A day in Prague
We started off the day today with a great tour of the Prague castle, also known in Czech as the Hrad! The castle itself was composed of many palaces (and a large cathedral) that came from many different architectural styles. Many of the buildings and small avenues have been used in movies, including Amadeus and Mission Impossible. The spire of the cathedral in the center of the castle was destroyed by lightning in the 17th century. As a result, it was a replaced with a contemporary dome roof, as before the 19th century imitating older styles was not typical (i.e. Neo-gothic).
Later during our tour, we crossed the Moldau on the famous Charles Bridge, and explored some of the old city of Prague. Our guide informed us that originally, the streets did not have numbers. Instead the houses had names, such as “the house of the golden well” and the “house of the golden snake”. The “house of the golden well” has an interesting origin story. After it was first built, there was a well next to it and a young maiden firmly believed that the well contained gold at the bottom. Many times a year she would descend to the bottom of the well in search of the treasure. Unfortunately, one of her ventures ended in mishap, and she drowned in the bottom of the well. When the owner of the home went looking for the body, he actually found the gold she had famously believed was lying at the bottom! And as a result there is now a relief of the famous young maiden at the top of the house; she leans on a skull to symbol her untimely death, and she is said to haunt the house (now a hotel) to this day.
We finished off the day with a great concert in the Church of the Holy Saviour right outside of the old town square. It had the most amazing acoustics! Almost a 6 second reverb! We had a great concert with a full house and now we look forward to our last stop, Leipzig!
Happy New Year to everyone from the Glee Club!!
We had a lovely evening in Nuremberg to celebrate, kicking off after the concert with a dinner at a delicious Italian restaurant. There were some spectacular fireworks in the last few minutes of 2013, continuing well into the new year. (In fact several celebratory fire crackers were set off right above the restaurant, and a box just outside caught aflame just a little bit. Thankfully it was quickly put out by a few restaurant staff.)
This morning we set off towards Prague. The bus ride was sleepy--naturally--except that as we got deeper into the countryside, we were all awaken by neighbors' gasps at the beautiful landscape of the Czech Republic. There was a fine layer of frost hanging from the trees and over the fields. It was mesmerizing.
Upon our arrival in Prague we were able to go towards the town center and roam the marketplace and get dinner. Can't wait to explore some more, and then sing in this beautiful city tomorrow!
New Years Eve: Nuremberg Edition
We opened our Europe tour with a fantastic New Years Eve concert in Roßtal, a small town just outside of Nuremberg. The church was filled to the rafters with enthusiastic townspeople of all ages – there were over 550 people there! The audience reaction was wonderful – we were honored to get two standing ovations!
After the concert, we all rung in the new year together in a wonderful little Italian restaurant in Nuremberg. Counting down just outside the restaurant – it was fantastic! And to thank the restaurant staff, we sang for them, and they loved it so much that they chanted for an encore!
Later, we enjoyed a wonderful night out and about in Nuremberg to celebrate the New Year – wishing a happy new year to all of our friends and family back in the US!
En Route: Princeton to Newark to Frankfurt to Nuremberg
Man, it has been a long day of travel. Jeffmin '15, Tova '15 and I ('15) arrived at Princeton at around 10PM EST on Saturday, the 28th. Then the next day, after a quick run to the Panera on Nassau, we walked through the pounding rain to the Old Dinky station, where we hopped on a bus to Princeton Junction. After a train ride, security and a bit of waiting, we were finally on our Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt. The flight itself was uneventful. There was a screaming baby that didn't seem to bother anyone else, but I didn't get a wink of sleep. I was able to finish World War Z by Max Brooks and watch part of "The Hobbit" and "Despicable Me 2" through other people's screens.
When we finally landed, we walked through the long hallways of the Frankfurt Airport before finally clearing customs. We then waited around, somewhat deliriously tired but ready to take on tour. Jeffmin, Daniel '15 and I talked about our plans for the podcast and a few of us broke into an impromptu back massage line (we jokingly called it a Friday in Glee Club rehearsal, because we normally do back massage lines to start rehearsal on Fridays).
When the tour bus finally arrived, we loaded up and headed out for Nuremberg. And that's about all I can remember - I fell asleep a couple minutes after we left the airport and only woke up when we got out for lunch. We stopped at the nicest rest stop that a lot of us have ever been to. There was a Burger King, a buffet and a convenience store on the first floor and an art gallery and fancy bathrooms on the second floor. After a quick meal, we were back on the road for another hour and a half. I'm about to head out exploring for an hour with my friends before coming back for rehearsal. There's still so much to do today!
It’s 6.30am and I’m finishing up my packing for Glee Club’s tour to Germany and Czech Republic. I am really excited. The first tour I ever went on was with the Harare Youth Orchestra to a music festival in Bulawayo, a city in the southwest of Zimbabwe. I was 15 and it was the first time I had traveled for an extended period of time with a bunch of musicians all sharing the sole purpose of making music. We didn’t cross any oceans or board any planes, but we did spent 9 hours on a bus together and 4 days in Bulawayo. I remember early morning rehearsals that were a pleasure to attend, delicious food, great company, slight homesickness (but only slight), fantastic concerts, dancing until the wee hours of the morning and of course, strong friendships. After that first tour, I knew that I would always surround myself with a family of musicians. Now, as a senior in college, attending my first and last tour with the Glee Club, I am REALLY excited. I want to enjoy every single moment, lavish in the beautiful music we will make together and cherish the faces that make Glee Club what it is. Here’s to a wonderful tour!
Check out page 2 of this throw back article from the daily Princetonian in which it is announced that the Glee Club will be the first group at Princeton ever to travel to the west coast!