Scenes and memories from the road
A few impressions from the European tour:
The falling dollar and sticker shock everywhere. Starbucks check:
A tall latte in Paris: 3.80 Euro -- more than $6
A tall latte in Dusseldorf: 3.10 Euro
A tall latte in Madrid: 2.70 Euro
One musician's bill for hotel laundry in Paris: 300 Euros (don't even ask how much that is)
Price of one drink in hotel bar while band is playing: 45 Euros
Cafes and bars in every concert hall.
The entire bass section in one elevator in Paris.
Being in Paris.
The tradition of bringing out flowers to the soloist and the conductor.
The different dynamics of the audience in each of the five countries. Most extroverted: Paris, followed by Spain.
Every hall offers a new aural experience.
You have to buy your program in some halls (3 Euros).
Some halls offer free child care (Photo: Papageno and Papagena announce babysitting in Dortmund.)
Audiences of all ages (Dusseldorf had the only "oldish" crowd), including children with parents in Spain.
Concerts in Spain that begin at 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (tonight's Madrid concert will end around 1 a.m.)
A sudden hail storm in Barcelona.
Paavo Jarvi and the orchestra bringing down the house every night.
Kids on tour.
Field trips on musicians' days off: The horn section went to a horn factory in Mainz and timpanist Patrick Schleker and principal percussionist Bill Platt were picked up in Dusseldorf, taken to the Adams Timpani factory in The Netherlands, to lunch in Belgium and back to Dusseldorf.
Bass player Boris Astafiev flew to Copenhagen for the day from Dusseldorf, on discount airline Air Berlin. And Peter Norton and Charles Bell decided to walk to Cologne from Dusseldorf. They almost made it...
Efficient, clean and pleasant trains -- the best way to travel!