Sightseeing in Lodon today - first a visit to the Westminster Abbey, then a boat tour on Thamse river - and a walking tour around the tower of London. Sounds tiresome? Not for some people! They went to see Musicals in the evening. Enjoy the pictures!
So much has happened since the last post, and apologies for not being able to do it daily. The excursion along the Ring of Kerry was a wonderful experience. What a day! Perfect weather, great views over the ocean and a very entertaining young tour guide who had lots of stories about Irish traditions to tell. After a nice dinner we got to watch a live Irish Dancing show called Spirit of Ireland.
On Tuesday we left the first country on the itinerary and flew to London. The hotel is very conveniently located near the London Eye and this is also the first sight they visited in London. The overview over London is simply spectacular! All the famous landmarks were to be see, Westminster Abbey, the Parliament, Buckingham Palace, St. James place and the financial district. Fish and Chips for dinner - welcome to London!
Very early start to go to see Bunratty Castle and heritage park. After a very informative tour around the castle they had some time to visit the heritage park. An exhibition of houses from the 19th century which gave a very good impression of what life was like back in the days of the Irish famine in 1847, a time when around 6 million people left the country. Ireland hasn't really recovered from that still until today. Before the famine there were 11 million inhabitants and today there are 4,8 million. After lunch they went on to Ballybunion, a coastal town, where they performed at the Tintean Theatre. Before the performance the dancers had a chance to learn Irish dancing from two professional dancers, Chris McSorley and Kelly Stephens. The performance was a great success, the dancers received many compliments from Chris and Kelly. Well done Tutterow Dancers!! Thank you Miss Debbie and Miss Brittney!!
Welcome to Ireland!!
The Tutterow Dancers have arrived in Dublin this morning. After a reception at the hotel with scones and coffee they went on a walking tour around the historic center of Dublin with two local tour guides. So much to learn, but with the jet lag not all will be remembered.
In the evening they enjoeyd a fantastic welcome dinner at the hotel. Time to go to bed now, recharge the batteries for a new exciting day tomorrow.
Our first hotel in Europe
The hills are alive - all day long! After our arrival in Salzburg we met our tour guide Susanne at Mirabel gardens, a park in the center of Salzburg, which was a backdrop for a famous scene ( Do Re Mi ) from the movie "Sound of Music". We then went on to a pristine mountain lake called Wolfgang's lake for lunch, Schnitzel with Noodle and some Appelstrudel.
In the afternoon we visited the church where the Van Trapps married in the movie, we then saw the house wher they lived, the gazibo from the song " I am 16 going on 17" and the monestary where Maria wanted to become a nun. The bus dropped us off in the historic center of Salzburg for some time off and later a dinner show called " The sound of Salzburg". This was great fun and best entertainment for us.
After a short walking tour around Regensburg during which we saw the grave of St. Wolfgang and eat the world's best Bratwurst, we drove to Munich and enjoyed a bus tour around town to see the BMW factory, palace Nymphenburg, the olympic park, where the 1972 olympic games took place and the Feldherrenhalle, the square where a riot happened, which marked the beginning of Third Reich. Munich is also home of Joint adventures which is an anual dance festival that is sponsered by the State of Bavaria and serves as a platform for the European contemporary dance comunity.
The Tutterow dancers took a contemporary technique workshop with star choreographer Kenneth Flak from Norway. This was a very unique experience fro the dancers and they learned a new style of dance they had never been in touch with before.
The parents were waiting in the meantime in a typical beergarden nearby.
In the evening we all watched a performance of the festival called "Etudes for an Astronaut" by Lance Gries ( USA ). The performance added to the motto of our tour which is " Broaden your horizon"!
We had a blast! Today we drove from Bamberg via the beautiful landscape of Frankonia Switzerland to the US training facility Grafenwoehr. Upon arrival we were met by Franz Zeilmann, the public relation person of the garisson. he came on to our bus and showed us around the military post. Her also expalained to us everytyhing there. We saw their newly built housing complexes, schools, their chapel and got an idea on how they live.
From there we went to the German American friendship festival and went almost imediatly to a burger lunch, which the Army had invited us to.
The performance began after we were introduced by the commander of the base, Colonel Seanz and Mr.Waechter, the mayor of Grafenwoehr. The performance was outstanding and awasome. The poeple loved it!! What an honor.
We stayed on to enjoy the festival for another hour and drove from there to Regensburg, a town founded by the Romans 2000 years ago.
Evening of in the ferry tale like atmosphere.
Today we left the hotel very early to meet our tour guides at Heidelberg castle at 8:30 am. They showed us around the castle ruin and told us about its' history. We also learned a lot about Heidelberg and its students fraternities as well as the nobel family who built the castle, Prinz Frederick and his wife Elisabeth Stewart. The castle is also home to the largest wine barrel in the world with a capacity of 56 000 gallons wine. Mark twain, who lived in Heidelberg at a time when the barrel was empty said, "despite its size, no empty wine barrel is impressive".
We then walked down to the old market square of Heidleberg for lunch and some shopping. Afterwards the bus took us to Bamberg, which is this year the city which won an anual competition for a grant of the state of Bavaria to recreate their city park. The dancers performed as part of the festival which was great honor and was well appriciated by the visitors.
After the performance we went to Bamberg's historic center for a walking tour to the cathedral and the famous rose garden, which is part of the former Bichop's residence.
A fantatstic dinner, typical German of course, was theculmination of the day.
Off to perform for the troops tomorrow!
Today we traveled from Paris to Heidelberg Germany, with a stop in Epernay, the center of French Champagne making. We left Paris at around 9:30 and went through the stunning landscape of the Champagne region, looking at vineyards and quaint french villages.
When we arrived at Epernay it was time for our lunch break, which we had at Brasserie La Banque, a former bank.
Later we walked up the avenue de la champagne to the Mercier vineyard, where we took a tour around the wine cellar, which is so large, that we had take a train to get around! After learing all about champagne making it was time to taste a glass and purchase our own bottles.
From there we went straight to downtown Heidelberg and enjoyed a typical German fare with live piono acompaniment and traditional decorations. We had to walk up to the old bridge to have a first look at the castle ruin which is beautifully lit up in the night.
Off to Bamberg tomorrow for our second performance.
Today was actually a day off, but the tour guides still offered a bus tour around Paris to see the most interesteing sights. Some families like the Kasperchicks took the opportunity and went to Versailles, but most travelers joined the tour. They started at 9:00 am with a visit to the Arc de Triumph and then went on to Notre Dame cathedral, the heart of Paris. Tour guide Ruediger explained the history of the landmark and showed us around the church. From there we walked to Saint Chapelle, a small chapel in the former palace of the kings of France, which served fo many centuries as a small house church for the servants and the king's familiy. The church is famous for it's stained glass windows which depict scenes from the bible and also is where thorn crown of Jesus is worshiped.
Afterwards, we walked through the Louvre to galery LaFayette, the shopping cathedral of Paris, for lunch and souvenir hunting. Beautiful view over the town from the roof top!!
From there the bus took us up to Sacre Coeur cathedral and the artist quarter of Montmartre, where Impressionism has started.
After a full day of lovely impressions, learning history and experiencing what life is like in Paris we reached the hotel at around 6:00 pm. Some people went on to finally go up the Eiffel tower. There is just no stopping the Tutterows!
Off to Germany tomorrow.
Today we drove to the Disney resort for our first performance. Isabell, the Disney represenative met us at the backstage area of the Videopolis stage and showed us around the venue and dressing rooms. We then went on stage to get situated and prepared for the performance.
The performace was schduled at 4:00pm, which gave us about 4 hours to explore the park and enjoy the rides.
The videopolis stage holds about 1000 visitors and we felt like it was almost full house. The show went wonderfully and was enjoyed by the entire audience. There were even children dancing in the aisle! We received many compliments by the Disney staff, who mentioned the colorful costumes, choreography and energetic performance.
After the show we went back to the hotel in downtown Paris to enjoy the rest of the evening under the Eiffel tower. Some of the group went off to visit the Louvre museum, to see the Mona Lisa.
Tomorrow sightseeing bus tour around town and shopping spree at Galery LaFayette!!
The Tutterow Dancers arrived in Paris all save and sound. Today was the meet and greet with tour guides Wolf and Jill at the hotel. Many questions were answered and Wolf explained what the program would look like in the next couple of days. Afterwards the group went down to the Seine river for a mini cruise through the center of Paris, during which they got to see most of the main attractions with an explenation of meaning and history.
After a beautiful walk back to the hotel, passing underneath the Eiffel tower, they enjoyed a deliciouse welcome dinner, typical french cuisine.
Off to Disney for their first performance tomorrow!!
"I can't even express how grateful I am for everything you have done for us.You are AMAZING people! I love you guys and will miss you lots!"
"Wolfgang and Jill, you are awesome people (and tour guides)! Wolfgang, thank you for going the extra mile for us!"
"You both have made this trip an amazing experience for all of us. I am so glad that we got the chance to meet you. You will always be remembered and carried on in our memories. Thank you for everything!"