Willkommen in Deutschland!
by Alex Marin
We had a wonderful first evening in Germany, despite the exhaustion from our travels! After waiting for six hours in baggage claim and fighting to keep myself awake so that no one would steal my bags, our leader Chris Lane finally arrived. By that point, I had been up for 26 hours straight! After Chris Porter arrived, both he and Chris (Lane) acquired the rental cars and we split up. Chris Lane went to pick up those who had earlier gone to explore Hamburg. Meanwhile, Chris Porter, Nick Capozzoli, and I left to buy groceries.
After driving to (what seemed) nearly every grocery store in northern Germany, we encountered only disappointment, heartache, and tears. All the stores were closed because it was a holiday (the Germans call it Pfingstmontag, the Monday after Pentecost). Eventually we found an open gas station, and we bought a couple of frozen pizzas and some bags of chips as a backup plan (not an ideal first dinner, but we were desperate by that point!). Luckily, we found a quaint, open restaurant in the nearby Ostseehotel, where they served fresh spargel (asparagus), fish, and duck (I ordered the whole duck which took up most of my plate and stomach!). All of these local gems are not too far from the Baltic Sea and our beautiful, huge home “Villa La Mer.”
The night for me was particularly nice because I got to bond with colleagues in the pool and sauna. I always love chatting with other organists because it is something I don’t get to do often — it was nice to spend time with people who have the same love for organs as I do. I was amazed by the house that Chris got, which is extremely luxurious in size, with marble floors, nice furniture, art, and a beautiful baby grand piano. I am also excited because there are a lot of people on the trip who have talent in the kitchen; I can’t wait for our house meals together! Before I went to sleep I talked to my friend in the States, and I told him that I can’t remember a time when I have been more happy.
I am so excited for the rest of the trip and can’t wait to play the numerous historical organs to come...stay tuned!