At the end of May 2017 Seagrave Singers were once again in Lahnstein, Germany, twinned with our home town Kettering. Weather was a scorching 30 degrees. Our first singing date was at a church service beside the beautiful Rhein river, where we sang 4 pieces and improvised some accompaniment to the clergyman taking the service who occasionally broke out in song and played his guitar. This is music festival after all. After lunch we were again part of the Lahneck Live music festival with a more light-hearted repertoire. Although it was really hot we enjoyed the experience and had a very appreciative audience which included members of the Kettering/Lahnstein twinning committee. Later there was time for relaxation listening to the other performers in the lovely setting by the river, or cooling down with a refreshing drink before going back to our hotel for dinner.
The second day of our singing tour saw the coach following the river for a few miles to Bad Ems. We had free time in the morning and some of us ambled a little way along the picturesque riverside to find a shady spot to sit and have a drink, others walked along into the town, some went for a ride on the funicular railway, and Linda obviously had too much energy for her own good as she walked all the way to the top of very high hill and back. After lunch we sang in a bandstand by the river; another spectacular venue. The temperature by now was 34 degrees and the audience was not huge, but was appreciative. We must have sung with some finesse as well, with such energy as we could muster as MD Sue Peel felt we all deserved a treat - ice creams all round!!
Whilst walking around Lahnstein a little later, what a treat for some ladies to stumble upon men singing, it was the Lahnstein Shanty Choir rehearsal. Fabulous singing in a dedicated rehearsal room with bar! What a treat.
We had free time all day on Tuesday and we spent the day at the old walled town of Ahrweiler. Through the stone archway and within the walls was a central market place, a church and cobbled streets lined with quaint buildings, cafes and - wait for it - yes, SHOPS, and what do women do best? A good time was had by all; shopping, tourist train ride and again it was very hot so iced coffee and ice creams were the order of the day.
Our last day in Germany. We set off with a guided coach trip along the River Rhine, with its many splendid castles and colourful history. We stopped to see the 34 ft tall Niederwalddenkmal Monument, built to commemorate the unification of Germany in 1870/80s. Some of the ladies bravely continued their journey to Rudesheim on the cable car, the less brave continued on the coach. We spent time in lovely Rudesheim and many of us had to try the special coffee.
Our last performance was on a wonderful river trip with the twinners in the evening. We then danced the night away including us doing an impromptu flash-mob 'Si si si' to complete a brilliant tour.
Contributor ~ Jean LawrenceAlto Seagrave Singer