Sunday, April 21, 2013

Euro Trip: My Version part II

by Regin Reyno

My second European Tour happened in 2006. After our successfull 2005 Europe and Taiwan Tour, the group planned to embark on a tour again. This time including USA. The tour took five months. Yes, 5 months of concerts, courtesy calls, and international choral festivals. 

For 5 months, we've visited 6 countries and met countless wonderful people along the road. 

The group's name was also changed. It became the Philippine San Beda Male Singers. 

1. Frankfurt, Germany
Our port of entry. Wonderful airport. One of the best airports in the world that I've been.

2. Stuttgart, Germany

Sang and had a concert at Dekra. They had their occasion and we were invited to sing.

3. Sandefjord, Norway

waiting for the train in Sandefjord
Stayed here for a few days to relax while waiting for our trip to Trondheim. The nature and solitude here is fantastic. 

4. Trondheim, Norway

Norway's National Day. 17th May
Our second home base. Stayed here for weeks. Had a wonderful time. This place is one of the safest places on Earth that I've been to. 

5. Oslo, Norway
Oslo Airport. Going to Hamburg
One of the world's most expensive city. Had a series of performances here. Explored the city and were able to experience their super expensive taxis.

6. Hamburg, Germany 
Hamburg in the evening
Our home base. My favorite city in Europe. Enjoyed the fellowship with Filipinos and charm of the city. We had performances in the Filipino-German gatherings and we received a courtesy call from the Philippines consulate in Hamburg and sang at the Philippine consular office. We also sang on the streets of Hamburg.

During our stay here, there was a football match-Hamburg being one of the venues of the FIFA World Cup 2006. It was between Ecuador and Costa Rica.

7. Nottuln, Germany
Mari's BMW
A very relaxing place in Germany. We enjoyed the solitude and laid-back feel of this place. We also had trips to nearby city, Muenster. 

8. Cloppenburg, Germany
after our concert with Marie
Had loads of concerts here in their cathedrals with excellent acoustics. We didn't even need mics to fill those very large cathedrals with our voices because of the wonderful acoustics. I really love this laid-back town. 

Nights were spent talking to our host and serenading them. What a wonderful time. Till we meet again tita Gloria, tante Magda, tante Marion and the rest of our hosts. 

8. Heidelberg, Germany 

Heidelberg Schloss 
One of the most historically fulfilling place that we've visited. It is here where one of the many statues of Jose Rizal, Philippines' national hero-can be found. We visited it. We also visited Heidelberg Schloss or Heidelberg Castle; a famous ruin in Germany and a landmark of Heidelber. According to wikipedia, the castle ruins are among the most important Renaissance structure north of the alps. 

9. Heckenberg, Germany
Mercedes Benz Museum
It was during this time when Germany was defeated by Italy in the semifinals of the 2006 FiFa World Cup. Everyone was glued to the screen, watching the match. The streets were empty, no work, because of that match. And when the final whistle was blown, with Italy winning, a lot of Germans were in tears. It was a wonderful experience to actually witness these things.

We also visited the Mercedes Benz museum, courtesy of our host. One of the most state of the art auto musuems I have been.Danke Schoen. 

10. Offenburg, Germany
Europa Park
This is where I've experience harvesting cherries in a farm. One of our hosts is a farmer who owns vast land. So during our free time, I went on to help his son harvest cherries and delivered fruits to a winery. We also visited Europa Park, one of the best them parks in the world, courtesy of father Luis. Danke Schoen father Luis. 

11. Munich, Germany
Going down to the South of Germany via train, we had a stop-over in Munich. We spent some time in the city before heading to Burgkirchen, the nearby town where we will stay.

12. Burgkirchen, Germany
very clean lake 
After concerts in churches and singing in Sunday masses, it was all relaxation and free time in this relaxing town. The lake shown in this picture is an example of our activities here.

Our host here is a German family who has a teenage daughter who brought us to Bavarian-style house parties. 

We also visited the house of Joseph Ratzinger who later became known as Pope Benedict.

13. Frankfurt, Germany
at the airport
After countless concerts in Europe, it's now time for us to head the the United States of America. So headed to the airport in Frankfurt AM Main and spent the night there for our trip the next day. Our ever supportive hosts came with us and spent time with us in the airport, providing us foods, despite of their busy schedule. 

Having an airport as clean and beautiful as Frankfurt AM Main, I wont complain staying here for a night. Thank you so much titas and to father Luis. 

14. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon International Airport
We took TAP Portugal as our airline for the US. I was so tired that I just slept the whole time. I didn't even mind the food. The next thing I knew, we were already in Lisbon. We landed there for a layover. At the airport, we rode a shuttle bus going from building to building. Then finally reaching our destination, we relaxed while waited for our flight to Newark, New Jersey. 

15. USA
Los Angeles, USA
Finally! US of A. We landed at Newark International Airport. And for the first time, I was able to step on the land of the free and the home of the brave, (well, according to their anthem). I'll write a separate post regarding our tour in this country. 

16. Offenburg, Germany
relaxing in Offenburg
After 2 months of concerts in the USA, we headed back to Europe for to attend choral festivals in Spain. But before heading to Spain, we stayed first in the beautiful countryside in Germany. We spent 1 week in Offenburg, just practicing and relaxing for the festivals in Spain. 

18. Alava, Spain
after our concert
Originally, we were scheduled to attend 3 international choral festivals in Spain. But because of time constraints, we reduced it into 2. We just attended the festivals in Alava and Burgos.

This was my 4th choral festival and my 2nd international choral festival. The first one being in Taiwan last 2005.

We enjoyed the festival here, although we had a hard time adjusting to a diet without rice. We had full concerts every night in different places, and it was capped-off with a performance with the other choirs during the last night in a concert hall. It's a nice feeling having to represent your country in occasions like these.

The people enjoyed our music most especially the arrangements of sir Robert Delgado. 

Choirs from Mexico, Cuba, Russia, Spain, Germany, Poland, Guatemala and the Ateneo College Glee Club joined the festival with us. 

19. Burgos, Spain
Man shall not live by bread alone
Our 2nd festival in Spain. We were housed in a school's dormitory but looked like a hotel. Again, bread, their staple food was present in every meal, and our beloved rice is nowhere to be found. It's our 2nd week in Spain now, and we are dreaming of rice. Arroz! Mas Arroz! 

As we sang our last song in one of concerts, that was Cielito Lindo, a Spanish song which we offered as encore, we were so glad that finally, we are now going home and our concert tour was a success! We were able to impart the Filipino music and culture to other people and were able to build bridges among other countries as ambassdor of goodwill. Mabuhay! 

20. Barcelona, Spain
An overnight bus ride from Burgos took us to the beautiful city of Barcelona. We took the train here going to Santander airport for our flight back to Frankfurt. 

21. Frankfurt, Germany
We feel like traveling home
5 months, 6 countries, 7 international flights, 2 domestic flights, countless bus rides and train rides, concerts, choral festivals, cuisines, cultures, wonderful sights, priceless experiences, different personalities, wonderful people, it was a great experience. My best tour so far.

After 5 months, we are finally going home. And at this stage of the tour, everybody is tired already. So we were all excited to be home. 

Once again, we stayed 1 night in Franfurt AM Main airport before finally heading home. A layover in Taipei, then it's Manila once again. 

After staying 1 night in NPUM guest house and did some karting with my buddies at Boom na Boom, I headed to Cagayan de Oro via Cebu Pacific. My parents were waiting for me at Lumbia Airport and its home sweet home in Mountain View College.

I'd like praise the Lord for this blessing. To sir Robert Delgado, who enabled us to have this opportunity and for sharing his musical gift to us. It is really a privilege to work with him.

And to our host families in Europe and in the US. May God continue to bless you. 


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