We have just returned from an absolutely wonderful three nights in Wilhelmshaven, visiting our friends who sing with Coro Piccolo.
We arrived at Bremen to a warm welcome from Ann-Katrin, Benny and Anke, along with Heinz the bus driver, who provided us with a brief summary of the plans for our visit. They had some very welcome bottled water and apple juice to refresh us.
When the bus arrived at Wilhelmshaven we were met by the rest of Coro Piccolo who had prepared a great spread for us a lovely little covered area where we could eat, drink and chat. No singing at that point though! We then left with our hosts to let us settle in before our moonlight boat trip later in the evening.
The boat trip was good fun unfortunately a bit cloudy for moonlight, but still a fun evening. Lots of singing, drinking beer and some marine education from Roger who pulled some very interesting animals from the sea to let us look at in detail. Then even more singing and back to our accommodation.
We had Saturday to ourselves until we met for our concert in the evening. What a wonderful experience Coro Piccolo let us go on first and we were treated to standing ovations the last one at the end of our performance seemed to go on forever we loved it!!!!! Then Coro Piccolo took the stage and they gave their usual excellent performance of an a capella programme led by Barbara. Their sound was fantastic and we all finished the concert on a bit of a high. A quick change then off to Barbaras for a BBQ in her garden. Perfect conditions both from the point of view of venue and weather. Great food and drink and lots and lots of singing. The evening didnt finally finish for everyone until 3.00 am when the few stragglers who were still sitting on the hay bales singing round the campfire finally gave up.
Sunday again we had some time with our hosts some of us met up for part of the day, some spent the day just with the hosts. We then met up again for coffee and cake at a lovely waterside venue. This led on to more beer, wine, coffee and, of course singing! It was such a good time with all of us singing together or in our own groups. We even had Barbara conducting us in a very mixed arrangement of Moon River our version combined with theirs. Interesting!
A lot of goodbyes were said at that point and we returned to our hosts for dinner again, some went out and met up with other members, some stayed in with their friends.
An early start for the bus on Monday morning we had to leave by 6.00 a.m.! However we were treated to a lovely breakfast on the bus and even presented with a gift as we got off the bus in Bremen. Easy flight home and arrived back about 10.00 a.m. (early of course if you believe Ryanair!!!).
All in all an absolutely wonderful trip and a great opportunity to re-establish old friendships and forge some new ones.
A big, big thank you to Coro Piccolo for giving us such a fantastic time you thought of everything . and more. We will be reminiscing about this trip for a long time.