Today we set off for Heidelberg, for some singing at the cathedral, some shopping and sightseeing time and dinner together (140 of us) at a restaurant in the shadow of the cathedral.
The cathedral, we found out, was originally built to house the library for the University of Heidelberg about six hundred years ago in the rear part. The front part was a cemetery! Eventually it became a classic Gothic cathedral and for a while housed both Protestant and Catholic congregations using a divider down the middle of the church, which became totally Protestant in the early twentieth century.
We listened to the cathedral organist play Bach's "Toccata and Fugue," and experienced the three-second reverberation as we sang several of the anthems we did the previous night.
Then we were off on our own, sampling the restuarants and visiting the shops and sights. A number of people rode the "funicular" to the Heidelberg Castle, explored the area and enjoyed the panorama of the city below us.
We went to a restaurant where we crammed inside. I started to experience claustrophobia from the number of people crammed into the room and the level of noise. As it happened, they ran out of seats inside and we had to sit outside where we had a not-so-good meal in the company of Joe Martin's wife Sue, her mother and a friendl Both ladies had been teachers and, being from Dayton, knew a ton about aviation history.
The streets of the old city of Heidelberg are a combination of pedistrian walks with cars and trucks allowed. I can see trucks for deliveries, but cars? Sitting outside at the resturant for dinner it was sometimes unnerving to have a car pass a foot or so away. Mercifully they drove slowly and the Germans do have a reputation for being good drivers.
We got back on the bus about 8:30. and set off for the hotel. In spite of the different language and medieval setting, it occurred to me that tourism and shopping have gotten to be much the same no matter where we are.
And so to France tomorrow and our first concert in an American military cemetery,