Huttenberg, Germany – July 13 (and then home)

Posted by smr on July 15th, 2010

We arose early (again…) and headed to Huttenberg where we were greeted by our gracious hosts, The Shining Bells.  This is a club that was started by a missionary several years ago and now travels and tours as we do.  They have 4 octaves of Schulmerich bells and we had a great time eating together, ringing together, and simply being together for our last night.  Our concert lasted for 2 hours and we finished with three encores.  What an enthusiastic audience!  We sold all of the rest of our CDs and had a wonderful time with this warm family of ringers.

The following morning we headed to the Frankfurt airport for our departure back home.  Good thing we went early because we were split up onto different flights thanks to a Continental cange of plans.  Amazingly, we all arrived in Newark within about 30 minutes of each other and came home on the same flight (although that flight was delayed by about 4 hours …)  Long day, but we are all here and should be functional within a few days…

Many thanks to all of our hosts, all of the ringers and all of our supporters who helped to make this an outstanding three weeks together.

Notes from Pat Carr:

On the way to Huttenberg we stopped at a rest stop. Our stops are governed more by the schedule that Mark, our driver, must keep than it is by us. Government regulations have us stop whether we want to or not. He has a “black box” in his bus that any official can look into to check his time. It clicks into service when the bus goes into gear. At one point he stopped for his break and decided to fill the bus; it took nine minutes so he had to stay at that “rest stop” for an additional nine minutes for he could not leave the bus at the pumps for that time period and once the thing is in gear he has to start his rest stop time all over again.

Anyway we stopped at one place and had to pay half a Euro to go through a turn style to get to the toilets. Well, one gets a receipt that can then be used toward purchases in the snack shop Not only that but it was well worth the cost of admission for they had automatic toilet seat cleaners. The seat rotated on its base as a contraption moved out to rest on the seat. Interesting.

Sights, etc:
I spotted a vending machine perched on a pole and sitting at a crosswalk. Thought it might be a bus ticket dispenser. Oh no, quite wrong…a cigarette dispenser! And we saw them in the small towns in the German countryside.
We could not use our credit cards in Denmark and in parts of Germany. Seems they require an impregnated chip.

Driving through the German countryside is much like driving through Indiana also from north to south. As I mentioned before the terrain is quite flat and then becomes quite hilly and as the terrain changes so does the look of the towns. All neatly and tidy brick in the north and much more scattered in the south.

When we arrived in Huttenberg we pulled up to the town hall and kind of stumbled one by one off the bus. As each person exited they were greeted with applause. Quite the suprise! The local bell ringers had assembled to welcome us, usher us into the town hall and lead us to lunch. After another wonderful German series of salads, etc the kids set up to practice with the local bell ringers while Essi and I were asked to walk with one of the local ladies to her home to see her garden. We spent a lovely hour with her and learned that Huttenberg, as well as most surrounding towns, was once a series of farm house/compounds with house and barns build around a courtyard with a huge entry gate. The fields were then scattered over the surrounding countrysides. Think Middle Ages and serfs. Those clustered farm compounds are now apartments. The huge gates are still in place but have been cut in half so that a smaller door (no need to bring in a wagon of hay) will accommodate bringing cars into the courtyard. Huttenberg still had one farm compound still intact. She said to sniff and she was right.

The old buildings in Huttenberg were brick houses that were sheathed in wood. Then over the wood was placed thin pieces of slate in a fish scale pattern. Think of the shingled houses on Cape Cod and substitute slate for those wooden shingles. Shingles from top to bottom.

Later in the afternoon we were picked up by our host families and taken “home.” Well, not everyone. Our host arrived and said that his car would only hold two people so he had to take us one at a time. I was elected to go first. On the way he apologized but explained that his son had shown up with two grandchildren. They had taken the bus from Berlin and then the son had taken the family car to drive to a swimming pool. Not only was the car co-opted but we could not stay at their home for the unexpected visit had taken the bedrooms too. So he drove us to a pension. A great spot. He delivered Jim and then came back about an hour later, driving his neighbor’s car, to take us to his lovely home for dinner.

The concert that night was another triumph. The groups both played individually and together. Southminster rang two encores based on applause of about 200 spectators and then another after being asked by the hosts to please ring one more piece.
The final concert, the final night.

One Response to “Huttenberg, Germany – July 13 (and then home)”

  1. Peter Ajnehagen

    Essi Efthimiou
    Kiitos käynnistä Stockholmissa 2010.07.09.
    Olitte todella hyviä.
    Tässä teistä Filmi YouTubessa.
    Jumalan siunausta teille kaikille
    T : Peter ja Terttu Ajnehagen Sweden

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