Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 3: Heilsbronn/Concert #1

We woke up early due to the aforementioned chirping birds and the bright sunlight flooding the window. After getting ready, we went to the restaurant part of the hotel and had our first German breakfast. We later discovered that "German breakfast" was the exact same thing wherever we went: cold cuts, various breads, fruit, yogurt, cereal, eggs.

After breakfast, everyone but Bill wandered around Heilsbronn in search of postcards. Bill went to go talk to the cell phone guy who had sold him something or other that he couldn't use. We then picked up some bread, cheese, and sausage and headed back to the hotel's garden for a light lunch.

At 2:00, we headed to the Heilsbronn Münster (cathedral) to rehearse for the concert that would take place later that evening. The church was built in 1192 and it was huge and beautiful and OLD. The acoustics were awesome and I really enjoyed singing in there. All the folks in charge were really nice, and after the rehearsal, the little old Lutheran church ladies invited us to stay for coffee and cake! It was extremely tasty, and I was tickled that little old Lutheran church ladies are the same in Germany.

Dinner was had back at our hotel, where the waitress got Elise's and my orders mixed up. Unfortunately, we didn't realize this until it was too late. I think I liked Elise's food better than she liked mine. Sorry, Elise!

The concert went really well and seemed to be well-received. There were maybe 70-100 people there, but we got to do an encore and had to go back four or five times to take more bows. A recording was made of this concert, so I hope we get a copy soon.

After the concert, the guy who booked us for the show (I think) invited us to go out for food/drinks with him and some of his friends. The guy's name is Wolfgang, and he is about the jolliest, most stereotypical Bavarian man you can imagine. When he sat down at the table, his belly pushed the table away from him, and he chortled with glee. I really wish I would have taken a picture of the motley crew seated around this table. There was Wolfgang, a one-armed man, and three ladies. Some of the Germans spoke fairly good English and some barely spoke it at all, but we all managed to understand each other well enough to share some really good laughs and companionship.

The food was also excellent. The waitress told us that one of the late-night offerings was Camembert, so I ordered that. I was expecting a small plate of cheese and crackers, but I received a gigantic ball of fried cheese with toast and jam. It was AWESOME. I also had a really good glass of white wine. After consuming this "second dinner," I was feeling uncomfortably full. I patted my stomach and said, "Zu viel Käse!" (too much cheese!) The Germans laughed heartily, then suggested that I have a Digestiv to settle my stomach. Before I could protest, they ordered me a shot of Jägermeister! Much to my surprise, I actually liked it. Even more to my surprise, it really did make my stomach feel better!

This was seriously one of the best nights of our trip. Heilsbronn was a great town. All the people were so tickled to have Americans in their town, and they were very friendly. They put up with our bad German with much good humor!

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