others seemed to be word of mouth. So, before the concert, there was a rehearsal, then clothing changes, maybe another warm-up, all the while there is a stage and sound equipment to be set up as well. Musicians tuning up. Taking into consideration the various elements of the weather and lighting. When setting up for an outdoor performance, the chorus is “on” as the audience begins to gather. To draw folks in as well as entertain before the concert, the musicians would play. Tonight, one of the songs, “Sooth Me”, drew in people nearby, as well as one little girl in blue.
“Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.” Peter Hoeg
I look at these photos and find it difficult to even describe the daily pace of this tour! From Matej giving us history on the big bus while Antonia gave similar talks to the little bus crowd, to a guided tour of an old part of a town, to special lunches prepared for us, more tours of castles, more history, on and off the bus, singing in amazing venues, sometimes for our own pleasure, sometimes for informal performances and sometimes for formal concerts, then late night dinners following concerts or travel to the next city. Wow! Here are a few images from the first few days in Zagreb, Pregrada, Samobor. More to come in the next few days as I process it all.
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” Aldous Huxley
The day began with boarding buses decorated with American flags and banners. After announcements, we noted it was the Fourth of July. We sang patriotic songs and talked about being American. Charlie talked about being in Africa during the draft of men during the Vietnam Nam conflict. We have been on tour in other summers when we find ourselves not home on Independence Day. As we listen to history of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Croatia from our guide, we are grateful to be from America.
We drove about four hours to the Plitvicka National Park, a natural wonder with several lakes that spill over in glorious waterfalls. This is a very pristine park, the pride of Croatia. Interesting experience to be in this beautiful setting with probably 6,000 other people (they expect 10,000 visitors daily in the high season!). One wants to capture the beauty in a photo, but rarely snaps a shot that doesn’t have a human walking through.
Our guide was Blanka Turkalj-Dupanovic, who was so enthusiastic about the park and the preservation that’s been done. She invited us all to her family farm/dairy the next day!
I love to travel, but hate to arrive. Albert Einstein
I think a number of us felt quite differently from Dr. Einstein today! We are here! Such wonderful words to declare!
The stories of missed flights for a variety of reasons including these two: a strike of employees in Belgium and a bomb threat in Paris. Then there are a few items that seem to have gone on a bit of a walk: a guitar and a keyboard. We are confident the instruments will find their way to us and the travelers who are still in transit will eventually arrive!
It was fun to be standing at our gate in Munich, Linda, Alicia and I, to turn and see George, LaVonne, Jim and Dave arrive to fly the last leg of the trip with us! And then to arrive at the Hotel Laguna and be greeted with hugs from Charlie! Yes! We are here! As we signed in, Geof and Liz came into the lobby and soon there was a party to head out to dinner, across the street for a meal that sounded so good, yet we were hot and tired and just couldn’t eat much. The restaurant owner asked if something was wrong. When we replied we’d been traveling for two days he laughed and said he understood and was glad it wasn’t the food! People have been arriving in small groups all evening. Two people had been biking all day and told us about a market that is on top of a hill with a lovely view. Two more have been to museums. Others headed out for pizza nearby. We are really here and Tour begins tomorrow!