A History of The Bands, so far . . .
The Black Forest - Germany
July 24th 2004 - July 30th 2004
Hot Aire Tour Group 2004
Saturday 24th July 2004
Another midnight set off. We motored continuously until the services just before the Dartford Crossing, where we had our first break. The back of the bus resembled Night of the Living Dead and took some persuading to leave the coach for the harsh light of dawn.
Then on to Dover, for the ferry to Calais, followed by yet more hours on the coach. Thank goodness for the video player.
We stopped at services in Luxembourg, making this the third trip that we have visited the small nation.
After a long, hot day, we eventually arrived at our Hotel, for a very late tea.
Sunday 25th July 2004
Our first morning was spent in rehearsal, then lunch and a little time for relaxation, before we were on our way to Meersburg, on the shores of Lake Konstance, where we would give an evening concert.
The audience in Meersburg
We had a little over an hour to explore Meersburg, before setting up for the evening concert.
Not our best performance, but we had an appreciative audience.
The Bandstand, Titisee
Monday 26th July 2004
We had a half day at our leisure. Some stayed at the hotel, a few cycled, but most walked into Titisee, to go sightseeing.
In the afternoon, we played on the bandstand in Titisee.
A Walk in The Black Forest
Unfortunately, there was a little rain, which reduced our audience.
Our first free evening; a few went walking, most congregated in the cellar room we had acquired for socialising, where high spirits would not disturb the other guests.
Jamming in St Blasien
Tuesday 27th July 2004
We arrived shortly before lunch, allowing some time for exploration, as well as lunch. Most visited the Dom, the town's beautiful cathedral.
A most enjoyable concert; the inhabitants of St Blasien gave us a very warm welcome and were waving as we left.
Returned to the hotel with time for swimming (for those brave enough!) and had the evening at our leisure.
Wednesday 28th July 2004
Freiburg Old Town
Our "Free" day. The coach took those who wished to go, into Freiburg. Others chose to stay at the hotel.
There was plenty to do in Freiburg: visit the Munster; climb the hill, behind the city, to the schloss and observation tower; explore the shops and narrow streets. A group even caught a bus out to the cable car; we never did agree who had achieved the better views!
The hotel laid on a BBQ this evening, so much fun was had around the pool area.
Thursday 29th July 2004
A short day out to Triberg.
Triberg boasts the highest waterfall in Germany (which everyone visited) and the largest working Cuckoo Clock (which is 2½km out of town, so only three of us saw that!).
Sax Quartet, Schluchsee
We had an evening concert in Schluchsee, which, despite an unsteady start, was ultimately very good and well received.
Then, in true Hot Aire! spirit, a great team effort to get everything back on the bus and back to the hotel by 10.15pm, to keep our driver within his legal hours.
Friday 30th July 2004
Despite some very late night socialising, everyone was up for breakfast and we departed on time.
Back of the bus
It was a quiet start to the journey, as many were catching up on their sleep! However, after a stop in Fraise, France, the back of the coach was far more alert and quiet reading had to give way to 14 hours of videos and music.
We were late getting back to England and over two hours late returning to Cottingley, eventually arriving at 2.15am.
One of our youngsters hadn't told us his phone battery was flat, so we got a phone call from a very concerned parent, at midnight, asking where we were. They were more relieved than annoyed to learn we were all fine, but having a break at Grantham.
Once again we lost two of our number in Dover.