After two weeks of door to door, bags under the bus, no passports, no airports bus travelwith our superb driver Walter, of whom we became really fond ( he was just great) we had to move into a mode more characteristic of our winter European tours. For various reasons - including Walter's schedule ( he had to drive the bus back to Germany where he and it came from) - we prolonged our moment in the South of France and went back to Labeaume for lunch at the restaurant by the church. A very lovely experience, especially the ice cream, which didn't make us eager to pile on the bus and head for the Lyon airport.
A photo for the newspaper - us and the festival team - to celebrate the end of the Festival.
From this relaxed atmosphere, we headed into major traffic on the A7 going to the Lyon airport which gave us moments of doubt as to whether we'd make it. The airport of Lyon is terribly beautiful and modern of course, but declines to give any indication whatsoever of which airline is in which terminal, or where a bus should go. Walter did his best, but ended up trying to drop us off by a road which seemed to be leading to the terminal, and was, but did not allow buses. We left him, reluctantly, stuck in front of a thing under which he could not pass, with millions of French people honking madly as we offloaded our bags and ran for the terminal. Which was after Brian had run somewhere to find out which terminal we should go to.... Walter later said that it took him 20 minutes to get everybody cleared from behind him, get out of the parking lot and head off on his long drive home.
The words Frankfurt airport in the intinerary always strike dread into our hearts. We had a 55 minute window between our arrival from Lyon and our flight to Bremen and of course found ourselves in the big tunnel between terminals A and B. At least we didn't have to go from A to C this time, and didn't have to pass security again.
It all went relatively smoothly, we didn't have to run, the flights were more or less on time, and we arrived in Bremen in a light rain by 10.15 or so. A fast transfer to the center of the city and our hotel which is 3 minutes from the church where we will perform 3 45 minute programs Saturday evening. It's our first time at the Bremen Festival which, along with Edinburgh, are the biggest festivals on this tour. It will be the first day of the Festival, in a Fete de la Musique format with 8 groups of performers performing 3 simultaneous concerts, at 7.30, 9, and 10.30. Among them, the Seoul Philharmonic with Myung-Whun Chung, the Bach Collegium Japan with Masaaki Suzuki, Il Complesso Barocco with Alan Curtis, and us... There will be a light show in the public places - it promises to be fun.