Austria 1992

It was not a typical Monday afternoon on 1st of June, since our choir was about start a concert tour to Austria. This time around the journey began with a bus drive to Turku and from there we continued with a ship to Stockholm in Sweden. After a night spent on the Gulf of Bothnia we headed for Trelleborg, where we stayed overnight. The next morning we hauled up the sails again and sailed over the Baltic Sea to Sassnitz in Germany.

Our first concert was in Berlin, where we also had a chance to do some sightseeing, before continuing to Dresden for the night. After a good night sleep, it was time for quite a long bus ride, since our next stop was Hradec Kralove in the Czech Republic. The local boys' choir was our host in Kralove and they had arranged us a possibility to give a concert in one of the town's churches. The boys and their parents also provided us accommodation for one night, which was very nice because we got e.g. a taste of the local culinary art.
Next day the series of long bus rides continued with a drive to Linz in Austria. After a night spent in very nice and cozy cottages, our journey continued to Salzburg. We stayed in Salzburg for two nights, and since our only performance was in a mass, we had a lot of time for sightseeing. We visited most of the tourist attractions of the city and its immediate surroundings. For example the area of Salzkammergut with its ice caves was quite breathtaking. In a way, it demonstrated the whole range of Austrian nature in a compact presentation.

After Salzburg the course was set back to Germany. First stop was Munich, where we stayed for two days. We had a church concert there and had a possibility to get acquainted with the most important sights of the city. We visited e.g. the Olympic station, where we discovered the reason why Lasse Virén stumbled there when he won the gold medal in the 10000-meter race at the 1972 Olympic Games. There were still all sorts of electric wires on the track!

From Munich, we drove via Nürnberg to Kassel, where we charged our batteries for one night before continuing to Ütersen. There we had a privilege, again, to enjoy the warm hospitality of the local boys' choir. The boys and their parents took us to their homes for the evening and the night. Next day we made our last stop in Germany in Hamburg, where we had a few hours to stroll around the city, before getting aboard the Finnjet ship in Travemünde later that evening. One of the high points of the 24 hour-long boat trip was eating at the smorgasbord. There had been no complaints about the trip chow, which had mostly consisted of macaroni, meatballs, bratwurst, etc.; nevertheless it was nice to eat our stomachs full with the delicious menu.

The ship arrived to Helsinki the next evening and after sitting a few hours in the bus we were again home, in Veteli. In our minds the trip had been a real success. One of the most positive things was the great togetherness of the whole group including the parents. Even the few sicknesses and other small bumps we encountered during the 12-day trip didn't cause anyone to become homesick.