Monday, June 30, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well, our musical adventure has come to an end and at least some of us are back safe at home. More than half the choir elected for extended stay in Europe and are now fanning out throughout the EU for their own private travel (Larkin, say Hi to the Pope for me). Travel home was uneventful and comfortable, with the same bad food we had on the way (Lufthaza! What has happened to your food?!?) and similar fare in movies (steady diet of weeper relationship films). We were forced to leave Rebecca behind for her own adventure, but that is another story entirely!


To the choir, I would like to thank you for such an incredible trip and such wonderful concerts. I will never forget the concert in Freiburg at the Christuskirche. It will be a musical memory I will hold forever. Furthermore, I have never been prouder of you than I was with your presentation at the Bebenhausen Monastary. You represented Oregon State and the United States very very well and I thank you for your spirit, passion, and your incredible talent. I am in awe of what you have done this year.

To our hosts I would like to offer my grateful appreciation to each of you for making our visit such a great time. Martin in Schorndorf, Tobias and Silvia in Tuebingen, Andreas, Johannes, and Jörg in Freiburg, and Kay and Sabeth in Stuttgart. You were all terrific and made our journey a joy.

I would also like to thank all our well-wishers, supporters, and donors who made our trip possible and followed us along the way. We certainly sing for you!

I have added a few of my memories of the trip below. Enjoy.

Keep singing!
Steve Zielke

A car at the Mercedes museum. Why couldn't we have traveled Germany in this?

Nicki at the Ludwigsburg Castle.













John Kluttz cheering for Deutschland!










Man the cannon!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Publicity in Schorndorf


We are so famous! We made Germany News!!!

Germany vs Turkey







the streets get pretty crazy after a victory in fussball. Here is just a glimpse...
video

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

a few new photos








pictures, top to bottom: beer garden in Heidelberg; Z and Nicola in the palace; view over looking Tübigen; Amanda Andrew and Julie at lake Titisee; Nickoli Scott and Josh on lake Titisee.

video: amanda and julie, bad luck with meat salads

Hey all!

Great to see posts from other students. (Thanks Josh)

I just wanted to load a few new pictures and a short video, just to give you all a little more insight into our world. We had another nice day in Freiburg today. We visited the University and made some very nice contacts there. Tonight we will tour the city further with our OUS guides and then enjoy the Germany vs Turkey football game. Should be pretty wild! Hopefully the humidity calms down a little tomorrow. All you people back home should enjoy a big class of ice for us, because no body serves ice here. Who would ever think that you could miss frozen water so much?

Till next time,
Brice
video

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BIENVENUE A FRANCE!

Guten tag..... well, technically guten abend!

Joshua Seitz at the keyboard, and the switching of the Z and Y thez have is reallz giving me trouble. (Jeff says, "I hate the Y key!!!!!")

I didn't really read Brice's posts before this, so hopefully I don't give double coverage.

Currently in Frieburg, it's in a gorgeous valley, with a small hill that overlooks the city right next to our hostel, perfect to watch the sunset, or so I'm told by other choir members... I'm excited to see the sunset tomorrow!!!

Today we jumped the border to FRANCE!!!!!!! In our journey to Strassbourg, the rather sad welcome we received yesterday(thunderstorm :( ), was corrected with gorgeous sun-filled weather for the time we spent there. Having been to Europe many times before, this city not only reminded me of the how I remember larger "European" cities in that it is a great combination of older beautiful architecture, and the more modern technological side of today's world, but it also had bajillions of patisseries(bakeries) full of the most wonderful and freaking delicious baked goods ever made. I shared a raspberry tart with Aubrey that could only be described using one word: Scrumtrilescent!

I was dragged along on a rather boring shopping trip with 4 girls, "Big Tuna" Tony Baker and Brian Crawford. However, we had a flipping delicious lunch of salami, cheeses, and bread in a gorgeous park near the train station which looked like a soccer stadium because it was covered by a giant glass structure for protection from, I'm assuming, bird poop.

The ride home was highlighted by a lovely stop off at a winery where we tasted some delicious and extremely moderately priced(comparatively to the U.S.) wine, and they fed us a surprisingly delicious "pizza", made of some extremely thin unleavened bread, bacon, melted cheese and sour cream. I ate too much. :(

We are off to get ready for a night out on the town!!! TSCHÜSS!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Our adventures continue: Sunday and Monday

One word seems to be a favorite among many of our members by this point on the trip: Gelato!!

With the weather warming up and staying warm, we are all trying to find ways to stay cool. No one seems to understand why we want to drink just normal tap water all the time. It is often difficult to find a place that sells water (especially if you want it without gas! And when you think about how that sounds, why WOULD you want water with gas?) So, Gelato has become a new favorite way to beat the heat. My personal favorite is the Jogurt Kircharmarena (or sour cherry arameto!) It is absolutley amaying, and I have tried nothing else!

Not much to report about Saturday night. Most people just took it pretty easy.

Sunday was completely a free day, which gave great opportunity for everyone to just do whatever they want. Some sleep in, some swam in the Neckar, some rented boats, some walked or hiked, some visited the Jewish district, and others just hung out in the courtyard outside our hostel. We all have enjoyed having breakfast provided for us at the hostel, and many have been packing lunches away with the extra food. This really helps to cut costs and stay energized. But we are making up for it now, because the hostel we are at now does not provide breakfast. Sunday night was just a great night. It was incredibly hot all day long and very sunny, but then in the middle of the night, we were all woken up by a tremendous strom! I frantically dove out of a deep sleep to the window sill to fetch our laundry that we had hoped would be dry for the next day. The rain was pouring, and i dont think I have ever seen lightning like that before. It was very cool to watch. Storms come out of no where over here, and then before you know it, it is sunny and hot again like nothing ever happened!

Today (Monday) we said goodbye to Tübigen and drove to Freiburg. We stopped twice on the way, once at the Black Forest Castle (absolutely breathtaking view) and once at Lake Titisee (an obvious tourist trap). I had lunch on a nice terrace restaurant with Amanda, Julie, Andrew, and Alyssa. Sometimes nothing sounds better than a nice refreshing salad for lunch! However, BEWARE THE SALADS!!!! haha! Poor Amanda Lovin has had the worst luck with ''salads'' on this trip. In Tübigen she ordered something that roughly translated to ''meat salad'' which doesnt sound too bad at first, but this particular salad had no salad at all, and was actually all meat! To be exact, the ''salad'' was nothing more than a pale pink mound of thin rectangular strips of unidentifiable processed meat product! Yum! And today at lunch, she and Julie decided to share another salad, and this time, the salad was more of a pinkish slab of meat paste with some lard around the outside, a hard black center of something, and it was drenched in some sort of jello\apple\wasabe peas goop. Not too sure... but it was horrible to say the least! haha! Just when you thought it was safe to order a salad.

Back on the bus, it was just a short drive into Freiburg. Again, I was instantly in love with this city. We are staying at the Black Forest Hostel, which closely resembles a mix between downtown Portland and Interzone coffee. (a strange breed of hippy\funky\backpacky atmosphere, but overall, very cool!) We arrived to the city right in time for another freak storm that came out of no where, drentched us, and disappeared just as quickly. We had a free eveing to explore. The whole city is just winding streets of cobblestone and cute storybook houses and buildings on every side, not to mention the most beautiful hills and surroundings. David and Josh Randall and I hiked up this mountain right behind our hostel tonight and found a spiral tower that took you to the highest point in Freiburg. It was definitely worth the pain to climb all those stairs, because at the top we had a completely open 360 degree view of the whole city. Breathtaking... You'd have to see it to beleive it...

We were told by some locals that Monday nights are not the best night to hit the Discoteks (dance clubs) but that Tuesdays are special nights just for the University students, so many of us our excited to go hit that scene tomorrow night if time allows. Tomorrow we are going into Strasbourg, France, for wine tasting and dinner, and I think everyone is very exicted. Then we pick up the pace again and have 4 performances over our last 4 days. Hard to beleive that this part of our tour is quickly coming to an end.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

Brice

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The enchanted city of Tübigen

Hello again all you readers! We have made it to Tübigen. What an absolutley lovely and romantic little city. Instantly we feel right at home here and I do not want to leave!

Yesterday we had a nice little reception with the Mayor of Schorndorf. We exchanged gifts and said ´thankyou´ and ate more bread pretzels. We did not have a lot of free time this day because of the Jubilet Concert in the evening. We drove to Tübigen and rehearsed with Tobias and some of the Camarata Vocalis in their very cool, 800 year old rehearsal room. (Benton still has some catching up to do...) Our Concert was absolutley fantastic! All the big-to-dos were in attendance, including all the presidents from several of the major Universities in Oregon, Ed and Beth Ray of course, and many other important dignateries and chair members of the Baden-Württemberg exchange program. Everyone had very nice things to say about our performance. The choir should be very pleased. I know Ed and Beth were! There was a reception that followed, and man, that food was AWESOME!! We ate our fill and then headed back to the hostel. Some decided to go out and explore the late-night town scene, and others called it a night. In either case, if you were anywhere in the city, you no doubt heard all the honking and screaming and excitement of the latest Soccer victory.

Today has been another very pleasent day. The weather is gorgeous, this town is beautiful, and we got to sleep in!!! Our day did not begin until 10am officially. We went on a walking tour of the city with two of our OUS hosts (both students on exchange from Western Oregon University) and then a quick muesem tour outside the Tübigen Castle. Right now i am sitting in a ´wash and chat´ internet cafe with Jeff and David. Doesnt look like we will get to laudry today because there is quite a line, but at least I got in another blog. At 3:30 today we will meet up with the group again and go for little boat tours on the Neckar River (a name you might be familiar with if you are interested in Wagnarian Music Dramas!!) More pictures and perhaps a video to come later! Keep on checking in!

Bis später! Tschüs!
(until later! Bye!)

Brice